B.A. Science Areas of Study
The WGU Bachelor of Arts in Science (5–9) program content is based on research on effective instruction as well as national and state standards. It provides the knowledge and skills that enable teachers to teach effectively in diverse classrooms. The B.A. in Science (5–9) 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) research-based pedagogical course preparation, and (c) clinical field experiences in which teacher candidates are supervised by trained coaches.
Teacher Education Foundations
Courses focused on teacher education serve to provide a strong background in the academic knowledge needed to be successful teachers knowledge about children, learning theories, educational philosophies, educational law, metacognition, motivation, assessment, and management.
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.
General Education Domain
The general education domain focuses on basic subject matter knowledge that is typically included in baccalaureate level programs. Evaluation of your previous college transcripts may clear assessment requirements for some areas of the liberal arts domain, which could shorten your program of study by removing assessments. To waive or clear a subdomain, the transcript must show that you have taken equivalent classes in the subdomain content areas and passed those classes with a C grade or higher at an accredited institution of higher education.
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.
Collegiate Level Reasoning and Problem Solving
This course includes topics in problem identification and clarification, planning and information gathering, identifying assumptions and values, analysis and interpretation of information and data, reaching well-founded conclusions, and identifying the role of critical thinking in the disciplines and professions.
This course provides a detailed exploration into basic algebraic concepts and functions and their use in describing, interpreting, and modeling real-world situations. Topics include: real numbers, algebraic expressions, equations and inequalities, graphs and functions, polynomial and rational functions, exponential and logarithmic functions, and linear systems of equations.
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.
Survey in U.S. and World History
The content in these courses include 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.
Teacher Education Diversity
Courses focused on diversity serve to broaden and deepen students’ understanding, experience, and critical thinking skills with regard to cultural differences and cross-cultural interactions.
Cultural Studies and Diversity
Students will learn strategies to become more culturally aware in their personal and professional relationships. They will analyze the role of culture in today’s world, develop culturally-responsive practices, and understand the barriers to and the benefits of 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.
General Science Content
Below are all of the courses that make up this area of study. Each competency is made up of specific competencies, or performance descriptions, that correspond to the specific skills or knowledge areas you must master.
General Chemistry I
General Chemistry II
Principles of Biology
In this course students will focus on molecular and cellular biology, the biology of organisms, ecology, and evolution.
Earth and Space Science
This course is a study of astronomy, geology, meteorology, and oceanography.
The focus in this course is on energy, nuclear physics, and wave motion.
Middle School Science: Content Knowledge
The comprehensive exam will assess the student’s knowledge of the courses listed above.
Science, Technology, and Society
This course will help candidates develop an increased understanding and appreciation for the nature and process of science. Candidates will develop a high-level view of core themes in science and the importance of science and technology to their personal lives. Candidates will analyze the historical development of scientific theories and engage in science by using inquiry to solve open-ended problems and through the analysis of socio-scientific issues.
Science Teaching and Learning
In this course candidates will develop the knowledge and skills necessary to be an effective practicing science educator. Candidates will learn principles and model of teaching for understanding, and gain familiarity with the standards and best practices of science education. Candidates will learn how to select appropriate resources, use multiple teaching strategies, use assessment to guide instruction, and plan for all students. Emphasis will be on strategies used for creating a safe and active community of learners that uses inquiry as the central teaching strategy to confront student misconceptions.
Courses focused on preclinical experiences help students engage in early field experiences with a focus on connecting theory to practice, understanding the professional responsibilities of teachers, and developing strategies that positively impact the learning of a diverse population of students. Students will complete both video-based observations and in-classroom observations.
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
Courses focused on instructional planning and presentation assist students into developing the instructional strategies that lead to effective instruction. A major focus is turning the written lesson plan into effective classroom instruction.
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 Domain
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.