Member InstitutionMember Institution University of South Dakota

University of South Dakota

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Dr. Cathy Ezrailson

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USD is a small public liberal arts university with a total student enrollment of approximately 10,000. USD produces approximately 10-12 secondary science teachers and the same number of middle school/junior high school science teachers per year who are certified in earth science, biology,  physical science, chemistry and/or mathematics if they pass the appropriate Praxis content exam. A majority of these teachers will teach at least one physics course. Many are biology majors who have a course or two  in physics  or a physics minor along with science methods and that is the extent of their physics preparation. We concentrate on physics content in our science methods course with some small tie-in into chemistry and biology. Most of our future physics teachers are also math majors/physics minors.

Some physics teachers take advantage of the Master's of Natural Science program designed for in service teachers who are teaching or will teach physics and chemistry. This program received Title II funds for a summer program in 2009: "Science and Mathematics Instruction for South Dakota in the 21st Century" Enrollement for the two weeks of short courses was approximately 20 teachers/week. A new physical science major is under development and a large re-organization of the undergraduate programs in the School of Education in collaboration with the College of Arts and Sciences at the U is underway.