1 Graduate Program Prioritization Report MS Degree in Science Education History, Development, Expectations CRITERIA #1a (550 words) The M.S. in Science Education (SCE) was developed over forty years ago to include a concentration for both elementary and secondary school science teachers. The program had become dormant over fifteen years ago, but frequent calls from science teachers interested in a science education Master s degree prompted us to reconsider the degree again. Since SCSU had graduate programs in mathematics education and art education, it was only logical to include science education to enhance the teaching and learning of current inservice science teachers.. In the early 2000s the dormant program was revised, with new courses and a new concentration that formed a partnership with education and the 4 science departments. This Master s degree is a perfect blend of advanced science content and pedagogy that enhances the professionalism of secondary science teachers. The courses that were developed a dozen years ago still serve the program well. Courses such as Multimedia Technology in the Science Classroom have evolved to keep up with the latest tech tools, software and educational initiatives. In 2011, the Special Project course (SCE 594) was revised, dropping from six to three credits, so that we could develop a separate research methods course that would help students prepare for the rigors of research required for their capstone special project. Demographics: The general student population and enrollment in the MS in Science Education has been very consistent until this year, It was noted that since 2010, many of our students required financial aid to complete their graduate studies. It appears that the state s economic down turn has resulted in a dependency on financial aid for most of our graduate students. To accommodate the needs of the students, courses are scheduled so that students can qualify for financial aid and be able to have a workable schedule for easy completion of the degree program. Most of the alumni of the SCE program are employed in K12 schools throughout Connecticut. Approximately 53% of current MS-SCE candidates are certified secondary science teachers and 46% are pursuing science certification and a Master s degree in science education. The two entry pathways into the program, e.g. with certification or without certification, has broadened our reach for students in the program. CRITERIA #1b (150 words) We have encountered a significant barrier in our program staff. Our department, SEES, has been without an assigned full time secretary for several years. As a result of this lack of support, the faculty has personally handled much of the work that a secretary would do such as: (1) fielding potential student inquiries; (2) communicating the basics of our programs to potential applicants; (3) filing and tracking student planned programs and other paperwork associated with the graduate program, (4) assisting in recruitment efforts; and (5) assisting in the development of a data base to track graduates. Currently, we share a secretary with the chemistry department and this is a very awkward situation for both departments. This lack of full time administrative assistance has created many long lasting problems for the department. Without this necessary support, we will continue to fall behind in managing communication with prospective students.
2 External Demand CRITERIA #2a (450 words) Academic Year Program Applications Accepted Acceptance % MS-SCE % MS-SCE % MS-SCE % MS-SCE % MS-SCE % Enrollments - MS-SCE '08 '09 '09 '10 '10 '11 '11 '12 '12 '13 Avg ing Avg Female Male Total Full-Time Part-Time Enrollment has dropped by 36% since We attribute this to the economic recession that began in Our student demographic (K-12 teachers and people desiring to be teachers), are cautious about spending in a weak economy. This caution also manifests itself in student decisions about when to register for classes. Average number of new registrations since 2009 is 9.5 students per year. Differences between the number of applications and number of students accepted more often is due to students beginning but not finishing the application processes. We believe many students ultimately change their mind about matriculating due to economic concerns. We inquire about all students who apply and/or who express an interest in the program. Currently (March 2014) we have 19 potential candidates who have expressed interest. These potential applicants have sent in preliminary applications materials for either the MS-SCE and/or MS-SCE with Secondary Certification program. Sixteen candidates have begun the process of applying for the Post Baccalaureate Certification-only track. Seven undergraduate candidates are in the process of applying for Secondary Science Certification. We are often successful in recruiting students for the MS-SCE program in two stages: (1) when students are finishing their undergraduate studies and seeking secondary science certification or during their post-baccalaureate certification program.. Recently, we instituted a candidate tracking system using Filemaker Pro database to assist us in tracking candidates in all our programs. We currently recruit through mailings to secondary schools, notifications to alumni for recommendations and at SCSU Graduate Studies Open Houses. In recent years attendance at the SCSU Graduate Open Houses has decreased significantly. Prior to
