Supported SiteSupported Site University of Arizona: Appendix 1. University of Arizona Science Teacher Preparation Programs

Teacher Preparation Programs

The College of Science Teacher Preparation Program (CoS TPP) provides science majors the opportunity to take courses and engage in school experiences that lead to 1) a Bachelor of Science degree in Science Education, 2) eligibility for secondary science teacher certification, or 3) a minor in Science Education. Prospective mathematics teachers complete a Bachelor of Science or Arts degree in Mathematics, with a mathematics education option.

How is the program different from other teacher preparation programs?

  • The faculty and the program reside in the College of Science.
  • Courses are taught by science or mathematics education faculty or experienced secondary teachers, and are aligned with National Science Education Teaching Standards.
  • There is no admissions process; rather, there is rigorous assessment of “readiness to teach” before a student is allowed to proceed to student teaching.
  • All students are science or mathematics majors rather than a mix of disciplines.
  • Local teachers helped develop the program and continue to advise the program faculty.
  • Students are involved in field experiences in area classrooms in most program courses.
  • The teachers who work with the CoS TPP students share the program’s philosophy of teaching for understanding.

Quality of Our Students

Comparison of ACT/SAT Scores of CoS TPP Students and Other U.S. Test Takers

Student Cohort
Average Composite
ACT Score
Average Composite
SAT Score
CoS TPP Students 31.2 (n = 92 of 261) 1456 (n = 117 of 261)
All U.S. students who took the exam in 2004 20.9 1028
All U.S. students who took the exam in 2004-05, intending to major in education ---- 974

Average GPA of graduates of majors or programs within the College of Science

Major or Program Average GPA
(over past 4 years)
CoS TPP Completers 3.20
Chemistry 3.04
Ecology & Evolutionary Biology 2.95
Geosciences 3.06
Mathematics 3.16
Molecular & Cellular Biology 3.25
Physics 3.15

Student Enrollments

  • 22 Science Education Majors
  • 52 Science Majors
    • 33 Life Science Majors
    • 11 Physical Science (Physics or Chemistry) Majors
    • 8 Earth Science Majors
  • 45 Mathematics Majors/Mathematics Education

Funding Sources

  • AZ State funds—funding for faculty positions and operations
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute—funding for master science teachers in residence (2000-2006)
  • PhysTEC Project (NSF funding)—funding for master physics teachers in residence (2001-2007)
  • Workforce Development Initiative (AZ Sales Tax funding)—funding for master science and mathematics teachers who serve as adjunct instructors (2001-2011)
  • Workforce Development Initiative (AZ Sales Tax funding) & private donations—funding for Center for Recruitment & Retention of Mathematics Teachers  

Teacher Production

  • 64 Science Teachers in past seven years
    • 43 currently teaching (67% retention)
      • 29 in Tucson area
      • 8 in other parts of Arizona
      • 6 in other states (CA, MA, VA, IL, MO)
    • 6 seeking jobs (recent graduates)
    • 10 not teaching by choice (professional school, at-home parent, lab work, retail employment, curriculum development)
    • 5 unknowns (moved away from Tucson; presumed to be teaching)
    • Of 49 teachers currently teaching or seeking jobs:
      • 10 Middle School Teachers (general/integrated science)
      • 14 High School Biology Teachers
      • 5 High School Chemistry Teachers
      • 7 High School Earth Science Teachers
      • 10 High School Physics Teachers
      • 3 High School Mathematics Teachers
  • 38 Mathematics Teachers in past three years
    • 28 currently teaching (74% retention)
      • 21 teaching in Tucson area
      • 3 in other parts of Arizona
      • 4 in other states/countries (CO, NY, OR, China)
    • 6 seeking jobs (recent graduates; 4 in Tucson area and 2 out of state)
    • 4 not teaching by choice (graduate school, health reasons, engineering employment)
    • Of 34 teachers currently teaching or seeking jobs:
      • 6 Middle School Mathematics Teachers
      • 28 High School Mathematics Teachers


Other Significant Program Aspects

NSF-funded Noyce Scholar Program

  • Noyce Scholars are supported during final two years of teacher preparation program and are prepared to teach in high-needs schools.
  • The program has capacity to support 14 new Noyce Scholars each year.
  • Two Noyce Scholars graduated in May 2007 and have both secured mathematics teaching jobs at Rio Rico HS.
  • 16 Noyce Scholars supported in 2007-08 academic year
    • 11 Science/Science Education majors
    • 5 Mathematics majors

Graduate Certificate Program in College Science Teaching and Learning

  • Graduate students in Science or Engineering can complete courses designed to introduce them to science education research techniques; 3 students are enrolled in this new program.
  • Graduate students in Science can conduct education research while earning graduate degrees from a content department; 11 graduate students have completed or are working on such degrees.