UNL master's degree preps non-teachers to teach secondary science

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UNL master’s degree preps non-teachers to teach secondary science

In the next 20 years, jobs in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and math are predicted to grow at double-digit rates. Workers in these fields are already in high demand, and the U.S. education system is under the gun to prepare students for these careers.

In an effort to meet that demand, the Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education in the College of Education and Human Sciences has developed a unique master’s degree program that targets non-traditional students who want to teach middle school or high school science.

The Master of Arts degree with an emphasis in science teaching (MAst) is a full-time, 14-month program designed for individuals who earned an undergraduate degree in an area of science, but are not certified to teach. With completion of the program, graduates will earn their master’s degree and certification to teach Grades 7-12 science in Nebraska schools. The program seeks applicants for its fourth cohort that begins in May. The application deadline is March 1. A limited number of $12,000 scholarships are available for tuition costs. Complete details on the new program are available at http://go.unl.edu/mast.

“Many different individuals have taken advantage of this opportunity in the previous three cohorts including a veterinarian, a physician, a lawyer, a forest ranger and many others who are now all teaching science,” said Elizabeth Lewis, assistant professor and program director.

The program is funded through a $1.2 million National Science Foundation Robert Noyce Scholarship Program grant that was awarded in 2010. In addition to the Noyce scholarships, the grant funds a New Teachers Network that provides mentoring, coaching and ongoing support for Master of Arts degree with an emphasis in science teaching graduates through their first few years of teaching. The grant is a collaborative effort of the College of Education and Human Sciences, the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and the College of Arts and Sciences at the UNL.

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