The primary objectives of the Master of Arts in Teaching Science are to provide advanced course work in science curriculum designs appropriate to the professional responsibilities of science educators; to provide research and seminar opportunities in contemporary issues in science education; and to enable teachers to become more proficient in science disciplines appropriate to their academic teaching assignments. A secondary track and an elementary track are available.
Fifteen units of course work is selected from the departments of Biological Science, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Computer Science, Geological Sciences, Physics, or Science Education (if elementary track). Nine units of course work is required from the Science Education Program. The graduate work culminates with the student completing a project or thesis in an area of science education which is applicable to the student's teaching. Faculty from the program and other departments form the committee which guides and evaluates each graduate student.
In order to create a science curriculum that presents concepts and develops skills in a challenging and relevant manner, science teachers must have a solid understanding of science content and utilize the most advanced science learning techniques. The program for a Master of Arts in Teaching Science (MAT-S) provides students with a solid foundation of advanced studies in science that becomes a basis for their enhanced instruction.
"The program provided me with the confidence and ability to connect and integrate concepts within different science disciplines. It has been the catalyst that has allowed my students to become more scientifically literate due to my participation in many meaningful experiences that promote the enjoyment and understanding of science."
(Program Graduate, Science Teacher, Sonora High School)
At Cal State Fullerton, the primary goal of the MAT-S program is to allow science educators to strengthen their knowledge of the science education field. Our faculty members and degree plan are dedicated to providing a challenging program that is tailored to meet the professional responsibilities of science educators. In addition, our program provides science teachers with research and seminar opportunities based on contemporary issues in the science education field.
Flexible and Practical Curriculum
MAT-S courses are often offered in the late afternoon/evening in order to accommodate teaching schedules. In addition, our program allows students to design a course of study that meets their specific needs, with many possible combinations of course work. Students also have the opportunity to work with an adviser and a committee of scientists on a culminating project or thesis, which allows them to concentrate on an area that will improve their knowledge of science education. The project becomes an excellent way to work on an advanced degree and deal successfully with a real world scenario.
Quality Teaching and Learning Environment
Our science education faculty members have expertise in specific subject matter and levels of K-12 instruction. The MAT-S degree enables students to become more proficient in science disciplines that are appropriate to their teaching assignments. Our program provides an excellent blend of scientific content and real world application. Additionally, both elementary and secondary tracks are available.
"After completing my MAT-S, I was so interested in science education that I continued on to a PhD program and am now a professor of science education at a major university!"
Program Completer, Science Education Professor
Coursework in Science Disciplines
Our program also offers graduate-level course work in the full spectrum of science education. Additional course work is selected from the departments of Biological Science, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Computer Science, Geological Sciences and Physics. All courses are taught by experienced and qualified faculty members who are competent in biology, chemistry and biochemistry, physics and earth/space science. Science education faculty members are housed in their respective science departments.
Separate Elementary and Secondary Tracks
Candidates select coursework according to their interests and abilities. Specially designed science coursework for elementary teachers is available.
The MAT-S degree prepares graduates to take a major professional step forward in their ability to teach science effectively. Our graduates have been extremely successful, and many have taken strong leadership roles in their schools, school district and local and state organizations. Program completer success stories include a Presidential Science Scholar by the President of the United States and the 1998 Outstanding High School Science Teacher in Orange County.
In addition, some of our alumni become qualified to teach on a part-time basis within Cat State Fullerton's Science Education Program. Many other opportunities are available through our partnerships with University programs, districts, business, and community.
ALL CANDIDATES MUST:
- Work with a graduate committee that will include instructors from the academic departments of the student's teaching specialty or emphasis.
Take (elementary track) or may have to take (secondary track) a diagnostic examination prior to classification in the declared areas of teaching specialty. The purpose of this examination is to aid advisers in recommending appropriate and prerequisite science course work. Prerequisite course work will not count toward the 30-unit degree requirement.
Have a minimum grade point average of 2.5 in science prerequisites.
- Have an adequate science preparation, as described below:
ELEMENTARY CANDIDATES MUST:
Be credentialed elementary teachers or certified curriculum coordinators/supervisors in elementary education.
SECONDARY CANDIDATES MUST:
Be science instructors or curriculum coordinators/supervisors as evidenced by the appropriate credential certifying that they may teach in one of the science disciplines below the collegiate level.
