Member Institution University of Texas-Pan American
University of Texas-Pan American
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The Physics and Geology Department at the University of Texas-Pan American (UTPA) offers a 36-hour program leading to a Master of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies (MSIS) in Physics Education. Graduates of the program are equipped with the necessary content knowledge and enabled to develop and enhance their skills in implementing learner-centered teaching approaches (e.g. inquiry-based teaching approach) making them better prepared in providing quality physics education at the high school level.
The Physics and Geology Department at UTPA in collaboration with Chemistry Department and College of Education will start offering a new degree program - the Bachelor of Science in Physical Science with expected outcome of teacher certification. This degree program is specifically designed to enable future teachers gain solid training and education in the areas of Chemistry and Physics. Instead of diluting knowledge, skills and abilities over three areas - Biology, Chemistry and Physics, like a typical curricula at other Universities whereby the hours of study in a particular content area may be as few as 11 hours, the BS in Physical Science program provides students with at least 24 hours of study in each field of Chemistry and Physics. This program is strongly supported by the local independent school district faculty and officials in the Rio Grande Valley.
It is anticipated that through our PTEC membership, we will gain better perspective for a more successful implementation of our teacher education program. Our membership in PTEC will likewise increase our capability to sustain our program by networking with funding institutions as well as with institutions with very similar physics teacher preparation program through PTEC. We believe that the activities of PTEC will greatly help faculty members involved in the implementation of our BSIS degree program gain better background and skills in enabling them become more effective and efficient instructors of future physics teachers. Through our PTEC membership we will get updated with the best practices in enabling highly-qualified physics teachers and be able to maintain linkages with institutions with similar programs which we deem necessary to ensure success of our BS in Physical Science teacher preparation program.