Member Institution Andrews University
Chair/Professor, Department of Physics
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The Andrews University Department of Physics offers three programs suitable for teacher preparation:
- BS Physics
- BS Physics Education
- Physics Minor
These programs are approved for secondary teaching certification by the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) based on National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) accreditation. The departments of Biology, Chemistry, and Physics in the College of Arts and Sciences and Teaching and Learning in the School of Education collaborated to apply for joint accreditation and currently meet 2013 Next Generation Science Standards.
To supplement this direct certification program and attract more teachers-in-training, we are rolling out a full Learning Assistant Program beginning in Fall 2013 after two successful pilots in our Summer Physics programs of 2012 and 2013. The first cohort of schoolyear LAs involves 8 participants in support of small Group Learning (SGL) sections in
- algebra-based PHYS141/2 General Physics
- calculus-based PHYS241/2 Physics for Scientists and Engineerings
- AP Physics
Student assistants in AP Physics courses are considered defacto LAs and meet the same requirements. Our department manages and teaches AP Physics for up to 32 high school juniors in the Berrien County Math-Science Center (BCMSC) of the Berrien Regional Education Service Agency (RESA).
To be eligible for the LA Program, all LAs must be concurrently taking the physics pedagogy seminar or have previously completed 3 semesters of this seminar. They register in, prepare for, and attend the pedagogy course PHYS280 Topics in Physics Learning and Pedagogy Seminar. They also prepare for the SGL of the week by attendng a weekly content-orientation meeting with the lead teacher of the course to which they are assigned. Tuition is provided via departmental endowed scholarships in the summer, and CAS waivers in the fall and spring. For the 1-hr SGL sections themselves and the content-orientation sessions, LAs are paid on an hourly basis. On their own time, LAs prepare for the seminar and the SGLs, collaborating with one another informally to develop materials and techniques that will hone their teaching effectiveness.