Teach sooner: Rowan's new path to a Master of Science in Teaching for Physics and Chemistry majors

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New plan leads to B.A. in physics or chemistry and M.S. in Teaching in 4.5 years.

New Jersey faces a dire shortage of chemistry and physics teachers but a new Rowan University plan will soon help address the issue.

Beginning next fall, Rowan undergraduate physics and chemistry students may pursue their Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree and earn a Master of Science in Teaching (M.S.T.)in just 4.5 years.

The plan was designed to save students time and money and prepare them for an in-demand position teaching high school physics or chemistry.

"This new path will make scheduling easier, enabling students to focus completely on the B.A. in physics or chemistry for the first three years and then pursue their M.S.T. upon completion of their science coursework," said Dr. Karen Magee-Sauer, chair of the Department of Physics & Astronomy within the College of Science and Mathematics.

Upon completion of their M.S.T. students will become certified to teach by the State of New Jersey.

Rowan offers both a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) and a B.A. in Chemistry and Physics. Whether students opt to pursue a B.S. or B.A. depends on their career plans. For students aspiring to teach high school chemistry or physics, the B.A. is desirable because it enables them to round out their undergraduate curriculum with more electives to better prepare them for the challenges of a diverse classroom.

Rowan continues to bolster its programs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) because the need is great and is projected to remain high. According to the National Science Foundation, the job market for science and engineering professionals has grown on average 6.2 percent per year between 1950 and 2007, almost four times as much as all other U.S. employment areas during the same period.

In December, Rowan became one of just five N.J. institutions to be included in the prestigious Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship Program. Sponsored by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation in Princeton, the program will provide masters level students a $30,000 stipend for their education if they commit to teaching in a high-need district for at least three years. The first fellows will be selected in spring 2014.

For more information about the path to a B.A./M.S.T., please contact the departments of Physics & Astronomy or Chemistry & Biochemistry in the College of Science and Mathematics or the Department of Teacher Education within the College of Education.

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