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How do I become a science teacher?

Please explore this page to find information on types of science-related teaching degrees offered at Texas State, courses you will take, information on the field-based block and student teaching, and more. Also, see photos of Texas State students involved in science education.

View the College of Science & Engineering Teacher Preparation Checklist.


High school science teacher on the banks of the San Marcos RiverTeaching science can be a great place to start your career!

  • Make a difference in students' lives
  • Competitive starting salaries, including health benefits in many school districts
    • Average starting salary is $42,247 in districts with more than 10,000 students
  • Currently a high demand for science teachers
  • Stable job with a steady income
  • Summertimes to explore your passions and hobbies, as well as develop your teaching

 


What types of science-related teaching degrees offered at Texas State?

Expand or Collapse all.

Click here for undergraduate programs

High school science certification - offered through the College of Science and Engineering:

  • Bachelor of Science in Biology with a Life Science Teacher Certification
  • Bachelor of Science in Chemistry with Chemistry Teacher Certification
  • Bachelor of Science in Chemistry with Physical Science Teacher Certification

 Elementary and middle school science certification - offered through the College of Education:

  • Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies with 4-8 Mathematics
  • Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies with 4-8 Science
  • Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies with 4-8 Math/Science Composite

Other high school certification degrees - offered through the College of Science and Engineering:

  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science with Teacher Certification
  • Bachelor of Art in Computer Science with Teacher Certification
  • Bachelor of Science in Mathematics with Teacher Certification
  • Bachelor of Science in Technology: Industrial Technology with Teacher Certification

Frequently asked questions (FAQs):

What sort of teaching courses will I take?

  1. CI 4332 - Secondary teaching: Curriculum and technology; Investigation of secondary curriculum: its history, organization, development, and representation in instructional materials. Students learn how curriculum is decided, impacted, and assessed. Topics include local, state, and national standards, trends, and roles of culture and technology in teaching and learning. Prerequisites: 2.50 Texas State GPA.
  2. CI 3325 - Adolescent growth and development; Study of biological, cognitive, and psychological theories and processes of adolescence. Prepares prospective teachers to understand abilities, behaviors, and needs of learners. Roles of family, peer groups, and culture examined with the aid of contemporary adolescent literature. Prerequisites: Junior classification; 2.50 Texas State GPA.
  3. Field-based block:
·         CI 4370 -Classroom management, ethics, and legal issues in secondary teaching; Course topics include the development of an appropriate classroom management system based on current theory and research, analysis of legal and ethical issues as they relate to classroom teachers and students, and field experiences in a variety of secondary classroom environments. Corequisites: CI 4343 and RDG 3323
·         CI 4343 - Instructional strategies for the secondary teacher; Study of models for instruction, with attention to assessment and classroom management. Students develop and practice strategies for building classroom communities, teaching all learners, and integrating technology into instruction. Focus on meeting needs of individual learners while maintaining academic rigor. Prerequisites: Junior classification; CI 4332; ENG 1310 & ENG 1320 with a minimum grade of C, 2.50 Texas State GPA. Corequisites: CI 4370, RDG 3323
·         RDG 3323 - Teaching reading in the content areas; Provides information about reading in secondary content areas emphasizing selection and use of materials, including textbooks in print and electronic formats. Topics include instructional strategies, assessment of comprehension, and adapting instruction to meet student needs. Prerequisites: Junior classification; CI 4332; ENG 1310 & ENG 1320 with a minimum grade of C; 2.50 Texas State GPA. Corequisites: CI 4370, CI 4343
  1. EDST 4681 - Student teaching; Students will integrate and apply knowledge and skills learned from their program of study while student teaching with experienced 8-12 teachers in the public schools with university guidance and supervision. Students will demonstrate exit-level proficiency in state-adopted and Texas State proficiencies for teachers. One conference hour per week is required. Prerequisite: 2.50 Texas State GPA.

 *** Courses will vary for 4-8 teacher certification

What is the field-based block?

 The field-based block are a group of courses that must be taken together at a high school. These courses are available in the fall and spring only. The field-based block allows students to observe in the classroom.

  • CI 4370 -Classroom management, ethics, and legal issues in secondary teaching; Course topics include the development of an appropriate classroom management system based on current theory and research, analysis of legal and ethical issues as they relate to classroom teachers and students, and field experiences in a variety of secondary classroom environments. Corequisites: CI 4343 and RDG 3323
  • CI 4343 - Instructional strategies for the secondary teacher; Study of models for instruction, with attention to assessment and classroom management. Students develop and practice strategies for building classroom communities, teaching all learners, and integrating technology into instruction. Focus on meeting needs of individual learners while maintaining academic rigor. Prerequisites: Junior classification; CI 4332; ENG 1310 & ENG 1320 with a minimum grade of C, 2.50 Texas State GPA. Corequisites: CI 4370, RDG 3323
  • RDG 3323 - Teaching reading in the content areas; Provides information about reading in secondary content areas emphasizing selection and use of materials, including textbooks in print and electronic formats. Topics include instructional strategies, assessment of comprehension, and adapting instruction to meet student needs. Prerequisites: Junior classification; CI 4332; ENG 1310 & ENG 1320 with a minimum grade of C; 2.50 Texas State GPA. Corequisites: CI 4370, CI 4343

During this time, you will also take the required practice TExES exams (Content Area and Pedagogy & Professional Responsibility) after attending the Student Teacher Round-Up.

*** Courses and location will vary for 4-8 teacher certification

How do I get into the field-based block?

Did you start your teaching degree during or after fall 2010? If so, the requirements are:

  1. You must be classified as a junior or higher
  2. You must have an overall GPA of 2.75 or higher
  3. Accepted into the Teacher Education Program
  4. Apply for the block the semester before you wish to enroll in the block. Apply on the Department of Curriculum and Instruction website.