3 2008, the department table would have a line of students inquiring about programs. In recent years a handful of potential students visit our table. The recent absence of a university-wide graduate open house this spring will seriously impede our continued recruitment efforts for We are developing display materials and accessories to take to various conferences in the region where we may recruit students for our program (e.g. Connecticut Science Teachers Association, regional National Science Teachers Association). In addition, we are forming closer relationships with informal science and environmental organizations, such the Connecticut Audubon Society, that will provide us with another avenue for recruitment and potential internships. CRITERIA #2b (150 words) Our department has a long history of certifying secondary biology, earth/space science, chemistry, physics and general science teachers and providing opportunities for state required graduate degrees in order to maintain certification. CT State legislation requires that all teachers complete 30 credits in a graduate plan of study within 8 years of initial certification. Not all of our science departments have graduate programs, and not all teachers are interested in completing a graduate program in a science discipline. Our MS-SCE program serves inservice teachers with opportunities to complete an advanced degree combining science content coursework and pedagogical coursework so they can remain in compliance with state mandates and enhance their teaching practice. The MS-SCE program offers cutting-edge training in science education for our students and graduates and as such, this training can translate into best practices in science teacher training. CRITERIA #2c (100 words) Potential MS-SCE candidates are often enticed by competing 1-year MAT programs from area universities. Recently, the State BOE has discussed eliminating programs that do not offer content specific Master s degree coursework, such as the MAT. The MS-SCE program offers a mix of advanced science content courses as well as advanced pedagogy courses (with certification coursework if needed as a separate side-program). Recently, CCSU began recruiting for a MS in STEM to begin in the fall of Internal Demand CRITERIA #3a - table (100 words) Credits Generated AY 08/09 AY 09/10 AY 10/11 AY 11/12 AY 12/13 Total Academic Credits Major Credits Total Students Non-Major Credits MS-SCE courses are offered to our Environmental Education (MS-EVE) students to enhance their pedagogical knowledge. From 2009 to 2012, the percentage of non-sce majors in our program ranged from 8.14% to 13.64%. In AY , 33.33% were non-sce majors, however almost all were exclusively from our MS-EVE program.
4 No other graduate program at SCSU requires their students to take MS-SCE courses with the exception of MS-EVE students who take elective courses from SCE. Occasionally, graduate students in biology, chemistry or physics who wish to enhance their graduate education by taking our MS- SCE courses. CRITERIA #3b (100 words) Our department provides extensive advising to our undergraduate students and for those pursuing secondary science teaching certification, we offer a pathway to the MS program in science education. Frequently students completing an undergraduate major in the sciences return to Southern for their science teaching certification and MS-SCE. Some of our students matriculate with a bachelor degree in another field, and we work with them to ensure they have requisite science content they need to pursue the MS-SCE. CRITERIA #3c (100 words) The MS-SCE program is not reliant on students from other programs, however we do welcome students who might be interested in our courses. As stated above, our MS-SCE courses are frequently attended by Master s students in our Master s in Environmental Education program (MS- EVE). CRITERIA #3d (100 words) The MS-SCE program does not provide services needed elsewhere on campus. CRITERIA #3e (100 words) Students in our MS-SCE program take 4 graduate level courses in a science discipline area of their choice (e.g. biology, chemistry, earth science, or physics courses from other science departments). Without our program s student enrollments, these other science departments may be at risk for lower enrollment in their courses, especially at the graduate level. Quality of Program Inputs & Processes CRITERIA #4a (450 words) The MS-SCE program is staffed with 3 full-time faculty members within the Science Education and Environmental Science department who have