Natural Sciences Education Minor

About the Minor

The Natural Sciences Education (NSED) minor is designed to prepare UC Merced students for admission to the teacher credential program or pursue graduate studies in education. Students who complete the coursework and the fieldwork associated with this program can be eligible for admission to the teacher credential programs at many local institutions. Additional support and resources for students interested in teaching careers are available through the Science and Mathematics Initiative (SMI) program with the School of Natural Sciences.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the NSED minor program, students are expected to:

  1. Be able to comprehensively articulate what constitutes a profession of a science or mathematics teacher and to demonstrate familiarity with the structure of the California K‐ 12 educational system, including being able to address the following:

    a. Identify what constitutes the responsibilities and duties of a teacher.

    b. Identify what skills and knowledge are necessary to become a successful professional.

    c. Credentialing process in the State of California.

    d. Location of the instructional state standards and requirements for K‐12 education.

    e. Introduction to strategies to address diverse demographics of California schools such as instruction to English Learners.

  2. Demonstrate basic teaching skills and familiarity with effective teaching methodologies and learning strategies in science and mathematics, including being able to:

    a. Develop a lesson plan and deliver an effective lesson at the primary or secondary school level.

    b. Have the basic understanding the existence of different types of assessments to evaluate students learning in the K‐12 environment.

    c. Have a foundational ability to distinguish between students with different learning abilities and needs and adapt their teaching methodology to address this diversity.

    d. Have a basic understanding of the existence of innovative teaching methodologies and to use learning‐enhancing technology and how they can be incorporate in the classroom.

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Requirements

To receive a minor in NSED, students must complete the following requirements, all of which must be taken for a letter grade (24 units total).

  • Two of the following courses: [2 units]
    • NSED 23: Introduction to Teaching Science in Elementary School [1 unit]
    • NSED 43: Introduction to Teaching Science in Middle School [1 unit]
    • NSED 63: Introduction to Teaching Science in High School [1 unit]
    • NSED 33: Introduction to Teaching Mathematics in Elementary School [1 unit]
    • NSED 53: Introduction to Teaching Mathematics in Middle School [1 unit]
    • NSED 73: Introduction to Teaching Mathematics in High School [1 unit]
  • Two of the following fieldwork courses: [60 hours total fieldwork, 2 units]
    • NSED 24: Fieldwork - Introduction to Teaching Science in Elementary School [1 unit]
    • NSED 44: Fieldwork - Introduction to Teaching Science in Middle School [1 unit]
    • NSED 64: Fieldwork - Introduction to Teaching Science in High School [1 unit]
    • NSED 34: Fieldwork - Introduction to Teaching Mathematics in Elementary School [1 unit]
    • NSED 54: Fieldwork - Introduction to Teaching Mathematics in Middle School [1 unit]
    • NSED 74: Fieldwork - Introduction to Teaching Mathematics in High School [1 unit]
  • HIST 16: Forging of the US [4 units] OR POLI 1: Introduction to Political Science [4 units]
  • COGS 121: Cognitive Psychology* [4 units] OR PSY 130: Developmental Psychology** [4 units] OR PSY 136: Cognitive Development*** [4 units]
  • NSED 100: Introduction to Instruction, Assessment, and Management for Beginning Teachers [4 units]
  • NSED 120: Diversity in Education [4 units]
  • WRI 115: Topics in Science Writing [4 units] OR other upper division writing course [4 units]

*Prerequisite: PSY 1: Introduction to Psychology or COGS 1: Introduction to Cognitive Psychology.

**Prerequisite: PSY 1: Introduction to Psychology.

***Prerequisite: PSY 130: Developmental Psychology.

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