The block courses are offered Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday.

How do I complete my student teaching?

 The requirements to be admitted to student teaching are as follows:

  1. Admission to Teacher Education - please see OEP's admissions page for more information
  2. Completion of education-focused US 1100 course or attend a mandatory Saturday Seminar
  3. Overall GPA of 2.75 or higher
  4. Validation of required pre-student teaching field experiences
  5. Grade of "C" or higher in all assigned courses in the professional sequence prior to student teaching
    • This means a "C" or higher in CI 4332, CI 3325, CI 4370, CI 4343, and RDG 3323
  6. GPA of at least 2.50 in the teaching field(s) or specialization(s) with no grade below a "C"
    • This means biology teacher certification students must have a "C" or higher in all biology courses, math teacher certification students must have a "C" or higher in all math courses, and chemistry teacher certification students must have a "C" or higher in all chemistry courses
  7. Approval from the chair of the department of the student’s major teaching field
Student teaching is 13-weeks long, full-time, Monday-Friday, and unpaid. Additionally, students must apply to student teach the semester before they plan to student teach. Apply on the Office of Educator Preparation website. Students must also attend "Round-up." Student teaching is only offered during the fall and spring semesters.
 
Finally, student teaching must be the only course a student takes during their last semester.

 

What's the ideal timeline I need to follow?

Freshman year:

  1. Core and major courses

Sophomore year:

  1. Core and major courses

Junior year:

  1. Core and major courses
  2. CI 4332 and CI 3325 (must be classified as a junior and meet all prerequisites)
  3. Spring: Apply for field-based block online (attend any necessary information sessions)

Senior year:

  1. Fall: Complete field-based block
  2. Fall: Apply for student teaching (must meet all prerequisites)
  3. Fall: Take required practice TExES exams
  4. Fall: Attend "Round up," a mandatory student teaching meeting
  5. Fall: Complete 1-2 remaining core or major courses
  6. Spring: Clear "tentatives" - a list of requirements in the Student Teaching Tentative packet - with the Office of Educator Preparation
  7. Spring: Student teach
  8. Spring: Apply for graduation
  9. Spring: Take required TExES exams
  10. Spring: Apply for certification on-line

Do I need certain grades to graduate?

Did you begin your teaching certification degree during or after fall 2010? If so, there are some new requirements. In order to take any curriculum and instruction courses (i.e., CI 3325, CI 4332, CI 4370) you need to be accepted into the Teacher Education Program. The following are required for admittance:

  • 2.75 overall GPA required
  • Pass a criminal background check
  • Receive "C" or higher in all major courses and secondary education minor courses
  • Receive "C" or higher in following core courses:
    • HIST 1310 or 1320 or POSI 2320 or POSI 2320
    • COMM 1310
    • ENG 1310 and ENG 1320
    • PHIL 1305 or PHIL 1320
    • MATH 2471 or MATH 2321
  • Completion of education-focused US 1100 course or attend a mandatory Saturday Seminar. For both options, students must:
    • Complete and submit a timed-writing document to demonstrate proficiency in written communication
    • Submit three letters of recommendation from professors, service learning/work supervisors, or other professor/instructor approved references
    • Participate in a screening interview conducted by two faculty members to demonstrate proficiency in oral expression
    • Submit documentation of at least six hours of service learning experience, defined as the integration of community service related to teaching
    • Complete a teaching disposition inventory

What about financial aid?

In order to receive financial aid through Texas State University, you must submit an application through the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships. The application must be submitted 10 months prior to receiving any type of financial support.

 
Other programs that may assist in tuition support:
  • For undergraduate and graduate tuition:
    • Teach for Texas Loan Forgiveness Program: Once employed as a science teacher you may receive loan repayment up to $20,000 from Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
    • MST Teacher Preparation Academy: Provides qualified College of Science and College of Education students seeking teacher certification in math, science, and technology the following: paid tuition and fees for selected courses in your degree plan, stipends, books and materials, technology training, and partial scholarships to attend conferences.
    • Knowles Science Teaching Foundation Teaching fellowships:
      KSTF Science and Mathematics Teaching Fellows are chosen from among young men and women who have earned or are in the process of earning a degree in science, mathematics or engineering from a recognized institution of higher education.
  • For graduate tuition and/or stipends:
    • Teaching Residency Program for Critical Shortage Areas (TRP-CSA): TRP-CSA is a competitive grant funded program that results in a Master of Education within a 14-month period and provides two years of induction support. Participants selected for the program are eligible for a $35,000 living stipend while enrolled in graduate coursework and tuition assistance (through the TEACH grant program), both of which are 100% forgivable for candidates who complete three years of employment in a high-need school. For more information contact Dr. Miguel Guarjardo, maguajardo@txstate.edu.
    • Teach Grant Program: Through the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007, Congress created the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program that provides grants of up to $4,000 per year to graduate students who intend to teach in a public or private elementary or secondary school that serves students from low-income families. This new program was created to assist students that are seeking degrees in high-need fields and anticipate teaching in those fields at the secondary or elementary level.

 

Who do I contact if I have a question?

Chemistry teacher certification (8-12):

Computer Science (8-12):

Industrial Technology (8-12):

Life science teacher certification (8-12):

Mathematics teacher certification (8-12):

College of Science Advising (8-12):
  • General questions about life science, chemistry, computer science, mathematics, and industrial technology teacher cerification
  • Shane Cummings
    scienceadvising@txstate.edu
    512.245.1315
    CENT 202
College of Education Advising (4-8):

 Office of Educator Preparation:

  • Questions regarding student teaching, TExES exams, and teacher certification requirements
    512.245.7880
    ED 2016

Texas State students involved in science education