The United States Department of Education, for the last six years, has pointed out a national shortage of science teachers, including biology teachers. Source: "Designated Teacher Shortage Areas," Illinois State Board of Education

Developing Expertise

As a student in GSU biology program, you will encounter the natural world, decipher its codes and understand its complexities. As a student of education, you also learn how to teach valuable skills and understanding to the next generation of scientists, researchers and environmentally aware citizens.

Outstanding Preparation

The curriculum for the undergraduate major in biology with a teacher education concentration provides you with a strong background in the basic concepts of molecular, organismic and population biology.

The sequence of course work is approved by the Illinois State Board of Education and leads to an initial secondary certificate in biology. You can also obtain an endorsement for teaching in middle school.

To be recommended for an Illinois State Board of Education teaching certificate, you must present evidence of having passed the Test of Academic Proficiency (formerly Basic Skills), Subject Matter Knowledge and Assessment of Professional Teaching examinations of the Illinois Certification Testing System.

Program Fact Sheet 

Required Preparation

Teacher Licensure

This sequence of courses is approved by the Illinois State Board of Education and leads to the initial secondary high school license in biology. To be recommended for licensure by Governors State University, students must earn a grade of B or better in EDUC 4999 Student Teaching: Biology.

To be recommended for an Illinois State Board of Education teaching certificate, the student must present evidence of having passed the Test of Academic Proficiency (formerly Basic Skills), Subject Matter Knowledge and Assessment of Professional Teaching examinations of the Illinois Certification Testing System.

Students must meet other requirements for licensure through approved programs listed in the licensure of teachers and other school professionals section in the catalog. This requirement is likely to include additional general education, education and content courses.

Students may obtain an endorsement that prepares them for teaching in the middle school. Students choosing to pursue the middle school endorsement must take 3 hours in early adolescent educational psychology and 3 hours in curriculum methods for middle school. Students should contact the office of secondary education for specific course numbers.

Continuation in the Certificate

In order to continue in the certificate after the first term of enrollment, students must meet the following requirements:

  • complete EDUC 2310 (or equivalent) with a grade of B or better
  • submit evidence of having passed the Test of Academic Proficiency (formerly Basic Skills) of the Illinois Certification Testing System
  • submit scores from the Educational Testing System Proficiency Profile.

Some schools and/or school districts require criminal background checks in advance of any field experience undertaken by teacher preparation candidates in school settings. Candidates may be required to comply with these requirements. Consult with your advisor for information concerning the related GSU policies and procedures.

Admission to Student Teaching

Before enrolling in EDUC 4999: Student Teaching, an application for admission to student teaching must be submitted to the director of field experiences in the College of Education. The application must be submitted by Dec. 1 for the fall term and Jan. 31 for the spring term preceding the academic year in which the student intends to teach (student teaching is not offered in the summer term). This application for student teaching will certify that the student applying has or will have met the following requirements:

  • completed at least 48 hours of general education requirements with a GPA of 2.75 or higher in courses taken at Governors State University
  • completed professional education course requirements, except student teaching, including a minimum of 100 clock-hours of field experience with a GPA of 3.0 or higher, with a grade of C or better in each course and EDUC 6330 and EDUC 6340 with a grade of B or better
  • must have completed methods courses no more than two years prior to the commencement of student teaching
  • have no more than 6 hours remaining to be completed in the major in which the student is enrolled with a GPA of 3.0 or higher and completed all courses with a grade of C or better
  • met all state requirements applicable to the subject matter area(s) in which the student will teach as outlined in "Section IX, Staff Qualifications" of the Illinois State Board of Education publication, "Minimum Requirements for State Certificates"
  • submitted evidence of having passed the biology content area exam of the Illinois Certification Testing System
  • received a positive recommendation from the secondary education student progress committee.

Student Handbook

Please see the Student Handbook in Secondary Education for additional information.

Certificate  Requirements

Students must meet all university requirements for a certificate. In addition, students must complete the general education requirement for teacher licensure initial high school license listed in the teacher education section of the catalog.

