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Science Teacher Program
Buffalo State is one of the leading comprehensive teacher preparation and development institutions in New York State, and the pre-eminent institution in Western New York, enrolling more than three thousand teacher candidates and teachers. There are one undergraduate (BSEd), two post-baccelaureate (certification only) and two graduate programs (MSEd with and without Alternative Certification) programs leading to physics teacher certification at Buffalo State. Typically there are approximately a dozen undergraduate and about forty graduate students enrolled in physics teacher programs at Buffalo State.
Buffalo State Physics holds more than a million dollars in externally funded, merit based grants for physics and science teacher preparation. Buffalo State is proud to be a member of the Physics Teacher Education Coalition (PTEC) and all Buffalo State teacher preparation programs are rigorously accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). Buffalo State is the Western NY host site for the New York State Master Teacher Program, which recognizes outstanding STEM teachers with significant professional, financial and intellectual resources and opportunities. Buffalo State physics teachers are exceptionally well-represented in that program.
Buffalo State Physics students receive a lot of individual attention-- all Department of Physics courses for physics and physics education are taught by experienced faculty in small sections, never enrolling more than twenty-four students and often fewer than a dozen students. Together with future secondary biology, chemistry and earth science teachers, physics education majors take secondary science teaching courses from the Department of Earth Science and Science Education. Buffalo State faculty are selected for instructional expertise and promote and model reform pedagogy methods incorporating student discourse, hands-on learning experiences and inquiry activities in their classrooms, offered via physics and science education research-informed curricula and practices. In addition, the Department of Physics offers both graduate and undergraduate courses especially developed by physics education researchers for elementary and middle school teachers. Students planning to become physics teachers receive mentoring from faculty in the Department of Physics, Department of Earth Science and Science Education, and as appropriate from faculty in the School of Education. Students are invited to attend and participate in professional science and physics educators' meetings locally and regionally. Paid opportunities are available for undergraduate and graduate students to participate in physics education research and development, developing physics equipment and laboratory demonstrations, and leading peer study groups.
Buffalo State Physics hosts the Western New York Physics Teachers' Alliance (WNYPTA), another valuable resource for early networking with local area physics teachers. Each summer, Buffalo State hosts the Buffalo State Physics Teachers' Summer Academy, a series of short but intensive courses offered to 60-90 physics and science teachers enrolling statewide, supported by undergraduate physics education majors and outstanding master physics teachers.