Natural Sciences

Biology BA / MS in Ed

5-year program
Bachelor of Arts in Biology
Master of Science in Education

Overview

This program is designed for students interested in teaching high school biology. In only five years, very good students will be able to complete all required courses for a bachelor of arts in biology, a master of science in adolescence education, and New York State certification in adolescence education.

The biology BA/MS Ed program at Mount Saint Mary College seeks to prepare teachers to present modern scientific concepts in an exciting and dynamic way. Successful graduates will gain a broad and balanced background that addresses the standards of the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA). All students, after successfully completing this program, will have been exposed to topics that constitute the core, advanced, and supporting competencies recommended for teachers by the NSTA.

Biology at the Mount

There are many advantages to studying biology at the Mount:

Opportunities outside of the classroom. You could be a student rep at a division meeting, an officer in the biology and chemistry honor societies, or part of the American Chemical Society student chapter on campus. Students organize speakers, museum tours, hiking trips, campus activities like faculty vs. student quiz bowl, and science night for elementary school students. 

A strong peer group. Biology majors quickly become a part of the science community at the Mount. Students who have majors within the Division of Natural Science take their math and science classes together and quickly form study groups and friendships. 

Peer tutoring. Science majors work together toward a successful college career as upper-classmen serve as peer tutors, and all students have the opportunity to get help to support their learning efforts. 

Research. All full time faculty members have PhD degrees in a variety of different fields and can offer you the opportunity to develop a research project that will help you to apply your coursework to real problems. A research project will enhance your knowledge and ability to integrate your learning and will impress graduate schools and future employers.

Learning science as a process. Many of our laboratory courses use inquiry-based collaborative learning to introduce you to the process of science and scientific research.

Mentoring. All science students are assigned a full-time faculty advisor to help you explore career options, plan your course schedule and follow your academic progress. New freshmen are assigned a “science sibling” before coming to campus so that they have the opportunity to ask questions of an upperclassman, student to student.

Program requirements

Requirements for entrance and continuing enrollment in the 5-year master’s program in biology and education at the Mount::

  • Incoming freshmen must have completed high school biology and chemistry, and must meet 2 of the following 3 criteria: a) 85 scholastic average in high school; b) Top 30% of their graduating class; c) SAT scores of 1000.
  • Students transferring into the program (internally or externally) must have a 3.0 cumulative average, including two semesters of majors-level introductory biology with no grade in these introductory courses lower than a B-.
  • Students must maintain a 3.0 cumulative grade point average throughout the five years of the program and must pass ED 2051, Orientation to Teaching. Students who transfer ED 2051 from another college must pass the writing assessment section of ED 2051 at Mount Saint Mary College.
  • Students in the 5-year master's program will be evaluated at the end of each semester. Students who do not meet the minimum 3.0 GPA requirement in any semester will be placed on probation.
  • Only one probationary period will be allowed; students who fail to meet the minimum GPA requirement for more than one semester will be removed from the program and placed into a BA program in biology.
  • Students in the 5-year master’s degree program may elect to remove themselves from the program and enter a bachelor’s program at Mount Saint Mary College at any time. However, no more than 6 credits of graduate education courses may be counted toward an individual BA degree if a student leaves the 5-year master’s program for any reason. These graduate credits may not then be used toward a post-graduate master’s degree.
  • Both degrees will be awarded at the completion of the fifth year of the program.

Career Outlook

According to the National Education Association (NEA), teacher shortages are expected in science and math in New York State in the near future.

Collegeboard.com says that “government economists expect jobs in K–12 education to grow as fast as the average for all careers through 2014. … Most openings will result from the retirement of today's teachers. In 2004, almost 50 percent of all teachers were older than 45.” 

According to the US government, “Job opportunities for teachers over the next 10 years will vary from good to excellent, depending on the locality, grade level, and subject taught. Most job openings will result from the need to replace the large number of teachers who are expected to retire over the 2004-14 period….Through 2014, overall student enrollments in elementary, middle, and secondary schools—a key factor in the demand for teachers—are expected to rise more slowly than in the past as children of the baby boom generation leave the school system. This will cause employment to grow as fast as the average for teachers from kindergarten through the secondary grades… Enrollments … in the Northeast and Midwest are expected to hold relatively steady or decline. … Currently, many school districts have difficulty hiring qualified teachers in some subject areas—most often mathematics, science (especially chemistry and physics), bilingual education, and foreign languages. Increasing enrollments of minorities, coupled with a shortage of minority teachers, should cause efforts to recruit minority teachers to intensify.”

According to CareerZone from the NYS Dept of Labor, the average wage for teachers is $42,650 for entry level workers and $83,920 for experienced teachers. “In 2012 there will be 87,740 employed in NY. This represents an increase of 1,083 job(s) each year, and a total of 4,264 job openings each year.

Accreditation

The Division of Education at Mount Saint Mary College is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), www.ncate.org. This accreditation covers initial teacher preparation programs and/or advanced educator preparation programs at the College in Newburgh, New York. However, the accreditation does not include individual education courses that the institution offers to P-12 educators for professional development, relicensure, or other purposes.

As part of the maintenance of NCATE accreditation, the college is required to display data revealing the success of our programs. The following link displays a connection to the most recent results of Mount Saint Mary College teacher candidate “completers” (graduates of our programs recommended for certification) on New York State Teacher Certification Exams.

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