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Science Education Resources 

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Program Prerequisites

Program Options/Programs of Study

Resources, Forms, and Information for Current Students

april luehmannProgram Director: April Luehmann

Program Advisor for NYS Teacher Preparation: Terry Mirt

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Get Real! Science


Go to Get Real! Science Web site


Stories of Impact
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Warner Awarded $1.2 Million to Support Informal Science Education

A National Science Foundation (NSF) $1,249,984 grant awarded to the University of Rochester's Warner School of Education will provide powerful experiences for hundreds of urban teen girls to re-envision their neighborhoods and the world around them and their role in shaping it by participating in rich, inquiry based investigations that will help them to develop their identities as scientists and agents of change in their communities.

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Orlando MarreroOrlando Marrero
It can be difficult for teachers to help students grasp a theoretical scientific concept like energy. But have them make windmills, and stage a competition to see which one generates the most energy over time, and they easily make a connection between the idea of energy and the use of energy to make electricity.


Teacher Education Programs in Science

The Warner School’s teacher education programs in science prepare individuals interested in teaching science for students at various age levels and in a variety of contexts, including NYS public schools, charter schools and independent schools in the U.S., schools outside the U.S., as well as informal settings such as after-school or summer programs. The 15-month science teacher preparation graduate program, called Get Real ! Science, prepares teachers who find innovative ways to make science meaningful and relevant to their students.

As our world faces increasingly complex environmental changes that require good science to solve and understand, the need for scientifically literate citizens is even greater than ever before. Our graduates become teachers who help make science literacy possible for all students. They give children from all backgrounds the chance to participate in the richness of scientific inquiry—experiences that will help them to become capable science learners as well as give them a rich appreciation for the exciting role science plays in our daily lives. And, they help children discover that science is more than memorizing the facts and procedures.

The program aims to give children a chance to use real-world scientific tools in authentic problems, with the committed adult attention and support of our graduate students, through opportunities like the Get Real! Environmental Camp, a week-long summer program that gives young people a chance to experience science first-hand by studying Lake Ontario’s water quality issues, and Science STARS, an after-school program to engage teenage girls in authentic, hands-on science experiments around themes that interest them most. These powerful experiences give children the knowledge and skills they need to become the next generation of scientists and scientifically literate citizens.

Whether you are interested in biology, chemistry, physics, or earth science, our program offers exciting opportunities to explore areas of science. Throughout the program our students experience what it is like to learn science through inquiry by looking at real scientific problems as scientists and to think deeply about the nature of science and engage in real scientific questions while preparing to teach it. They are familiar with best practices and curricula for teaching science and committed to enabling all students to learn science.

Field experiences are carefully sequenced to support our students in their development as a science teacher. Starting with non-traditional, highly-supportive, authentic inquiry-based teaching and learning experiences, they learn how to create plans and projects to lead students in exciting research, experimentation, and discovery. As they move into the traditional classroom environment, they apply this knowledge and learn to teach effectively within the contexts of schools, standards, and accountability.

Throughout the program, graduate students engage in rich, structured, ongoing opportunities to reflect on and make sense of their experiences of reform-based education in a community of other science educators. These activities support participants in developing a sense of professional identity through reflection and interaction with various communities, including kids, colleagues, peers, and professors. 

The program is committed to issues of equity and inclusion. Many efforts are focused on students in under-resourced school districts and people who are typically under-represented in science.

Depending on the context you would like to teach in, and the credentials you may have already obtained, you may choose among the program options listed below to best meet your career goals and situation.

Non-certification program for science teachers:

This program has been designed for individuals who are not interested in obtaining or eligible to obtain New York State (NYS) teaching certification – as they are planning to teach students in international, private or charter schools, or other informal learning settings, such as camps, clubs, or after-school programs.  As such, this option does not include field experiences or student teaching in K-12 schools, and has more flexibility in terms of curriculum and electives.
  • MS – Science Education (without NYS certification) (GX1)

Programs leading to NYS certification in science:
To teach science in secondary schools in New York State, you need to obtain initial teaching certification in adolescence education (grades 7-12) as a specialist in science. Professional certification and a master’s degree are also eventually required. Our Warner science teacher preparation program will provide you with all the coursework needed to apply for both NYS certifications as part of a master’s degree. Provided you have the necessary content background, our program also allows you to pursue more than one certification at the same time and with minimal additional credits.

