The Master of Arts in Science Education (M.A.)
Director: Rita Hagevik, Biology
The Master of Arts (M.A.) in Science Education program has two concentrations. The Licensure Concentration is designed to prepare currently licensed North Carolina Secondary School Science Teachers for the N.C. Master's/Advanced Competencies License. The program requires 36 s.h. and is a logical extension of any undergraduate science teacher preparation program including those currently offered at UNCP.
The M.A. in Science Education has been designed to provide an opportunity for science teachers who hold a comprehensive Science License, a Biology License, or a Science Content Area License to enter the program and qualify for the N.C. Master's/Advanced License.
While in the M.A. Program, the former undergraduate science education major will be required to concentrate in one of four areas of science (12 s.h. in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, or Earth Science) and take nine additional s.h. in the three areas outside of the concentration (no more than 3 s.h. from any one area). The former undergraduate biology education major or science education major can concentrate in biology (15-18 s.h.) and take an additional 3 s.h. to 6 s.h. in an area or areas outside of biology. Both groups will also take a required core of professional education courses (9 s.h.) and six additional s.h. in science education.
The M.A. in science education will build upon the instructional expertise and leadership qualities and skills of an experienced licensed science teacher by requiring the following qualifications prior to full admission into the program:
- the applicant must hold either the N.C. Secondary Science Comprehensive License or the Secondary Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, or Physics License. Any out-of-state applicants will have to hold licenses deemed equivalent to the N.C. licenses.
- the applicant must meet all of the graduate school general admission requirements.
Another degree program, the Non-Licensure Concentration in Biology, enables individuals to combine their science expertise with advanced understanding of teaching and learning to prepare individuals to teach science in the community such as in a community college or as an instructor in a university or to work as a scientist or perhaps to pursue an advanced degree in the sciences. Students in this program work with a faculty advisor to develop and implement a research project culminating in a thesis. This program includes an internship customized to individualized career goals. In addition, courses are offered in a wide variety of exciting locations including study in Bermuda, Costa Rica, Ossabaw Island, the Grand Canyon, and Nova Scotia. A video and additional program information can be found at http://www.uncp.edu/biology/grad_programs/. The non-licensure program is designed for applicants who meet all of the graduate school general admission requirements for the program with the exception of the teaching licensure requirement and do not desire to pursue a teaching license. Students in this Master's program are prepared to teach in community college settings, non-formal science education settings such as zoos, museums, and aquaria or other professional science settings. Upon admission to the program, students will be required to sign a waiver of North Carolina Standard Professional I and M level licensure.
The major goals of the program are designed to prepare a student to be able to:
- Apply the theoretical, philosophical, and research bases for educational practice in a variety of science educational settings to improve student learning.
- Plan, implement, and evaluate instruction that is philosophically consistent with the current National Science Education Standards.
- Incorporate knowledge of the nature of the learner, learning process, variations in learning abilities, assessments, and strategies for evaluating learning in the secondary school classroom.
- Plan, implement, and evaluate instruction that is culturally and pedagogically responsive to diverse students
- Understand and employ methods of research to examine and improve instructional effectiveness, student achievement, and program evaluation in the science classroom and other non-formal science settings.
- Understand and link subject matter to students' developmental and diverse needs.
- Plan, implement, and evaluate instruction that reflects intellectual rigor and depth of knowledge in both science content and pedagogy.
- Demonstrate self-directed, self-reflective, and research-based practice that provides leadership to colleagues and communities through collaboration, participation, and presentation in international, national, and state science education, science, and/or other educational organizations.
Requirements for a Master of Arts in Science Education
Core: Required courses: 15 Sem. Hrs.
Content: Choose 21 credit hours from the following:
A concentration in one of these areas: 12 Sem. Hrs.
(note: Biology Education majors may choose 15-18 hours in Biology)