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Every year the state of Delaware reports a shortage of teachers of middle and high school math and science teachers. And every year, the number of students pursuing these fields in CAS at the undergraduate level has been shrinking.
“We are constantly hearing from districts about unfilled openings in these areas," said Kristin Nelson, Director of the Center for Secondary Teacher Education. “But the students we graduate are scooped up right away because they are so well-trained and ready to teach."
To help mitigate this downward trend, applications will be available this fall for a new CAS M.S. in STEM Education, managed through the Center for Secondary Teacher Education, that can be started in a 4+1 option or after graduation. “The goal is to recruit students from majors across campus who have the knowledge to teach these subjects but who may not have seen the possibilities, or who did, but did not realize it until they were juniors or even seniors," Nelson said.
The M.S. in STEM Education with certification is a 30-credit program designed to provide students the education and training they will need to be eligible for licensure and certification in the state of Delaware. They will begin their careers with a graduate degree which generally means starting at a higher salary. The goal is to attract an initial cohort of at least 10 STEM students who will study and train together. Admission to the program requires a major in a STEM area with a 3.0 GPA and a passing score on content knowledge test known as the PRAXIS.
Those in the 4+1 will start their coursework in the spring semester of 2022 while those who have already graduated will start in the summer. Accepted students will receive scholarships from the Center for Secondary Teacher Education toward their tuition costs as well as stipends from the school districts in which they will be placed in year-long residencies. To receive the money, the students will commit to working in that school district, or perhaps another district in the state, for a period.
There will be two informational luncheons in October from 11:30 to 1:30, at which Nelson will provide details to interested students. The first one is on Wednesday, October 10th at Perkins, and the second is on Tuesday October 26th at Trabant. An invitation will be sent out in September.
Undergraduates in various STEM majors across the university (see table below) can apply for admission to the program at the end of their junior or at the beginning of their senior years. These students will take two introductory graduate level courses in their senior year at the undergraduate tuition rate. The following summer, they will take two additional courses as graduate students. Starting in the fall, students will spend a year in an all-day school-based internship (student teaching) while concurrently enrolled in methods courses.
Students who have already graduated from an accredited university with a degree in a STEM field can start the program in the spring or summer before the year-long internship. Students must complete the two introductory courses before graduation.
There also is a new M.S. in STEM Education without certification 30-credit program designed to provide additional education to those who are already licensed teachers of middle and high school STEM subjects or for those who wish to return to teaching, but would like to improve their pedagogy and to deepen their content area knowledge. Students are able to select from various graduate level courses available both online and face-to-face across the fall, winter, spring and summer sessions. The program can be completed in a year depending on the number of courses taken each term. Admission to the program requires a degree in a STEM area with a 3.0 GPA and a passing score on the relevant content PRAXIS.
To receive full consideration, applications are due February 15th, 2022. If you are interested in learning more about these new programs, please contact Dr. Nelson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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