M.S. in Natural Science for TeachersThe Natural Science for Teachers Program (formerly General Biology Program for Teachers) offers graduate-level online courses and enrichment opportunities for teachers. The program was designed to address the needs of middle and high school science teachers for graduate-level courses that meet many school districts’ requirements for salary increment credit. Currently we offer 2 educational tracks: Biology and Chemistry. In addition, we hope to expand further in the future to offer a Geoscience track as well as a Physical Science track. Upcoming online courses are listed under Course Descriptions.
Teachers may participate two ways:
1) Through our non-degree program, teachers may update their content knowledge without having to earn a M.S degree, or through the
2) M.S. in Natural Science for Teachers: This innovative Masters Degree Program takes place online primarily over the summers, so that teachers need to complete only minimal course work while they are teaching. Teachers in the master’s degree program start out taking online courses during the first year of the program; during two subsequent summers, they do research under the supervision of University of Arizona science faculty, but not always physically at The University of Arizona in Tucson. Many out-of-state teachers find a research mentor at a University near their home and conduct their research experience there. All the teachers in our M.S. program write and defend a thesis, and create, classroom test, and disseminate to other teachers a lesson unit based on their research experiences. Applications to this program are due on March 1 each year.
More than 60 teachers earned the M.S. in General Biology degree from inception in 1993 to 2010 when the program changed to Natural Science for Teachers. In the early years of the program, most of the participants lived in or near Tucson; however, in recent years, teachers have come from the entire State of Arizona as well as around the nation to take advantage of the summer courses. The widespread response indicates that the program does, indeed, meet an important need for secondary school science teachers.
Lisa K. Elfring, Ph.D.
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