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The Science Education program offers curricula leading to a Master of Science (M.S.) degree and a Master of Education (Ed.M.) degree. Both programs require a minimum number of graduate points of coursework and a master’s paper.
The M.S. and Ed.M. degrees require a program planned in consultation with an advisor who may also sponsor the master’s paper. The M.S. degree requires more science subject matter coursework than the Ed.M. degree, while the Ed.M. degree requires more intensive work in education including science education. The M.S. degree is recommended for science educators who want a professional degree with intensive preparation in science subject matter. This degree is especially appropriate for prospective community college instructors who do not intend to pursue a doctorate immediately. The Ed.M. degree is recommended for science educators who want a professional degree with intensive preparation in science education. Both programs include some depth of study in science, work in the candidate’s specialization, and the development of competence in methods of scholarly analysis. Some credits obtained at the M.A. level may be applied toward the Ed.M. or M.S.
Master of Education
In total, a minimum of 60 course points are required: A minimum of 15 points in breadth of science content courses, 15 points in core science education courses, 9 points in professional education courses, 6 points in research methodology courses, and 3 points in technology courses. This leaves 12 points of optional studies to be determined in consultation with the advisor.
Master’s Integrative Project
For the M.S. and the Ed.M. degrees in the Science Education Program, a master’s paper will be required. This project may be an extension of some paper that has been prepared for a course included in the program of the student. The paper may take a variety of forms. It may be a report of an empirical investigation, or it may be a library-type research paper dealing with some problem in which the candidate has a special interest. The form of the paper should be carefully chosen in the context of the candidate’s professional goals.
The Ed.M. project should focus more on science education topics and can be either a synthesis of information or an empirical study. The paper may form the basis for a subsequent doctoral dissertation. In other cases, it may be the culmination of studies that have been carried out in the 60-point master’s degree program.
The paper should be planned and prepared in cooperation with a full-time member of the Science Education Program faculty. It must be approved by a full-time member of this faculty before the application is made for the degree. Hence, the master’s paper is a departmental requirement for the M.S. and/or the Ed.M. degree. Its acceptance needs to be noted on the candidate’s application by faculty for the award of either the M.S. or Ed.M. degree. However, the approved paper is not to be submitted to the Office of the Registrar as part of general college-wide degree requirements but will remain in the departmental files.