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Teacher Preparation Undergraduate Programs


The College of Science Teacher Preparation Program (CoS TPP) provides science majors the opportunity to take courses and engage in school experiences that lead to 1) a Bachelor of Science degree in Science Education, 2) eligibility for secondary science teacher certification, or 3) a minor in Science Education. All science pedagogy courses are based on the program’s Core Understandings.

B.S. in Science Education (options in Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, Physics)

  • 30 units general education
  • 57 units science and math content courses

  • 33 units of pedagogy courses*

*Completion of these units provides certification eligibility.

Pedagogy Courses

STCH 250--Teaching Science (20 hours of field experience)
STCH 310--Adolescent Learning in Science & Mathematics (20 hours of field experience)
STCH 410--Managing Science Instruction in Diverse Classrooms (48 hours of field   experience)

STCH 420--Planning and Implementing Science Instruction (internship in NATS 101 class)

Subject Methods Class (Biology, Physical Science or Earth Science)

STCH 494a--Student Teaching (full semester)

STCH 496a--Student Teaching Seminar

LRC 416--Structured English Immersion

Expected Learning Outcomes: 

All of the courses in the CoS TPP are linked to the program's Core Understandings, which describe the desired attributes of students who complete the program.

CoS TPP Core Understandings

Prospective teachers will:

  1. Demonstrate understanding of their science disciplines and the nature of science. They understand science deeply enough to build alternative representations of the scientific knowledge that are pedagogically sound and meaningful for diverse learners.
  2. Demonstrate understanding of how adolescents learn and develop. They display a philosophy of teaching that focuses on students’ understanding.
  3. Make coherent curriculum decisions that promote students’ engagement in learning and understanding of science. They plan, implement, and assess lessons with the learning goals guiding their choices and actions.
  4. Create and manage a productive learning environment that fosters the development of student understanding.
  5. Establish clear communications and positive interactions with learners, colleagues, administrators, and parents. They are comfortable interacting with members of these groups and actively work to become a part of the school culture.
  6. Acknowledge the complex and often unpredictable contexts in which teachers work. They manage the complexity in ways that support and sustain student learning.
  7. Reflect on classroom teaching to identify evidence of student understanding; thoughtful consideration of this evidence results in well-grounded decisions to improve practice. They are comfortable in continually questioning their own practice and beliefs, are open to constructive criticism, and actively seek out opportunities to grow professionally.
The following table indicates which Core Understandings are assessed in each of the program's courses.
Core Understanding
Course(s) Assessed
1. Content understanding Subject Methods Course, STCH 494a
2. Understanding of adolescent development STCH 310, STCH 494a, STCH 496a
3. Coherent curriculum decisions STCH 410, STCH 420, STCH 494a, STCH 496a
4. Productive learning environment STCH 410, STCH 494a, STCH 496a
5. Clear communications STCH 410, STCH 420, STCH 494A, STCH 496a
6. Acknowledgement of teaching complexity STCH 410, STCH 420, STCH 494A, STCH 496a
7. Reflective practice STCH 410, STCH 420, STCH 494A, STCH 496a


Assessment Activities: 


We assess our students' progress toward the Core Understandings in the courses that are linked to specific Understandings, as indicated in the table above. That assessment takes the form of

  • exams, in which they are asked to apply the course material to a teaching scenario, and
  • student-created portfolios, in which they are asked to provide evidence of their growth toward the Core Understandings linked to a particular course.

In addition, we ask our students to complete the following additional assessment instruments:

  • Conceptual Science Questionnaire (STCH 250 and again in STCH 496a)
  • Teaching & Learning Beliefs Instrument (STCH 310 and again in STCH 496a)
  • Decision-Making Analysis (STCH 496a)
  • Dilemma Analysis (STCH 496a)


We have made several changes based on the assessment data we have collected.

Content Understanding
Our students have demonstrated relatively weak content understanding, as measured by the Science Conceptual Questionnaire and evidenced by their performance in the subject methods courses. As a result, we have changed the subject methods courses to focus on content understanding. These courses, in biology, earth science, and physical science, are now used as our opportunity to assure that our students understand the central ideas of their discipline, and are aware of typical student difficulties.

Coherent Curriculum Decisions
Our students have demonstrated little attention to analyzing student work, as evidenced by their performance on two instruments (Decision-Making Analysis and Dilemma Analysis) that they complete during their student teaching semester. In response to these data, we have added units on assessment of student understanding to STCH 250 and STCH 310, and we have our students analyze student work in STCH 420 and STCH 496a.

Updated date: Tue, 02/23/2016 - 14:06