Just as a new national report reveals the United States lacks science education that prepares students to be professionals and innovators, Colorado State University’s College of Natural Sciences has created a new online science master’s degree program for Colorado middle- and high-school teachers.
The National Science Board on Sept. 15 issued a report saying the nation is lacking innovators in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) education, which means there are fewer opportunities for significant breakthroughs or advances in scientific and technological understanding.
The Colorado State Master’s of Natural Sciences Education is an online program designed specifically for middle and high school science teachers to more quickly and conveniently update their knowledge and learn innovative ways to teach science to middle and high school students.
“There has been great interest from teachers for an online-delivered graduate degree since most can’t come to campus for traditional courses,” said Don Mykles, associate dean of the College of Natural Sciences and director of the new master’s program. “The program was designed for teachers in rural school districts who may live far from a college campus, but it benefits teachers in urban and suburban school districts as well. It gives them access to a content-rich curriculum without having to give up their ‘day job.’ It also gives teachers the opportunity to develop more effective teaching strategies by applying what they’ve learned to their own classrooms.”
“Our state is experiencing a shortage of highly qualified teachers in these subjects,” said Donna Cooner, associate professor in the School of Education. “It will take collaborative efforts between departments and universities with local education agencies to meet this demand.”
The curriculum for the new master’s program includes a combination of science and education courses as well as research and independent study opportunities. Courses include models of teaching, communications and classrooms, education policy analysis, physics, chemistry, spectroscopy, energy, pollution and environmental biology.
Applications are now being accepted for the spring semester. Participants must be working science teachers with a bachelor’s in a science discipline and must be qualified through standard license procedures to teach middle or high school science in the state of Colorado.
For more information, go to http://www.learn.colostate.edu/degrees/natural-sciences-education/curriculum.dot, or contact Mykles at email@example.com.
To read the full National Science Board report, “Preparing the Next Generation of STEM Innovators,” go to http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=117713&org=NSF&from=news.