Master of Science in Post-Secondary Biology Education (PBE)
A growing national trend is for greater usage of the community college education system both as a primary college experience as well as a transitional experience for students ultimately planning on entering the university system. With the growth of community colleges and their mission of increasing higher education of the U.S. population, these institutions are seeking quality educators in ever higher numbers. Community colleges typically teach a subset of the biological sciences curriculum, especially targeting introductory courses and those courses needed by nursing and other pre-professional programs. In order to ensure quality, community colleges have typically accepted new faculty with a graduate level education in the biological sciences, typically a master’s, to ensure that instructors have a high knowledge level of the content taught. However, these individuals seldom have received training in pedagogy and must often learn “on the job.” From the perspective of these instructors, this often means that they are not competitive for permanent positions in the community college system until they have taught in the system for several years, usually as a part-time instructor. This program seeks to combine a graduate-level science curriculum with pedagogical training so graduates will be well prepared to compete for full-time community college instructional positions immediately upon graduation. The program is also designed for those focused on gathering additional post-secondary educational expertise, including secondary teachers and students interested in eventually attaining a Ph.D for university teaching, but who would like to gain direct post-secondary instructional training to build their credentials.