B.A. Chemistry Areas of Study

The content of the WGU Bachelor of Arts in Science (5–12, Chemistry) 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 Chemistry) 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.

Educational Assessment
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.

General Education

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.

Introduction to Physics
This course provides students with a comprehensive overview of the basic principles and unifying concepts of physics. You will integrate conceptual knowledge with practical and laboratory skills.

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.

Mathematics Content

Pre-calculus

Calculus I
If you are in the middle school program, the skills that will be acquired will help you to better understand function behavior within a variety of real-world applications. If you are in the secondary program, the skills that will be acquired will prepare you for Calculus II, Calculus III, and other advanced topics in mathematics. Thus, it is essential that you master these concepts prior to moving forward.

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.

Chemistry Content (Grades 5-12)

Physical Chemistry
This course introduces the study of chemistry in terms of physical concepts. It includes thermodynamics, reaction kinetics, chemical equilibrium, electrochemistry, and matter.

Inorganic Chemistry
This course introduces the concepts of Inorganic chemistry—the branch of chemistry that studies the properties and behavior of any compound avoiding a specific focus on carbon. It will focus on the three most important areas of inorganic chemistry: the structure, properties, and reactions of various groups of inorganic compounds.

Organic Chemistry
This course focuses on the study of compounds that contain carbon, much of which is learning how to organize and group these compounds based on common bonds found within them in order to predict their structure, behavior, and reactivity.

Geochemistry
This course focuses on the interdisciplinary branch of science that studies the environment at a chemical level to increase understanding of the effects of chemicals in the environment. Topics include causes and effects of contaminants in groundwater, acid rain, ozone depletion, greenhouse gases, freshwater lakes, and the benefits of nuclear energy as a replacement for fossil fuels.

Chemistry: Content Knowledge
This course provides advanced instruction in the main areas of chemistry for which secondary chemistry teachers are expected to demonstrate competency. Topics include matter and energy, thermochemistry, structure, bonding, reactivity, biochemistry and organic chemistry, solutions, nature of science, technology and social perspectives, mathematics, and laboratory procedures.

Science Education

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.

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.

Preclinical Experiences

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.

Demonstration Teaching

Demonstration Teaching is a full-time, in-classroom supervised experience required of all teacher candidates. It is the culminating experience of the program and all academic requirements must be complete before beginning. Additional requirements include a cleared background check, passing scores on state and WGU required content exams, and demonstration of satisfactory teacher dispositions.

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.