Volker Brözel, Department Head
Department of Biology and Microbiology
Alfred Dairy Science Hall 228
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The curriculum in the Biology Secondary Education specialization is designed to provide students with the background needed for a successful career teaching biology in middle and high schools. Students complete a broad distribution of courses that include all the major areas in Biology as well as coursework in pedagogical and professional development. For secondary education majors that may teach in a rural school or apply to graduate school, speak to an advisor about taking additional chemistry, physics, and math classes.
Student Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of the Biology major with a Secondary Education specialization, students will:
- demonstrate understanding and application of evolution; biological structure and function; biological and biochemical pathways and transformations of energy and matter; and biological systems.
- apply the process of science.
- demonstrate understanding of and application of quantitative reasoning; information flow, exchange, and storage; relationship between science and society.
- tap into the interdisciplinary nature of science.
- communicate and collaborate with other disciplines.
- understand how learners grow and develop, recognize that patterns of learning and development vary individually within and across the cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, and physical areas, and design and implement developmentally appropriate and challenging learning experiences.
- understand and use multiple methods of assessment to engage learners in their own growth, to monitor learner progress, and to guide the teacher’s and learner’s decision making.
- plan instruction that supports every student in meeting rigorous learning goals by drawing upon knowledge of content areas, curriculum, cross-disciplinary skills, and pedagogy, as well as knowledge of learners and the community context.
- understand and use a variety of instructional strategies to encourage learners to develop deep understanding of content areas and their connections, and to build skills to apply knowledge in meaningful ways.
A minimum GPA of 2.0 must be maintained in the major courses.
Accreditation, Certification, and Licensure
National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education Programs (NCATE)
South Dakota Department of Education
Certification and Licensure
With this major and the accompanying teacher education coursework required for teaching licensure, candidates are eligible to take the Praxis content tests, and apply for a teaching license in South Dakota. Students are required to take the PRAXIS II content test, as well as the PRAXIS II Principles of Learning and Teaching test. The minimum score for the Praxis II PLT must be obtained for teaching licensure and varies by state.
Course Delivery Format
Program coursework is on-campus, in classrooms and laboratories, as well as field-based settings. Additional coursework is available at off-campus attendance centers. Limited coursework is available online.