College of Science & Engineering

Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education

Frequently Asked Questions

For other questions contact an advisor.

Questions About Transferring Science Courses to Western

Questions About Declaring a Major in Science Education

Questions About Registration and Overrides for Science Education courses

Questions About Graduate Teaching Assistant Positions in Science Education

Questions About Endorsements

Miscellaneous Questions

Questions About Transferring Science Courses to Western

If I'm transferring from another college what science courses will address teacher education at Western?

Elementary education students should have basic science courses equivalent to at least a year’s study in science, preferably broadly distributed. Some or all should include laboratory work. Most courses with prefixes like Biol, Chem, Geol, Astron., or Physics apply.

Acceptable science courses for secondary science include majors-level introductory sequences. Most upper division science courses are acceptable. Among common advanced courses which transfer for credit but do not apply specifically to endorsement requirements are Human Physiology, Human Ecology,

See also: Endorsement Assessment 



Questions About Declaring a Major in Science Education

What are the requirements for declaring a major in Science Education?

There are no specific prerequisites for declaring a science education major.  In fact it is a good idea to see an adviser as early as possible to assure the most efficient progress toward completion.  See Plans of study  and Advising in Science Education.

What GPA requirements are there in Science Education?

Graduation with certification and endorsement normally requires a minimum GPA of 2.75 overall and in science courses. A minimum GPA of 2.75 is required for admission to the certification program in the Woodring College of Education.

What if my GPA falls below a 2.75 before I am ready to graduate?

A grace period is generally permitted regarding courses in science, during which time you may be retained in the program so long as the trend in grades suggests a return to the minimum. However, if the overall GPA drops below 2.75, you will be dropped automatically from the Woodring College. You may reapply when your GPA recovers to the minimum.

Questions About Registration and Overrides for Science Education Courses

How can I register for Science Education courses if I'm not a declared major?

Most Science Education courses are open to all students, however, they are tailored toward students pursuing interests in education.  The elementary and secondary methods and practicum courses (SCED 480/490/491/492)  are restricted to Woodring students only.

Do I have any recourse if the computer shows a section filled?

Individual faculty can admit, at their discretion, students who have demonstrated need for a particular section.

How do I get an override for science ed courses?

To get an override, students need to contact Lori Torres by email, phone (650-7605) or in person (SMATE SL 220)


Questions About G.T.A. Positions in Science Education

Who is eligible for G.T.A. positions?

Graduate students in the MIT and M.Ed—Natural Science/Science Education programs are eligible to apply for graduate teaching assistantships in SMATE.

What do G.T.A.'s do in the Science Education Program?

In general,TA's assist faculty in Science Education 20X series courses, grading and tutoring students. TA's are also an integral part of the the Slesnick STEM Education Resource Center and may be required to set up interactive displays and help with check-in and check-out of materials.

How do I go about getting a G.T.A. position?

Contact Prof. Edward Geary, indicating your interest and qualifications.

Questions About Endorsements

Will my science courses from another institution apply to endorsement to teach science?

In general, yes, especially when they have an astronomy, biology, chemistry, geology, or physics prefix and serve as courses acceptable for science majors at your institution.  See endorsement assessment.

I’m seeking endorsement in science as a post-baccalaureate or graduate student. Does my undergraduate degree earn me endorsement?

Commonly, if the major was one of the four natural sciences, but not always. See endorsement assessment.

How do I determine whether my course record qualifies for endorsement?

     See endorsement assessment.

In what cases does Western Washington University require more than the State established minimum for endorsement?

Endorsement in (general) Science requires more than the 15 credit minimum in coursework complementary to the primary discipline endorsement. Many of Western’s BA and BS degrees, though not its BA in Education degrees, require more than the 45 credit minimum in a single discipline.

Why does Western require more than the State established minimum for endorsement?

See Plans of Study.   In the case of endorsement in (general) Science, we do not believe that a single university course (potentially even a "101" course, all that is required in the minimum) adequately prepares a person to teach that discipline in high school as a general rule. Such a course will almost inevitably be either too elementary or too limited in scope to do so. Yet the endorsement can be construed to prepare that person to teach any of the natural sciences at the high school level as presently defined. We have chosen to observe the recommendation of the committee advisory to the State Board of Education in this instance. We will listen to rational arguments in specific cases.

In the BA and BS cases, these degrees are not designed explicitly for the purpose of preparing teachers and generally reflect the best professional judgment of the faculty, consistent with their professional associations’ and university standards.

In a few instances composite majors leading to the BA in Education may exceed the minimum, but only modestly and only to achieve appropriate balance between the disciplines in the judgment of the faculty in the relevant departments.

Miscellaneous Questions

What happens if I complete a BA in Education, less internship, then decide I do not wish to teach or suppose my internship is not successful?

You may petition for the BA in Education without certification through the Office of Field Services in the Woodring College of Education.