Secondary Science Education

Interested in learning more about the

Secondary Science Education Program?

Melody ST 2 Sp 2014

Employment Outlook

There are state, national, and global shortages of secondary science teachers. Graduates from the Secondary Science Education Program have a 90% employment rate, with each receiving multiple job offers both within and outside of Montana. The local annual career fair at the University of Montana connects graduates with employers seeking science teachers.

Scholarships and stipends available

A Noyce grant from the National Science Foundation provides generous funding for eligible junior- and senior-level students in the Secondary Science Education Program. Full tuition, fees, books, and a monthly living stipend are available. There is a payback requirement for this funding.

The goal of the Bachelor of Science in Secondary Science Education degree…

…is to prepare graduates for successful careers as science teachers at the middle and high school levels. Graduates of the Secondary Science Education Program will be eligible to apply for licensure as secondary Broadfield Science teachers in the state of Montana. The majority of the required coursework is in the natural and physical sciences, with additional coursework required in advanced math and education courses, along with the general education course requirements.

Graduates of the degree program will meet the state’s academic requirements for highly qualified secondary science teachers, which upon licensure makes them eligible to teach earth science, physics, physical science, biology, chemistry, and environmental science in Montana’s secondary schools. The program’s design emphasizes the development of teachers prepared to effectively meet the needs of middle and high school learners, particularly rural and American Indian learners. Graduates will have a solid grounding in Western and Native science content and perspectives, as well as knowledge of how to use effective instructional methods for supporting science learners.

For more information about the BSSE program, contact Dept. Chair

Dr. Wren Walker-Robbins:  (406) 275-4780


Program Objectives

In alignment with the objectives of the SKC’s Division of Education, the BSSE strives to meet the following program objectives:

1. Prepare teacher candidates to be culturally competent and effective professional educators and leaders.

2. Form and maintain collaborative partnerships (relationships) with grades Pre K- 20 providers and education professionals.

3. Promote cultural revitalizing and sustaining educational practices for all learners, with a particular focus on American Indian learners.

4. Collaborate with college, community, state, and tribal entities to share professional development opportunities and resources.

5. Conduct and support research to contribute to the knowledge base, improve educational practice, and build individual and community capacity.

Program Requirements

An approved state and federal background check, which are required for visiting or working in the K-12 schools

Students must receive a “C” or better in all required education methods courses while maintaining a 3.0 GPA in these courses and an overall GPA of 2.75 or higher to graduate from this program.

Students may declare Secondary Science Education as their major at any time after their acceptance into SKC as a student. They will then be assigned an advisor in the Department of Secondary Science Education. After fulfillment of the following criteria, they will be provisionally accepted into the Secondary Science Education program.

  • Successful completion, with a grade of “C” or above, of at least 60 college quarter credits (or 40-semester credits) that are part of the Secondary Science Education course program, including 24 quarter or 16 semester hours of Secondary Science Education required science and math courses
  • Successful completion, with a grade of “C” or above, of Math 100 or an equivalent course or test score as approved by the chair of the SKC Mathematics Department
  • Successful completion of the SKC ENGL 202 – English Composition II course with a grade of “C” or above. Transfer of credits from another institution as a substitution for this course must be approved by the English Department chairperson
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 with no less than a “C” in all courses that are required for the BSSE degree
  • Approved state and federal background check, which are required for visiting or working in the K-12 schools
  • Completion of the Transition to Teacher Professional Dispositions Seminar

quinnLearning Outcomes

Upon completion of the B.S In Secondary Science Education degree, the graduate will possess the following knowledge, skills, and dispositions appropriate for secondary science teachers, which are based on the InTASC standards for teacher preparation.

Standard #1:  Learner Development
The teacher candidate understands how learners grow and develop, recognizing that patterns of learning and development vary individually within and across the cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, and physical areas, and designs and implements developmentally appropriate and challenging learning experiences.

Standard #2:  Learning Differences
The teacher candidate uses understanding of individual differences and diverse cultures and communities to ensure inclusive learning environments that enable each learner to meet high standards.

Standard #3:  Learning Environments
The teacher candidate works with others to create environments that support individual and collaborative learning, and that encourage positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation.

Standard #4:  Content Knowledge
The teacher candidate understands the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the discipline(s) he or she teaches and creates learning experiences that make these aspects of the discipline accessible and meaningful for learners to assure mastery of the content.

Standard #5:  Application of Content
The teacher candidate understands how to connect concepts and use differing perspectives to engage learners in critical thinking, creativity, and collaborative problem solving related to authentic local and global issues.

Standard #6:  Assessment
The teacher candidate understands and uses multiple methods of assessment to engage learners in their own growth, monitor learner progress, and guide the teacher’s and learner’s decision-making.

Standard #7:  Planning for Instruction
The teacher candidate plans instruction that supports every student in meeting rigorous learning goals by drawing upon knowledge of content areas, curriculum, cross-disciplinary skills, and pedagogy, as well as knowledge of learners and the community context.

Standard #8:  Instructional Strategies
The teacher candidate understands and uses a variety of instructional strategies to encourage learners to develop a deep understanding of content areas and their connections, and to build skills to apply knowledge in meaningful ways.

Standard #9:  Professional Learning and Ethical Practice
The teacher candidate engages in ongoing professional learning and uses evidence to continually evaluate his/her practice, particularly the effects of his/her choices and actions on others (learners, families, other professionals, and the community), and adapts practice to meet the needs of each learner.

Standard #10:  Leadership and Collaboration
The teacher candidate seeks appropriate leadership roles and opportunities to take responsibility for student learning, to collaborate with learners, families, colleagues, other school professionals, and community members to ensure learner growth and to advance the profession. The teacher of science fosters relationships with school colleagues, parents, and agencies in the larger community to support students’ learning and well-being.

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