expertise and experience in K-12 science teaching, science teacher professional development and teacher certification. As mentioned previously, within the MS-SCE program there are both advanced pedagogy and advanced graduate level science discipline content courses. Faculty members in SCSU science departments whom have expertise and experience in research and teaching in their respective disciplines teach advanced science content course for students in the MS-SCE program. A few of our MS-SCE program course offerings are cross-listed with advanced course offerings from one or more of our partner science departments. For example the course titled Integrated Science Experiences (SCE 575) has two strands; one focuses on Environmental Systems (taught within the SEES department) and another on Nanotechnology, which is taught in the Physics department. Other courses offerings in the Physics department that are included in our MS-SCE program are, IDS 571 (Electron Microscopy) and PHY 511 (Experiments and Demonstrations in Physics). Currently, the MS-SCE is well staffed by highly qualified faculty members, however, adequate administrative assistant/secretarial support is non-existent. A decade ago, the Graduate Council Academic Standards Committee reported that the adjunct faculty working in the MS-SCE program
5 was not qualified to teach in this graduate program. Since then, 3 full-time science educators were hired to teach in the MS-SCE program. CRITERIA #4b (250 words) Our Secondary Science Teacher Certification program (often woven into Plans of Study for the MS- SCE as an additional track) has been Nationally Recognized and Accredited by our Special Professional Association (SPA National Science Teachers Association) in conjunction with NCATE. We were given this critically important National Recognition/Accreditation without reservation of conditions. Our diligent work as faculty to evolve our program s curriculum, critical assignments and assessments has made us uniquely qualified to prepare excellently prepared Master Science Educators to teach in the 21 st Century. Our MS-SCE program includes coursework that focuses on advanced science laboratory practica, the nature of science, science in societal context, integrating science concepts across disciplines, and technological innovations in science teaching. As a culminating (capstone) experience, a majority of our MS-SCE candidates (95%) choose to work on a Special Project. The Special Project theme varies from student to student, but most often comprises a significant piece of customized curriculum, an advanced science teaching resource, or other product that can be directly implemented in the science classroom. Examples of the Special Project include, but are not limited to: (1) Course in environmental chemistry; (2) Professional Development in STEM; and (3) Middle and High School Globe Companion Curricula. Our courses map well with the academic and professional needs of today s pre-service and inservice teachers. The goals and engagement of the core curriculum are logically sequenced to cover the relevant learning theories, practical classroom management skills, unit and lesson planning, delivery and assessment, focusing on science inquiry, hands-on, minds-on pedagogy. CRITERIA #4c (300 words) The MS-SCE strengths and weaknesses are regularly discussed at department meetings. Feedback is informal, consisting of discussions of our own observations and feedback we gather from students. Our students are most often professional teachers and are not shy about sharing their opinions. We use continual reflection both professionally and academically to enhance the program. STRENGTHS: What distinguishes our MS-SCE program from other MS degree programs in science education is the emphasis on graduate level science content courses (minimum of 12 credits required) along with advanced pedagogy and educational technology instruction for K12 schools. Integrated Science Experiences (SCE 575) and the Technology in the Science classroom (SCE 573) courses underwent revision in 2009 with new technologies made available for teaching and learning. The Integrated Science Experiences course was refined to include place-based experiential field study. In this course, students gain valuable field experience in multiple venues within the community, and full GLOBE Program certification as an outcome. In the GLOBE program certification, students gather field data at our adopted community study sites (Cove River, West Haven) are share it with the international GLOBE Program scientific community and with City of West Haven Public Works officials. In SCE 573, students learn how to integrate technology in teaching and learning. Technologies include a wide variety of computer applications from traditional office suite utilities, to concept mapping, digital imaging, animation, movie making and mobile smartphones and ipads. Both these courses, and others benefit from the mobile laptop lab and multiple WIFI connections in the JE 335