In addition, students must:

  • have a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher
  • earn a grade of C or better in all general education courses
  • have a GPA of 2.75 or higher for all general education courses
  • have a GPA of 3.0 or higher in all biology, chemistry and physics courses
  • have a GPA of 3.0 or higher for EDCP 6101, EDUC 4440 and SPED 6101, with a grade of C or better in each course
  • earn a grade of B or better in EDUC 2310, EDUC 6330 and EDUC 6340
  • earn a grade of B or better in EDUC 4999
  • complete a minimum of 100 clock-hours of supervised pre-student teaching experiences
  • provide evidence of successful completion of the Illinois and U.S. Constitution examinations
  • complete at least one 3-hour course in nonwestern or developing nations' cultures
  • show evidence of having passed the Assessment of Professional Teaching
  • meet any additional requirements listed in the teacher licensure section of this catalog
  • receive a positive recommendation from the secondary education student progress committee.

I.   Professional Education (minimum of 24 Hrs at GSU)

The following courses can be taken at either the lower-division or upper-division level:

EDUC 2310 Foundations of Education (3)

SPED 6101 Survey of Students with Exceptionalities (3)

The following courses must be taken at the upper-division level:

EDUC  4440 Educational Psychology in Action (3)

EDUC  4999 Student Teaching (12)

EDUC  6330 Principles of Science Education (3)

EDUC  6340 Teaching Secondary School Science (3)

EDCP 6101  Intro to Educational Technology (3)

II.   Additional Requirements

Students may need to complete additional general education or biology courses if their bachelor's degree requirements do not meet the requirements of the approved Governors State University program for the endorsement in biology education.

III.   Minimum Total - 24 Hours

Degree Requirements

Degree Requirements

Students must meet all university requirements for a bachelor's degreed. In addition, students must complete the general education requirement for teacher licensure, initial secondary certificate listed above. Completion of this requirement meets the general education requirement. In addition, students must: 

  • have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher
  • earn a grade of C or better in all general education courses
  • have a GPA of 2.75 or higher for all general education courses
  • have a GPA of 3.0 or higher in biology and chemistry courses with a grade of C or better in each course
  • have a GPA of 3.0 or higher for EDCP 3101, EDUC 4440 and SPED 4100, with a grade of C or better in each course
  • earn a grade of B or better in EDUC 2310, EDUC 4330 and EDUC 4340;
  • earn a grade of B or better in EDUC 4999
  • complete a minimum of 100 clock-hours of supervised pre-student teaching experiences
  • provide evidence of successful completion of the Illinois and U.S. Constitution examinations
  • complete at least one 3-hour course in non-western or developing nations' cultures;
  • complete the following course work with a grade of B or better: 8 hours of general biology with laboratory, 3 hours of botany with laboratory, 3 hours of zoology with laboratory, 8 hours of general chemistry with laboratory, 8 hours of organic chemistry with laboratory
  • show evidence of having passed the assessment of professional teaching
  • meet any additional requirements listed in the teacher licensure section of the catalog
  • receive a positive recommendation from the secondary education student progress committee. 

I.  General Education Requirements for Teacher Licensure, Initial Secondary Certificate, Biology (48 Hours)

The following courses must be taken at the lower-division level: General Biology with Lab (8)

General Chemistry with Lab (8)

Written Communication (6)

Oral Communication (3)

American History (3)

U.S. Government (3)

Humanities (6)*

Fine Arts (3)*

Introduction to Psychology (3)

Health (2)

MATH  2281   Applied Calculus (3)

* must include at least one three-hour course in non-Western/Third World cultures.

II.  Required Courses (85 Hours)

The following courses can be taken at either the lower or upper-division level:

Botany with Laboratory (3)

Zoology with Laboratory (3)

Organic Chemistry with Laboratory (8)

BIOL     3360     Comparative Anatomy (3)

BIOL     3361     Comparative Anatomy Laboratory (1)

BIOL     4430     Microbiology (3)

BIOL     4431     Microbiology Laboratory (1)

EDUC   2310     Foundations of Education (3)

PHYS   3141     Intermediate Physics I (3)

PHYS   3142     Intermediate Physics I Laboratory (1)

PHYS   3143     Intermediate Physics II (3)

PHYS   3144     Intermediate Physics II Laboratory (1)