A key highlight of our science teacher preparation programs leading to NYS certification is how our faculty integrate urban education into the whole curriculum. We make it a part of every course so that students are equipped and prepared to work in all schools—particularly in some of our most underserved school districts where there is a shortage of high-quality and innovative teachers.

Select the option that best matches your situation:

Programs preparing individuals seeking NYS certification in a science as their first certification (plus possible enhancements for inclusion, urban settings, teaching the same science in grades 5-6, and teaching an additional science and/or general science in grades 7-12 or 5-12):
Entry Level Biology Chemistry Physics Earth Science
MS – “base” TB3 TK3 TP3 TZ3
MAT (12 additional credits in the subject) TB4 TK4 TP4 TZ4

Programs for current teachers seeking additional certification in a science:
Additional Certification Biology Chemistry Physics Earth Science
Grades 7-12/ MS SB2 SK2 SP2 SZ2
Grades 7-12/ non-degree NB2 NK2 NP2 NZ2
Grades 5-9/ MS SB1 SK1 SP1 SZ1
Grades 5-9/ non-degree NB1 NK1 NP1 NZ1

Programs for holders of initial certification in the same science seeking professional certification:
Professional Certification Biology Chemistry Physics Earth Science
MS program PB1 PK1 PP1 PZ1
MAT program (12 credits in subject matter) PB2 PK2 PP2 PZ2
MS + extension to grades 5-6 PB5 PK5 PP5 PZ5
MS + certification in Teaching Students with Disabilities (grades 7-12) PB6 PK6 PP6 PZ6
MS leading to a new area of certification        

Programs for science teachers interested in additional certifications:
Certification Biology Chemistry Physics Earth Science General Science
Extension to grades 5-6 in the same science NB3 NK3 NP3 NZ3 NX3
Teaching a different science (grades 7-12) (requires 18 credits in that science as a prerequisite) NB2 NK2 NP2 NZ2 NX2
Teaching a different science (grades 5-9) (requires 18 credits in that science as a prerequisite) NB2 NK2 NP2 NZ2 NX2
Teaching Students with Disabilities DB6 DK6 DP6 DZ6  
Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) (K-12) (requires 12 credits in a language other than English as a pre-requisite) NT1 NT1 NT1 NT1  
Teaching Literacy (birth to grade 6) NR1 NR1 NR1 NR1  
Teaching Literacy (grades 5-12) NR2 NR2 NR2 NR2  

Prerequisites for students seeking NYS certification
Any program leading to NYS certification requires the GRE exam or the Miller Analogies exam and a 3.0 GPA, effective fall 2016. Prerequisites for entry-level teachers teaching a science specialty include a bachelor’s degree with a major in liberal arts or science, one course in a language other than English (or equivalent), and 30 credits of coursework in science (at either the undergraduate or graduate level), including at least 18 credits in the science of specialization.  If you have questions as to whether you have the prerequisites to enter the program, please contact the Admissions Office. Please check the detailed program of study for the program you are considering for specific prerequisites and other requirements for certification.
We expect students entering our teacher preparation programs to have already fulfilled these prerequisites. If this is not the case, you may still be allowed to enter our programs at the discretion of your advisor; you will, however, have to take the needed coursework before the end of the program in order to be recommended for certification to the New York State Education Department. Some subject matter courses taken at the graduate level can be used as electives in a master's program, provided that they are taken at the graduate level and have been approved by your advisor as part of your program of study.

New Graduate Entrance Exam Requirement for Teacher Applicants
New York State has approved and enacted a law that requires all colleges and universities with graduate-level teacher and educational leadership programs to require candidates to submit scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), Miller's Analogy Test (MAT) or a substantially equivalent admission assessment, effective July 1, 2016. See the full announcement to understand what is now required and how that impacts students starting in Summer and Fall 2016 and beyond.

New York State Certification Exams
The New York State Department of Education (NYSED) requires initial teaching certification candidates to pass the following examinations before they will be eligible for certification:
  • edTPA
  • Educating All Students Test (EAS)
  • Revised Content Specialty Test (CST)
Information regarding the examinations is available at http://www.nystce.nesinc.com/index.asp
The Warner School strongly recommends that you pass the appropriate Content Specialty Test (CST) in the discipline in which you are pursuing a base certification before you begin student teaching. Not doing so may place your student teaching placement in jeopardy.