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Science Education

Are you looking for an exciting profession with unlimited potential? Do you love working with children, adolescents, or adults? Are you fascinated by nature and curious about how things work?

The Department of Science Education at CSU, Chico is an interdisciplinary community of faculty and students from the natural sciences and education who serve as a crucible for innovation and research in science teaching and learning; as collaborative partners with science teachers in public and private schools, and as a model of excellence in science teacher education. We are committed to providing the North State region, the State of California, and the nation with rigorous, high-quality, up-to-date programs in science teacher subject matter preparation and professional development, and contributing to an expanding knowledge-base of theory, research, and practice.

Undergraduate Programs

Our interdisciplinary faculty serve as advisors to students who are interested in science teaching at the elementary, middle and high school levels. If you would like to become a high school teacher in a specific science discipline (biology, chemistry, geology, or physics) you must complete a designated major in that discipline. You can find these degree programs and their advisors on our web site (http://www.csuchico.edu/sced/preservice/index.shtml). If you intend to teach science in middle school or in high school at the introductory level then our B. A. in Natural Sciences is ideal for you. Have you thought about teaching science in informal settings such as zoos, botanic gardens and arboreta, aquaria, museums, observatories, nature centers, preserves, or state and national parks and forests? Again, our B. A. in Natural Sciences may be just what you are looking for.

At CSU, Chico, our programs in science education will get you where you want to be, when you want to be there, and prepared to do what you want to do. Our programs are collaborative efforts that combine the strengths of faculty from several departments to offer you a strong background in the natural sciences and the professional knowledge and skills you need to be successful in your chosen profession. Advisors in the department will help you choose a major based on your strengths and interests, and will assist you in developing an individual plan that meets all the state requirements for subject matter preparation in science along with the professional education courses required for teacher certification in the State of California.

Professional Development

If you are already in the science classroom and want to enhance your knowledge and professional skills consider The California Science Project. CSP is a university-based professional development network for teachers of science at all levels. This statewide program works toward the common goal of improving science education for all students in California. Our CSP site, the Inland Northern California, is under the direction of Professor Bev Marcum (http://www.csuchico.edu/cspinc/).

Special Facilities

The department administers two special facilities for elementary science, the Hands on Lab and the Science Education Learning Lab. In the Hands on Lab, students have an opportunity to work directly with elementary school children and their teachers on activities that support the California Science Teaching Standards. In the Science Education Learning Lab, students learn to integrate content knowledge of basic science concepts and teaching skills that are appropriate for elementary science students.

Employment Outlook

Science teachers are on the cutting edge of a new generation of knowledge professionals, and the need for well-educated science teachers has never been greater. A recent report of the National Science Foundation found that over 50% of all public secondary schools in the United States currently have vacant positions in biology/life sciences and physical sciences. In response to this national crisis, the CSU system has made a long-term commitment to doubling the number of science teachers in the next few years, and you might be right for one of these exciting opportunities. Come by and see us; we are waiting to help you start an exciting career in science teaching.

Catalog Cycle:11