Secondary Science Program

Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, Physics, and General Science
Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, Physics, and General Science

Program Overview

The science program is designed for those desiring to become competent secondary school science teachers. The general goal of this program is to enable prospective science teachers to understand theories and best science practices for successful instruction and assessment of secondary school students. Certification for the State of Connecticut to teach secondary grades 7-12 in Science.

Essentially, the Secondary Science will enable students to review their science content knowledge as well as “This Thing Called Science” (The Nature of Science) and to enable them to obtain the knowledge, skills, and methods for teaching science. That is, the program will focus on the type of instructional strategies and mastering of process skills (pedagogy), that foster the development of science concepts (content), and the growth of positive attitudes (dispositions) in the science domain.

The program will also explore the purposes, organization, and guidance of science experiences that will enable students to see excitement in scientific inquiry as well as intellectual, social, and even philosophical values of science. Furthermore, the program will emphasize knowledge of growth and development, diversity of cultures, safety in the science teaching/learning milieu, and use of science to foster citizenship skills and healthy relationships in the communities. Finally, the methods of evaluating progress in science learning and science programs will also be closely examined.

Program Goals

  1. The passionate, professional educator is knowledgeable about subject matter.
  2. The passionate, professional educator is committed to inquiry.
  3. The passionate, professional educator is responsive to diversity.

Learning Outcomes

The candidates will be able to:

  1. Plan lessons according to State guidelines
  2. Demonstrate appropriate content knowledge in designated subject areas
  3.  Pass Praxis II content knowledge for secondary subject areas
  4.  Exhibit pedagogical knowledge appropriate to secondary classrooms
  5.  Differentiate instruction to suit the needs of a wide variety of students and students with special needs

Admission Requirements

  1. Bachelor’s Degree with at least a B- cumulative GPA
  2. Passage of PRAXIS I or a waiver based on an SAT of over 1100 (Prior to March 1995, combined SAT scores of 1000 and after April 1995, combined SAT scores of 1100)
  3. General education requirements: 39 total semester credits and five of the following six fields: English, Math, Science, Social Science, Fine Arts, and Foreign Language
  4. U.S. History course covering at least 50 years
  5. Two references attesting to suitability for teaching and ability to do graduate work
  6. Personal essay of 350 words addressing reasons for seeking a teaching career and personal attributes that support that aspiration
  7. Science subject area major (Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, Physics) consisting of either:
    • Subject area major awarded in Biology or Chemistry or Physics or Earth science by appropriate institution, OR
    • 30 credits in the desired subject plus 9 in subjects related to the chosen subject area
  8. For Secondary General Science Certification: major consisting of 39 semester hours of credit in science including biology, chemistry, physics, and earth science

Fieldwork and Resident Teaching

Each student must complete fieldwork and Resident Teaching experiences. Fieldwork occurs concurrent with enrollment in coursework and may take one of two forms: either a district-paid internship or a self-paid field experience in local schools. Both experiences award six semester hours of credit. Interns work at a school in a  district selected by the Director of the Intern Program. Interns spend an entire school year following the schedule of the selected school district. Tuition for University of Bridgeport course work is fully paid resulting in a tuition free degree/certification experience in academically related course work. Alternatively, each traditional student may choose to complete fieldwork in a school of the student’s choice as an observer, assistant to a teacher, or assistant in other instructional related activity. As a culminating project, students (both intern and traditional) produce portfolios centering on the program objectives.

The Resident Teaching experience is a full 60 days of teaching in a school under the direction of a trained Cooperating Teacher. The arrangement for the placements are made through the School of Education and are also supervised by University staff.

Program Requirements

  1. Nine credits in foundations: Special Education and Educational Psychology
  2. Three credits in Science methods
  3. Three credits in Reading and Writing in the Content areas
  4. One credit in statutory state requirements
  5. Six credits in field experience
  6. Appropriate electives to reach 33 credits for the Master’s Degree
  7. Final degree option (PRAXIS II or credit-bearing project)
  8. Resident Teaching (six credits not counting towards the Master’s Degree)