6 classroom. To promote a community of practice, we upgraded our science education classroom with movable trapezoidal tables and independent chairs. This allows the classroom to be configured in a wide variety of ways, from traditional rows/columns, to clustered groups to large roundtable arrangements thus fostering social constructivist learning. CRITERIA #4d (200 words) Distinctive aspects of the MS-SCE program include its flexibility for students, its strong science content requirement, and the experience of our faculty members with K12 teaching and earned doctoral degrees in science education. The MS-SCE program is unique among our competitors because of the emphasis on science content. Our competitors in the greater New Haven area (UB, UNH, Sacred Heart, QU) offer a MAT (Master s of Arts in Teaching) focusing on pedagogy, not science content. Our competitor s graduate coursework consists of education courses similar to the ones our undergraduates take for initial certification. Quality of Program Outcomes CRITERIA #5a (900 words) Our Program has established Goals and Learning Outcomes for which we maintain assessment data. Graduate Program Goals and Learning Outcomes: MS Science Education SCE Graduate Program Goals: 1. To engage students in discussions and reflection about the history and philosophy of science as it relates to scientific research and education. 2. To engage students in inquiry based science activities that integrate scientific disciplines. 3. To provide opportunities for peer teaching and reflection on teaching practices. 4. To provide students with skills and knowledge necessary to effectively use technology in science education. 5. To provide students with information regarding federal, state, and local initiatives in science education for their review and critical analysis. 6. To strengthen and broaden student understanding in content areas of science biology, chemistry, physics and the earth sciences. SCE Graduate Program Learning Outcomes: Assessments built into any/all classes include (essays, lab or project reports, exams, presentations, final papers, portfolios, curriculum) 1. Actively participate in hands-on science investigations and inquiry-based science activities. Course(s) SCE 575, EVE 575, EVE Review and critically analyze science education reform initiatives, assessment strategies, and curriculum and instruction. Course(s) SCE Demonstrate the ability to effectively use technology (media and laboratory) to enhance learning in the science classroom. Course(s) SCE 573, SCE Design lesson and unit plans and curriculum that reflects a variety of teaching methodologies, assessment strategies that are aligned with national and state standards and frameworks. Course(s) SCE 490, 494/6, SCE 574, IDS 571
7 SCE Program candidate GPAs MS-SCE '08 '09 '09 '10 '10 '11 '11 '12 '12 '13 Avg Avg Students Overall GPA SCE Program Candidate Opinion Survey results Course Information Survey AY 08/09 AY 09/10 AY 10/11 AY 11/12 AY 12/13 Statement SA/A SA/A SA/A SA/A SA/A Methods of instruction have helped me understand the subject matter. 93% 94% 97% 100% 88% Reading the assigned material has helped me understand this subject. 83% 85% 81% 73% 96% Exams and out-of-class assignments have helped me understand the subject matter. 88% 89% 93% 91% 100% Number of exams & other graded assignments has been sufficient to evaluate my progress. 86% 92% My experiences in this class make me want to learn more about this subject. 98% 89% I would rate the quality of instruction in this course as high. 91% 97% I would rate the overall quality of this course as high. 88% 92% This course helped me meet the learning goals. 97% 100% 100% This course evaluated how well I met those learning goals. 90% 82% 84% My experience in this course helped me appreciate this subject. 100% 100% 100% The instructor provided regular feedback on my performance in this course. 94% 73% 84% The instructor had high standards for student achievement. 100% 100% 92% The instructor encouraged me to take responsibility for my own learning. 100% 100% 96% CRITERIA #5a cont d Student opinion data over the period of record has a range of 73% to 100% for SA/A over all categories. The mean SA/A score is 92% and the median is 93%. The distribution is symmetrical and the range of variability is fairly narrow (i.e., the standard deviation is 5.9%). Basically 9 out of
