B.A. in Biological Science Areas of Study
The content of the WGU Bachelor of Arts in Science (5–12, Biological Science) derives from research on effective instruction as well as national and state standards. It provides the knowledge and skills that enable teachers to perform effectively in diverse classrooms. The B.A. in Science (5–12 Biological Science) program content and training processes are consistent with the accountability intent of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. The degree program is focused on the preparation of highly qualified teachers. As described in the federal legislation, a highly qualified teacher is one who not only possesses full state certification, but also has solid content knowledge of the subject(s) he or she teaches. The hallmarks of our program include: (a) appropriate and rigorous subject-matter preparation, (b) scientifically-based pedagogical course preparation, and (c) clinical field experiences in which teacher candidates are supervised by trained coaches.
Teacher Education Foundations
Foundational Perspectives in Education
Students will learn the historical, legal, and philosophical foundations of education while reflecting on educational issues impacting today’s educators.
Fundamentals of Educational Psychology
Students will learn the major theories of typical and atypical physical, social, cognitive, and moral development of children and adolescents. Information processing, brain research, memory, and metacognition will also be covered.
Classroom Management, Engagement, and Motivation
Students will learn the foundations for effective classroom management as well as strategies for creating a safe, positive learning environment for all learners. Students will be introduced to systems that promote student self-awareness, self-management, self-efficacy, and self-esteem.
Students will learn how to make appropriate data-driven instructional decisions by exploring key concepts relevant to the administration, scoring, and interpretation of classroom assessments.
Foundations of College Mathematics
This course focuses on basic numeracy and calculation skills, basic algebra skills, basic geometry principles, and basic data and probability skills.
English Composition I
This course introduces learners to the types of writing and thinking that is valued in college and beyond. Students will practice writing in several genres and several media, with emphasis placed on writing and revising academic arguments.
English Composition II
Introduction to Biology
Topics in these courses include cell structure and function, bioenergetics, DNA structure and function, protein synthesis, cell reproduction, taxonomy, evolution, and ecology.
Integrated Physical Sciences
These courses provide a comprehensive overview of the basic principles and unifying concepts of physics, astronomy, chemistry, and earth sciences.
Elements of Effective Communication
Literature, Arts, and the Humanities
These courses focus on content, concepts, terminology, methodology, models, and issues within and across the disciplines of the humanities.
U.S. Government and Constitution
This course includes major themes in world history and United States history; basic economic concepts; and the nature and development of American government.
General Education Social Sciences
These courses includes topics in social science theory and method; human development and behavior; modern economic, social, and political institutions; and geography and human cultures.
Understanding algebraic functions and their graphs as well as methods for solving equations and inequalities allows you to model real-world phenomena and solve problems. Engaging in this course will help you build these skills, as well as build a strong foundation in algebra for further mathematics courses you may complete for your degree program. Additionally, this course aims to help you build your problem-solving and critical-thinking skills, which can be used in any course, job, or situation.
Probability and Statistics I
This course is designed to provide you with a broad overview of the field of probability and statistics, and a fundamental understanding of statistical reasoning.
General Science Content
General Chemistry I
In this course students will attain a solid understanding of fundamental chemistry concepts and a reasonable ability to solve chemical problems. Topics include measurement, elements and compounds, properties of matter and energy, the periodic table and chemical nomenclature, quantities in chemistry, chemical reactions, the modern atomic theory, and the chemical bond. Laboratory work focuses on using effective laboratory techniques to examine the physical and chemical characteristics of matter.
General Chemistry II
In this course students will attain a solid understanding of fundamental chemistry concepts and a reasonable ability to solve chemical problems. Topics include the gaseous state, the solid and liquid states, aqueous solutions, acid-base models, oxidation-reduction reactions, reaction rates and equilibrium, nuclear chemistry, organic chemistry, and biochemistry. Laboratory work focuses on using effective laboratory techniques to analyze chemical processes in real-world contexts.
Principles of Biology
In this course students will focus on molecular and cellular biology, the biology of organisms, ecology, and evolution.
Science, Technology, and Society
This course engages students in the study of the nature, processes, and applications of science and technology and arms them with the knowledge and skills necessary to understand explain important science concepts. The course addresses the historical evolution of scientific ideas, scientific inquiry, as well as how science is used to inform decision making on current issues.
Science Teaching and Learning
This course focuses on how to teach science and on preparing preservice science educators to teach science in a way that is accurate, current and engaging. Topics include models for teaching science through inquiry, evaluation of alignment to standards, effective use of learning communities, formative assessment strategies, and safety responsibilities.
Biology Content (Grades 5-12)
Interdisciplinary Biological Sciences
This course includes the study of six main topics of biological science, including cellular biology, heredity, evolution, diversity of life, interdependence of life, and ecology.
Biology: Content Knowledge
This course provides instruction in the main areas of biological science for which secondary biology teachers are expected to demonstrate competency. Topics include basic principles of science, molecular and cellular biology, classical genetics and evolution, diversity of life, and ecology.
Teacher Education Diversity
Fundamentals of Diversity, Inclusion, and Exceptional Learners
Students will learn the history of inclusion and develop practical strategies for modifying instruction, in accordance with legal expectations, to meet the needs of a diverse population of learners. This population includes learners with disabilities, gifted and talented learners, culturally diverse learners, and English language learners.
Introduction to Preclinical Experiences
Students will utilize video observations to reflect on a wide range of educational considerations so that they can develop the tools necessary to be prepared in the classroom. Students will document at least 40 hours of video observation.
Preclinical Experiences in Science
Students will observe and participate in a wide range of in-classroom teaching experiences in order to develop the skills and confidence necessary to be an effective teacher. Students will reflect on and document at least 60 hours of in-classroom observations. Prior to entering the classroom for the observations, students will be required to meet several requirements including a cleared background check, passing scores on the state or WGU required basic skills exam, a completed resume, philosophy of teaching, and professional photo.
Instructional Planning and Presentation
Introduction to Instructional Planning and Presentation
Students will develop a basic understanding of effective instructional principles and how to differentiate instruction in order to elicit powerful teaching in the classroom.
Instructional Planning and Presentation for Science
Students will continue to build instructional planning skills with a focus on selecting appropriate materials for diverse learners, selecting age- and ability-appropriate strategies for the content areas, promoting critical thinking, and establishing both short- and long-term goals.
Supervised Demonstration Teaching in Science
A WGU clinical supervisor (an experienced educator who lives and works near your teaching location) will observe your teaching on multiple occasions – at least six observations are required – and evaluation will be completed according to a published checklist and rubric. The clinical supervisors submit the results to WGU for review and recording.
Teacher Work Sample
The WGU Teacher Works Sample requires teacher candidate to plan and teach a multi-week, standards-based instructional unit that showcases a collection of content, planning, instructional, and reflective skills.
Professional Portfolio in Science
Students will create and online teaching portfolio to demonstrate competency of the Demonstration Teaching experience. The portfolio is a way to show colleagues and potential employers the skills that have been developed throughout your Demonstration Teaching experience.
Cohort Seminar in Science
Students will participate in a weekly cohort call to collaborate with a cohort facilitator and fellow students to discuss progress and best practices for completing the Teacher Work Sample, Observations, and Portfolio.