Douglas Raynie, Department Head
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Avera Health and Science Center 131, Box 2202
Chemistry is often referred to as the central science because of its strong connections to the other natural sciences and mathematics. Chemistry is therefore an area of study that allows students vast opportunity to explore the unknown and to address some of human society’s most pressing scientific problems. The Chemistry Education program will prepare students for careers in high-quality teaching of chemistry at the secondary/high school level. The curriculum consists of a set of core requirements for students to acquire fundamental chemistry content knowledge and skills shared by all high-quality chemistry teachers, requirements for cognate knowledge development and skills acquisition (e.g., mathematics and other sciences), while meeting the state licensure requirements to teach high school. The core requirements provide foundational understanding in all five sub-disciplines of chemistry (analytical, biochemistry, inorganic, organic, and physical), representing breadth of content knowledge. The curriculum also allows for exploration into the depth of chemistry content by including elective coursework in chemistry, environmental chemistry, and a capstone research course.
Student Learning Outcomes
Upon completing a major in Chemistry Education, graduates will:
- understand the basic concepts fundamental to chemistry.
- be properly prepared for laboratory investigations.
- develop in-depth knowledge of at least four of the five subdisciplines of chemistry (analytical, biochemistry, inorganic, organic, and physical).
- demonstrate knowledge of modern chemistry topics, which could include catalysis, environmental chemistry, green/sustainable chemistry, materials science, and toxicology.
- design and execute experiments, analyze data, and use the chemical literature.
- synthesize the curricular knowledge and skills in a capstone (research) experience.
- understand the scientific process and develop problem-solving skills.
- retrieve information effectively.
- develop chemical safety skills.
- rely on collaboration, effective teamwork, safety, and ethical practices.
- learn professional ethics.
- have proficiency in essential green chemistry competencies.
- assess, comprehend, and communicate science.
- demonstrate teaching effectiveness.
- illustrate learner development.
- recognize learning differences and learning environments.
- formulate content knowledge.
- implement uses of 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.
- create plans of 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.
- 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.
- engage in ongoing professional learning and use evidence to continually evaluate his/her practice, particularly the effects of his/her choices and actions on others (learners, families, other professionals, and the community), and adapt practice to meet the needs of each learner.
- seek appropriate leadership roles and opportunities to take responsibility for student learning, to collaborate with learners, families, colleagues, other school professionals, and community members to ensure learner growth, and to advance the profession.
- A grade of “C” or better is required in SPCM 101 , ENGL 101 , PSYC 101 , and MATH 102 or higher (if these courses are in your plan of study), and all courses for the major (classes with department/program prefix).
- An overall GPA of 2.5 is required to enroll in any education courses.
Accreditation, Certification, and Licensure
National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education Programs
South Dakota Department of Education
Certification and Licensure
- Completion of an approved bachelor’s Secondary preparation program.
- Completion of an approved Indian Studies course.
- Pass the state designated content knowledge test or 2.7 GPA in content major coursework.
- Pass the state designated pedagogy test.
- Completion of a Suicide Awareness and Prevention training, available free online through the South Dakota Department of Education.
- Apply online with the South Dakota Department of Education.
- Written recommendation from institution of higher education (SDSU) verifying program completion.
Course Delivery Format
Courses offered in the Chemistry Education curriculum are taught in a variety of formats which address student learning outcomes. Didactic (lecture) methods ensure the development of foundational knowledge of chemistry. Practical (laboratory) methods ensure the development of laboratory skills and training. A combination of didactic and practical methods ensures the successful completion of the undergraduate research project.