8 10 students in the program over the last 5 years think highly of the education they received in the program. The following are the Goals & Learning Outcomes for the M.S. in Science Education program. The course numbers identify the places in the curriculum that particular learning outcomes are addressed. For example, under learning goal one, the courses listed the Nature of Science, Science in Societal Contexts, and Innovative use of Technology in Teaching & Learning. These threads are interwoven into each of these courses, e.g., a course on Technology for Teaching & Learning necessarily integrated ideas about current trends in lab and field science inquiry and place-based science learning. Goals & Outcomes Courses Addressing/Assessing Outcome 1 Goal: To engage students in discussions and reflection about the history and philosophy of science as it relates to scientific research and education. Outcome: Actively participate in discussions about hands-on science investigations and inquiry-based science activities, and reflect on interdisciplinary trends in science education. SCE 572, 573, 575, interdisciplinary links to EVE 575, EVE Goal: To engage students in inquiry based science activities that integrate scientific disciplines. Outcome: Review and critically analyze science education reform initiatives, assessment strategies, and curriculum and instruction. Goal: To provide opportunities for peer teaching and reflection on teaching practices. Outcome: Demonstrate the ability to effectively use technology (media and laboratory) to enhance learning in the science classroom. SCE 572 SCE 573, SCE Goal: To provide students with skills and knowledge necessary to effectively use technology in science education. Outcome: Design lesson and unit plans and curriculum that reflects a variety of teaching methodologies, assessment strategies that are aligned with national and state standards and frameworks. Goal: To provide students with information regarding federal, state, and local initiatives in science education for their review and critical analysis. Outcome: Review and critically analyze science education reform initiatives, assessment strategies, and curriculum and instruction. SCE 490, 494/6, SCE 574, IDS 571 SCE 572
9 6 Goal: To strengthen and broaden student understanding in content areas of science biology, chemistry, physics and the earth sciences. Outcome: Actively participate in hands-on science investigations and inquiry-based science activities. Partnering Science Disciplines (Department Graduate Course offerings) We have adjusted course content to reflect new technologies our students use in their professional lives. We reflect on our pedagogy to ensure the connection between the advanced graduate courses and the nature of the secondary school curriculum. Assessments are built into the curricula of all of our courses and the assessment tools include essays, lab or project reports, exams, presentation, final papers, portfolios, and student authored curricula. In addition, we take note of the achievements of our students after graduation. We have had students go on to be very successful as outstanding Secondary Science Teachers, Curriculum Developers, and Administrators. We have also had students pursue doctoral degrees at respected universities. CRITERIA #5b (300 words) Even though the program has defined elements and emphases, there is much flexibility in any student s individualized Plan of Study. The Masters-level science content coursework is chosen on an interests and individual needs basis. The Masters-level Pedagogy courses, the Integrated Science Experiences and Technology courses offer much flexibility as well in that students can choose to focus on content that either builds on their current knowledge set, or stretches them to explore new frontiers. Finally, the culminating Special Projects experience allows candidates to develop customized strategies, curricula and teaching innovations in a wide variety of formats. CRITERIA #6a (table) Credits Generated Size, Scope & Productivity AY 08/09 AY 09/10 AY 10/11 AY 11/12 AY 12/13 Total Academic Credits Major Credits Total Students The table above indicates the Credit Hours our MS in Science Education generates. Since 2009, our program has contracted significantly, largely due to the dramatic downturn in the economy, and some competing institutions offering less rigorous Masters Degrees (e.g. MATs offered at competing institutions whose coursework is largely undergraduate certification preparation classes).
10 CRITERIA #6b & #6c (table) Our program offers recognized degree of Master of Science in Science Education. Criteria #6c (table) Degrees Conferred AY 08/09 AY 09/10 AY 10/11 AY 11/12 AY 12/13 MS-Science Education CRITERIA #6d (table 200 words) Program Faculty Productivity Data ** Report Run Date: February 9, 2014 Report Date Range: July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2013 Publications Type of Publication AY 09/10 AY 10/11 AY 11/12 AY 12/13 Journal Article, Academic Journal Professional Presentations Presentation Type AY 09/10 AY 10/11 AY 11/12 AY 12/13 Keynote/Plenary Address Oral Presentation Other Paper Poster Professional Conference Participation Role AY 09/10 AY 10/11 AY 11/12 AY 12/13 Attendee Other Contracts, Grants and Sponsored Research Type AY 09/10 AY 10/11 AY 11/12 AY 12/13 Grant **This is NOT reflective of all faculty members in the MS-SCE program. Faculty keep current in their discipline through conference attendance and presentations at regional, national, and international levels, and by publishing research, survey papers or article and textbook reviews.