Declare an area of teaching specialization.
University requirements include a baccalaureate from an accredited institution and a grade-point average of at least 2.5 in the last 60 semester units attempted (see section of this catalog on Graduate Admission for complete statement and procedures). In addition to the University requirements for admission, acceptance in the MAT-S program is contingent upon the following:
- Candidates must submit two applications, the "California State University Graduate Application for Admission," and one to the Science Education Program. The Science Education Program application for the MAT-S must include:
- two signed letters of recommendation;
- a personal resume;
- documentation of a teaching credential; and
- a Statement of Purpose of 1-2 pages with information about the candidate's science area of interest.
- A teaching credential is normally required for classified standing.
In special circumstances, a MAT-S faculty adviser may agree to work with a student who has not completed a teaching credential program. For example, an applicant who teaches in a private school or works in a museum may complete the MAT-S without a teaching credential. In these cases, a MAT-S faculty adviser will write a letter waiving the credential requirement for classified standing.
- Completion of course work equivalent to a baccalaureate degree in one of the sciences. (For the elementary track, the baccalaureate degree is not normally in the sciences, but the application must provide evidence of in-depth work within the sciences beyond the minimum requirements for a multiple subject teaching credential.)
- Acceptance by a faculty project/thesis adviser.
- The admission decision will be made only after the application file is complete
The degree program consists of 30 units of course work within the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, of which at least half must be 500-level courses. Study plan course work must be completed with a grade point average of 3.0 or better.
- (Secondary Track) 15 units will be in the sciences, in upper-division and graduate courses. At least nine units will be taken in one of the following: biology, chemistry, computer science, geological sciences or physics. (Elementary Track) 15 units in upper-division and graduate courses. Electives will be chosen from biology, chemistry, computer science, geological sciences, physics or science education.
- 15 units will be in science education with the following requirements:
CORE COURSES (9 UNITS):
Science Education 550 Theoretical Designs in Science Education (3)
Science Education 552 Review of Research in Science Education (3) (meets the graduate level writing requirement)
Science Education 554 Issues in Science Education (3)
THESIS/PROJECT (6 UNITS):
Science Education 598 Thesis (6) OR Science Education 597 Project (3) and Science Education 599 Independent Graduate Research (3)
BASIC SCIENCE ELECTIVES (15 UNITS):
Electives will be chosen from upper-division and graduate courses from the following departments:
Science Education (elementary track)
For further information and advisement, consult the graduate program adviser or Director of the Science Education Program.
ADVANCEMENT TO CANDIDACY
Advancement to candidacy is attained by requesting a graduation check and receiving subsequent approval of the MAT-S faculty adviser and the MAT-S graduate program adviser on the Grad Check Review Form. This form is mailed by to students by the University Graduate Studies Office.
Students should achieve classified standing as soon as they are eligible. A student who meets the admission standards needs to develop a study plan in consultation with the MAT-S faculty adviser and MAT-S graduate program adviser before nine units of degree coursework has been completed. Classified standing will be granted once the study plan has been reviewed and approved by the MAT-S faculty and the Associate Vice President, Academic Programs.
Students will be notified by the Graduate Studies Office when the study plan is approved and classified standing is granted. Once the study plan is approved, changes can be made only with the approval of the MAT-S faculty adviser and the MAT-S graduate program adviser.
The MAT-S program offers three options for the culminating experience: project, thesis, and submission for National Board Certification. Graduate students may enter the program at any point in the three course sequence of SCED 550, 552, and 554, and the Project Options Model allows them to progress toward their objective through various pathways. The Matrix below outlines six options for course projects as well as three sample pathways. Students are encouraged to discuss these options with their graduate program advisor.
PROJECT OPTIONS FOR SCED 550, 552, AND 554 CLASSES
|Culminating Experience||Course 1||Course 2||Course 3|
|Thesis||Problem Statement||Literature Review||Proposal for Thesis|
|Project||Literature Review||Action Research||Proposal for Project|
|Submission for National Board Certification||Lit Review (NBC)||Action Research||Lesson Plan Study (NBC)|
For further information about the MAT-S Program, please contact:
Monica Azimioara, Advisor
Master of Arts in Teaching Science
College of Natural Sciences & Mathematics
California State University, Fullerton
800 N. State College Blvd.
McCarthy Hall 577
Fullerton, CA 92834
Phone: (657) 278-2817