July 14, 2010
Framingham State University is set to welcome its first cohort for the new Master of Education program with a concentration in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) this fall. The timing of this concentration falls in line with the decision of the National Governor's Association to make Massachusetts a model for STEM programs nationwide.
"We are thrilled to launch this program, which is the result of a two-year collaboration between FSU content faculty and expert practitioners," Program Coordinator Dr. Patricia Ruane said. "It is uniquely designed to meet the needs and interests of elementary teachers who are tentative about their STEM content background. Instructors will model 21st Century inquiry learning environments appropriate for all children and all curriculum areas, with special emphasis on STEM subjects. We are especially encouraging teachers to enroll with someone else from their school or school district, so they can support each other and experience and develop team learning at its best."
Ruane says the need for a master's program in STEM education has been apparent to her throughout her career, which ranges from elementary teaching to running school districts as superintendent of schools. She came to realize that even great elementary school teachers from great school districts struggle with teaching STEM topics.
"It's not their fault, but a function of their limited training," she says.
The Master of Education in STEM is a 10-course program that will run for three years on a part-time basis. It is geared for teachers of Grades 1 to 6 who hold an initial teaching license and are seeking professional licensure or who are interested in strengthening their STEM skill set. The program is set up as a hybrid structure that combines face-to-face with online work in a positive and supportive learning environment. Courses range from '21st Century Technology Tools for Teaching and Learning' to 'A World Connected: Interdependence and Systems of Science.'
"We believe that teachers who take this route will distinguish themselves from the rest of their peers who have literature and literacy expertise," Ruane said. "They will be well positioned for a future where this skill set will be highly valued."
Visit the Division of Graduate and Continuing Education's webpage at www.framingham.edu/dgce for more information on the STEM Master's program.
About Framingham State University
As Massachusetts' premier state college, Framingham State University offers prepared and motivated students a wide range of challenging undergraduate and graduate programs. Located just 20 miles from Boston, the college offers many options for students to engage in real-world learning both on its quintessential New England campus and in Boston and its thriving MetroWest region.