Science (K-12) Certificate in Biological Science, Chemistry, Earth Science or Physics
This graduate-level program is designed for college graduates seeking initial certification as a teacher in one or more of the scientific disciplines (biological sciences, chemistry, earth sciences, physics). The streamlined, rigorous, and sequential program of professional studies combines the best of theory, research, and practice. It is designed for part-time students who take one or two late afternoon/evening courses per semester. The final clinical experience (student teaching) at the end of the program requires full-time enrollment for one semester. The program is state approved and nationally accredited.
The course work in this program counts toward completion of the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT).
This is a 21-credit program requiring four courses taken in late afternoons/evenings followed by a full semester of full-time clinical experience (student teaching) in a host school in the region.
Science (K-12) Certificate in Biological Science, Chemistry, Earth Science, or Physics
Kathleen M. Pierce, Ph.D.
Professor of Graduate Education
Memorial Hall 202
Program Website: Science Certificate
Associated Department: Department of Graduate Education, Leadership, and Counseling
Requirements for Science (K-12) Certificate (Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Physics, Earth Sciences)
|CURR 700||Educational Foundations for Inclusive Practices||3|
|CURR 703||Teaching Content Area Literacies||3|
|CURR 720||Inclusive Curriculum Design & Instruction in Secondary Schools||3|
|CURR 706||Secondary Science Teaching and Learning||3|
|CURR 770||Clinical Experience and Seminar in Teaching||9|
|or CURR 771||Supervised Clinical Experience in Teaching|
Additional requirements for completion
- Completion of all courses before the clinical experience (student teaching) with a “C+” or better in each course and with a 3.0 grade point average.
- Completion of CURR 770 with a “C+” grade or better.
Courses and Descriptions
CURR 700 Educational Foundations for Inclusive Practices 3 Credits
This course provides psychological and interdisciplinary perspectives on teaching and learning. Within the theme of optimal development of creative intelligence, and in concordance with important NJ and national professional standards, candidates will use these perspectives to begin their career-long processes of reflective professional development. More specifically, the course develops knowledge, skills, and dispositions pertinent to (a) child and adolescent development, (b) learning theories, (c) learner diversity, (d) classroom management, (e) career readiness skills, (f) philosophical and historical perspectives on education, (g) sociocontextual and interdisciplinary influences on education, and (h) higher-order, creative and critical thinking. The emphases on student development and learner diversity entail in-depth investigation of the following subtopics: the philosophical, legal, and historical foundations of special education; the characteristics of students with disabilities and learning strengths; inclusive practices; professional partnerships for support of diverse learners; and strategies for modification of curriculum content and materials aligned to NJ Student Learning Standards, learning environments and processes, and learning products for students with disabilities and strengths.
CURR 703 Inclusive Literacy Practices Across Content Areas 3 Credits
This course addresses varied literacy strategies for teaching diverse adolescents across content areas in secondary schools. Professional educators use a variety of instructional methods, curriculum unit/lesson planning, and assessment strategies to help diverse students actively construct their own learning as well as critically access and assess new information. Through in-class workshops and discussions, reading, group and individual work, the course uses various methods, models, and strategies for integrating literacy for diverse adolescent learners across settings and subject matters aligned with NJ Student Learning Standards. The course also provides candidates with the pedagogical literacy proficiency necessary for the development of their students’ career readiness skills (employability skills, employment readiness through enhanced literacy capacities). Field experiences include observation and interaction in classes focusing on various literacy strategies in inclusive classrooms.
CURR 720 Inclusive Curriculum Design & Instruction in Secondary Schools 3 Credits
This course offers an overview of curriculum designs and their relation to teaching, learning, assessment, and providing curriculum access for all students in middle and high schools—secondary classrooms. The course assumes that professional educators use a variety of instructional methods, curriculum unit/lesson planning and assessment strategies to help a variety of diverse adolescent students actively construct their own learning and enjoy access to the general curriculum. Using NJ Student Learning Standards, candidates acquire skills in instructional planning, classroom management, and the development of career readiness skills along with required field-based observations and experiences.
Prerequisite(s): CURR 703.
CURR 706 Inclusive Methods for Teaching Science 3 Credits
Classroom interaction analysis systems are used in the study of the instructional processes that support inquiry-based science learning. Candidates develop their own repertoires of teaching strategies, classroom management strategies, and awareness of career requirements in STEM fields. Emphases are on the investigation and interpretation of recent curriculum developments in NGSS and NJ Student Learning Standards in Science as well as the use of lab-based processes in science learning. The course also examines the characteristics of secondary students with disabilities as well as strategies for modifying science curriculum planning, learning environments, and instructional materials to address diverse learning needs. The clinical, field-based component of the course requires candidates provide instructional support for diverse learners.
CURR 770 Clinical Experience and Seminar in Teaching 9 Credits
This course, designed for those seeking initial certification, requires full-time supervised daily participation in a school setting with diverse students including students with disabilities. The candidate gradually assumes a full load of teaching responsibility. These experiences test and strengthen the translation of educational theory and research into meaningful practice. An on-campus or site-based seminar accompanies the clinical experience. Seminars emphasize reflective development toward professionalism through sharing and analyses of experiences, and in-depth reports on teaching learners with disabilities and instructional modifications employed to meet their needs. Additional analyses of student learning and reflective assignments require candidates to connect their clinical experiences with content knowledge and pedagogical knowledge from prior course work. The clinical experience is augmented with a series of additional seminars, which include the following: introductory/orientation seminars prior to the beginning of the semester; strategies for designing inclusive education practices and positive behavioral supports, assistive technology for diverse learners, transition planning, and agencies available for students with disabilities; classroom management strategies; awareness of methods for strengthening student achievement and career readiness, panel sessions with veteran teachers who graduated from this program; panel sessions with principals and superintendents who provide advice about long-term professional development; interviews with special education teachers who provide advice about meeting the needs of students with disabilities; and wrap-up reflective sessions at the conclusion of the semester.
CURR 771 Supervised Clinical Experience in Teaching 3 Credits
This practicum is a condensed version of the Internship in Teaching. It is available only to interns seeking teacher certification who already have a year of successful, full-time teaching experience or its equivalent. A special application must be made and approved for enrollment in the course. The practicum requires six weeks of full-time, supervised daily participation in a school setting. After a brief period of orientation to the school and classroom, the intern assumes a full load of teaching responsibility at the school. The experience finetunes the teaching abilities of interns and enables them to demonstrate competence in the specialty for which they seek certification.