11 Faculty Productivity Data reported above indicate that since 2009, faculty in the program have presented 24 papers, posters, oral presentations or keynote addresses at regional, national and international conferences and professional meetings. Only a few publications in well-respected, refereed journals have been accepted. MS-SCE faculty regularly attend professional conferences. Faculty members have written more than 9 grants to support Scholarship of Teaching Research. Grants from the SCSU CIO and Dean of Arts & Sciences resulted in significant technological resources in our classrooms (Mobile Laptop Lab and enhanced high speed Internet). Further, funds from the Community Foundation of Greater New Haven resulted in an automated weather station placed at Outer Island whose live and archived data, and live web-camera views are used in teaching and research. These resources are promoted as learning resources for teachers and students in area schools. Ongoing workshops (Outer Island Education and Research funds) are offered to area teachers. CRITERIA #6e (100 words) Most students engage in special projects because their interest lies in teaching. Student projects include innovative science curricula and teaching resources linked to state, national and international standards, interactive websites with detailed technology infusion plans, and even new course designs for grade 7-12 science. Sometimes, student Special Projects have been presented at local, regional, national and even international science teaching conferences. Most often these student works are presented by the candidates themselves, with faculty advisors as collaborators. On the research side, during the period of record, less than 5% of students pursued formal MS research theses. CRITERIA #6f (200 words) Over the past five years the graduate course rotation has been modified to minimize class cancellations. The program endeavors to create a rotation so that students are able to complete their coursework in two years. While program faculty are quite productive, directing theses and special products are quite time consuming and never fit into the limited time accorded by a 3-credit course. The diversity of our faculty areas of expertise, their involvement in the profession, and published research has made our program highly sought after by potential graduate students. CRITERIA #6g (100 words) Grant supported mobile Laptops lab, enhanced classroom wi-fi, and new furniture (movable tables and chairs) along with several i-pads and a variety of other technology tools (probeware) for field studies have augmented students learning experiences. Because most science content learning experiences in the MS-SCE Program are handled within our partner departments (Chemistry, Physics, Biology), we have fewer needs for maintaining expensive research laboratory equipment. This is actually a financial benefit and advantage of our program. Our MS-SCE program does share laboratory space and resources with our other MS Environmental Education Program, so the research equipment there is shared.
12 Revenue CRITERIA #7a (table) Fiscal Year Student Tuition and Fees Other Revenue Sources Grand Total Revenue ,752 83, , , , , ,210 84, ,343 The MS-SCE Program generated a total of $1,144,476 over a 3 year period. CRITERIA #7b (50 words) There are no additional sources of revenue from laboratory or special user fees. CRITERIA #7c (50 words) The program does not generate additional revenues via services. CRITERIA #7d (100 words) The program remains highly productive but would benefit from increased enrollment due to factors listed in sections 2a and 2c. With additional revenues (above and beyond those generated by enrollment) we would be able to provide more opportunities and enhanced classroom and field experiences for our students - upgrading our classroom technologies (SmartBoard, ipads), field and laboratory equipment (microscopes, field data collection equipment new and improved probeware). CRITERIA #7e (100 words) Grants include: OIT (current classroom tech enhancements, now 5 yrs out of date), Dean s grant for GLOBE Program teacher workshops, Funding provided by the Community Foundation of Greater New Haven (Outer Island Automated Weather Station with web cameras, an Outer Island.Org website to share research and education programs and new opportunities, and Teacher Workshops on Long Island Sound Science Teaching). The Physics Department teaches two of the MS-SCE sections in Integrated Science Experiences and Physics content courses that our MS-SCE program candidates benefit from. These are a part of NSF funded grants to Dr. Christine Broadbridge for the CRISP Center. Costs & Expenses CRITERIA #8a & 8b (table) Fiscal Year Employee Compensation Operating Expenses Allocated Overhead and Indirect Costs Grand Total Costs Net Income / (Loss) Per BCH Ratio of Costs to Revenue 2010 (80,829) (1,096) (108,695) (190,620) : (96,832) (1,151) (125,606) (223,589) : (71,727) (536) (85,429) (157,692) : 1.00
