The Center for Science Education (CSE) prides itself on its ability to be responsive to the needs of community partners, students and faculty colleagues from all the disciplines of science. CSE programs have been successful in gaining national support from such prestigious organizations as the National Science Foundation, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Education.
The mission of the CSE is to enhance science teaching and learning through innovative education, research and community outreach programs. CSE provides graduate level education courses, a Master of Science Teaching program for pre-service science educators and professional development opportunities for current science educators. CSE also supports community partnerships that involve citizens and community institutions in activities that employ the inquiry practices of science. Through its programs, the CSE aims to help students and teachers raise their capacity to participate in the community as informed citizens.
Our students come from many walks of life including career changers and those just getting started in their first professional career. For example, we work with returning students who leave private sector and government jobs in science and engineering to pursue a career in teaching and those that have recently graduated with an undergraduate degree in the sciences. A considerable number of students come to us with a background of working in informal science arenas such as working with science museums and outdoor education programs. Many of those who join our program are teachers all along the spectrum of experience including those that have never taught science before to veteran science teachers who are interested in forming new collegial relationships to further develop their content and pedagogical knowledge in the area of science education. Students who graduate from our program enter into a variety of occupational opportunities including teaching in K-12 and higher education, educational program development and coordination, educational administration and educational research. Many teachers who join our program are interested in stepping into new leadership roles in their current teaching positions in their schools and districts.