SPED   4100     Survey of Exceptional Students (3)

The following courses must be taken at the upper-division level:

BIOL     3322     Ecology (3)

BIOL     3323     Ecology Laboratory (1)

BIOL     3340     Genetics (3)

BIOL     3370     Cell Biology (3)

BIOL     3371     Cell Biology Laboratory (1)

BIOL     4450     Animal Physiology (3)

BIOL     4451     Animal Physiology Laboratory (1)

BIOL     4460     Plant Physiology (3)

BIOL     4461     Plant Physiology Laboratory (1)

BIOL     4491     Undergraduate Research I (1)

BIOL     4492     Undergraduate Research II (1)

EDCP   3101     Introduction to Educational Technology (3)

EDUC   4330     Principles of Science Education (3)

EDUC   4340     Teaching Secondary School Science (3)

EDUC   4440     Educational Psychology in Action (3)

EDUC   4999     Student Teaching: Secondary Biology (12)

PHYS   3211     Earth and Space Science (3)

STAT    4129     Statistical Methods (3) 

III.  Total - 135 Hours

Student Progress   

The faculty monitors and evaluates student progress continually. The section, Licensure of Teachers and Other School Professionals, in this catalog provides a general description of the standards used to evaluate student progress. A more detailed statement of the standards and processes followed by the secondary education faculty is available in the Secondary Education Undergraduate Student Handbook.

Admission to Student Teaching 

Before enrolling in EDUC 4999: Student Teaching, an application for admission to student teaching must be submitted to the director of field experiences in the College of Education. The application must be submitted by Dec. 1 for the fall term and Jan. 31 for the spring term preceding the academic year in which the student intends to teach (student teaching is not offered in the summer term). This application for student teaching will certify that the student applying has or will have met the following requirements:

  • completed at least 48 hours of general education requirements with a GPA of 2.75 or higher in courses taken at Governors State University
  • completed professional education course requirements, except student teaching, including a minimum of 100 clock-hours of field experience with a GPA of 3.0 or higher, with a grade of C or better in each course and EDUC 6330 and EDUC 6340 with a grade of B or better
  • must have completed methods courses no more than two years prior to the commencement of student teaching
  • have no more than 6 hours remaining to be completed in the major in which the student is enrolled with a GPA of 3.0 or higher and completed all courses with a grade of C or better
  • met all state requirements applicable to the subject matter area(s) in which the student will teach as outlined in "Section IX, Staff Qualifications" of the Illinois State Board of Education publication, "Minimum Requirements for State Certificates"
  • submitted evidence of having passed the biology content area exam of the Illinois Certification Testing System
  • received a positive recommendation from the secondary education student progress committee.

 

Graduation Requirements

Students must meet all university requirements for a bachelor's degree. In addition, students must complete the general education requirement for teacher licensure, initial secondary certificate listed below. Completion of this requirement meets the general education requirement. In addition, students must:

  • have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher
  • earn a grade of C or better in all general education courses
  • have a GPA of 2.75 or higher for all general education courses
  • have a GPA of 3.0 or higher in biology and chemistry courses with a grade of C or better in each course
  • have a GPA. of 3.0 or higher for EDCP 3101, EDUC 4440, and SPED 4100, with a grade of C or better in each course
  • earn a grade of B or better in EDUC 2310, EDUC 4330 and EDUC 4340
  • earn a grade of B or better in EDUC 4999
  • complete a minimum of 100 clock-hours of supervised pre-student teaching experiences;
  • provide evidence of successful completion of the Illinois and U.S. Constitution examinations
  • complete at least one 3-hour course in non-western or developing nations' cultures
  • complete the following course work with a grade of B or better: 8 hours of general biology with laboratory, 3 hours of botany with laboratory, 3 hours of zoology with laboratory, 8 hours of general chemistry with laboratory, 8 hours of organic chemistry with laboratory
  • show evidence of having passed the Assessment of Professional Teaching
  • meet any additional requirements listed in the teacher licensure section of GSU's catalog
  • receive a positive recommendation from the secondary education student progress committee

 

 

Advisor Information

Dr. Pam Guimond
Associate Professor
Coordinator of Secondary Science
Education Programs