13 The cost of the program has varied between $157,692 to $223,589 over the period of record, with an average of $190,633. CRITERIA #8b The ratio of Cost to Revenue has been 0.49 or 0.50 to Another way of thinking about this is that 49% to 50% of the income generated by the program goes into running the program. An even better way to state it is that the University gets a %50 to %51 percent return on Investment in the program per year. CRITERIA #8c (200 words) The Department needs its own secretary. Lack of a full-time secretary has led to a reduction in our ability to serve our students needs, and particularly, our ability to attract new students. In the past (distant), our secretary served as a valuable liaison between prospective students and the program and program faculty. She managed student records and outreach in a way that is much more difficult to do with program coordinators who have no release time. During summer and breaks when faculty are not here on a regular basis, current and prospective students have difficulty keeping abreast of communications. Many programs, in addition to ours, would be well served by having a Student-Faculty passenger van for the Science Building. Currently we must compete for any off campus student group travel with the student athletics and undergraduate on-campus needs. CRITERIA #8d (100 words) Summer courses include a 6-credit analytical techniques and instrumentation course (EVE 537) which is optional for MS SCE and EVE students. Additional courses in the summer include Integrated Science Experiences, Research Methods in Science Education (SCE 575 and 590 respectively), as well as a number of Directed Studies, Field Studies and Special Topics sections. Other classes have been offered but not always filled. A dedicated secretary would be very beneficial in terms of contacting students. We have discussed other possibilities such as hybrid courses that might attract students with demanding work/family schedules or who live far from campus. Impact, Justification, & overall essentiality CRITERIA #9a (100 words) SCSU s mission statement highlights the pursuit of excellence, fostering leadership and the empowering of communities. The MS-SCE program reflects these goals perfectly. Our program engages candidates in furthering and deepening their own science content knowledge and understanding, as well as keeping pace with the rapidly evolving state and federal standards and initiatives, and reflecting on their own schools needs. Our candidates become science leaders in their schools. They become increasingly knowledgeable, and skilled practioners prepared to address current and future challenges (Graduate Studies mission). They in-turn, prepare their students to work and live in a world increasingly dependent on advances in science and scientific research. CRITERIA #9b (100 words) Teachers are required by the State of CT to have a Masters Degree within 8 years of initial certification. As a state institution, we have an important role in preparing and providing professional development for public school teachers to adequately teach Middle and High School science, and prepare student for a world increasingly reliant on science and technological literacy.
14 Secondary Science Educators teach approximately 100 students a day. MS-SCE educators are preparing the next generation of scientists and science literate citizenry in Connecticut. CRITERIA #9c (100 words) What distinguishes our MS-SCE program from other Masters Degree Programs in Science Education is its design emphases that include a minimum of 12 credits of Masters level Science Content courses, which are discipline specific for the needs of the candidate. Our program includes Masters level Pedagogy and Teacher Reflective Practice courses, Integrated Science Teaching and Technology in Science Classrooms courses. Finally, our program can be coupled with Science Teacher Certification, but the MS-SCE is its own Masters Degree with fully 36 credits of Masterslevel coursework, rather than MAT degrees offered elsewhere that most often comprise undergraduate-level certification only oriented courses. CRITERIA #9d (100 words) SCSU needs to maintain a presence in Science Education in the state. Connecticut and the country need a science literate citizenry that can understand the challenges we face, be they science and technology innovations (STEM), social ramifications of science and technology advancements (pharmaceuticals advancements, neuroscience and cloning), and environmental issues and challenges (Long Island Sound environmental health and vitality), and Sustainability. The MS SCE program serves post-baccalaureate teachers with opportunities for advanced science coursework and pedagogical content knowledge so that they can remain in compliance with state mandates and enhance their teaching practice. Opportunity analysis CRITERIA #10a (300 words) We remain vigilant in pursuing initiatives and partnership programs at the state and federal levels geared toward promoting and supporting the science literacy. We could enhance our program further through increasing outreach to local schools and seeking new opportunities to align school needs with focused professional development. Further, by engaging our MS SCE candidates in Action Research and collaboration with practicing science teachers, we can benefit those schools/teachers and increase their awareness of the opportunities we provide for advanced science teacher professional development via our MS Degree program in Science Education. CRITERIA #10b (300 words) We would like to be able to provide Elementary Teachers with an opportunity to engage in Science Education. We already have an approved concentration (internally approved MS Degree program) in Science Education focusing on Elementary Science Teaching. This will support enrollment and help prepare Elementary Teachers with knowledge and skills necessary to teach science in the K-6 classroom. Currently the MS in Science Education has limited opportunities for hands on research science. Students are required to complete IDS 571 and SCE 575 that requires laboratory work. In the physics offering of the course the students are conducting investigations using a scanning electronic microscope or other equipment in nanotechnology. We could explore integrating more courses within and outside the department that can enrich the program.
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