Major in Biology - Secondary Education Concentration

The Biology Secondary Education concentration requires 125-137 units. Students in this concentration must complete 95-107 required units in content and Towson UTeach courses and 30 units in Core Curriculum courses not satisfied by the major, earning a grade equivalent of 2.00 or higher in each course.

Students who decide not to complete all secondary education requirements must select and complete a different concentration/track in the major in order to graduate.

Standards for Teacher Education

The Teacher Education Executive Board, representing all initial teacher education programs at Towson University, utilizes the following minimum requirements as conditions for admission into teacher education programs, maintaining candidate status and formal entry into the capstone internship. Programs may include additional requirements for admission into the program and/or the capstone internship.

The College of Education admits students either as freshmen or as undergraduate transfer students from accredited, post-secondary institutions. During the freshman and sophomore years, students are generally engaged in pre-professional courses or courses that fulfill Core Curriculum requirements, as well as all identified prerequisites (e.g., specific and sequential courses in Core Curriculum) for admission to COE screened majors and programs.

All College of Education undergraduate programs are screened majors. As an integral part of the teaching/learning experience, students work with advisers in a strategic planning process across all years at TU. Accordingly, to support student success, all COE students are required to confer prior to registration each term with their assigned advisers.

I. PROCEDURES AND REQUIREMENTS FOR ADMISSION TO ALL TEACHER EDUCATION PROGRAMS

  1. Complete a self-disclosure criminal background form to be submitted to the major department with the application. 
  2. Submit an application for formal admission to the program. Students seeking admission to teacher education programs must contact their department chairperson or program coordinator by 45 credit hours for program-specific procedures and requirements for admission to professional education programs.
  3. A cumulative/overall GPA of 3.00 or higher is required for admission to an initial licensure teacher education program.

    1. Applicants with a GPA between 2.50 - 2.99 may be admitted conditionally if they provide evidence of passing scores on a Basic Skills Assessment* as identified by the Maryland State Department of Education (i.e. SAT, ACT, GRE, Praxis Core) and receive approval from the department chairperson/program coordinator.

      *Candidates may apply for a test waiver directly to the department. Such waivers should only be granted if it is predicted, based on the individual candidate’s transcript data, that the candidate’s final cumulative/overall GPA will be above a 3.00.

II. REQUIREMENTS FOR MAINTAINING CANDIDATE STATUS

  1. Maintain a semester GPA of 3.00 in required education courses for all programs.  
    1. At the department’s discretion, candidates who do not meet the above GPA requirement may continue for one additional semester under probationary status, but must meet the 3.00 GPA requirement at the end of the probationary period. If the GPA requirement is not met at the end of the probationary period, the candidate would be dismissed from the program.
  2. Obtain a grade of C or better in academic major coursework applicable only in programs requiring an academic major. (Middle School; Secondary; Art, Dance, Health, Music, World Languages, Physical Education).
  3. Exhibit behavior that is consistent with the University’s Code of Student Conduct, the Educator Preparation Program’s Professional Behavior Policy, and established professional practice in educational and clinical settings. (see COE Behavior Policy)

III. PROCEDURES AND REQUIREMENTS FOR ENTRY INTO CAPSTONE INTERNSHIP FOR ALL PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS.

  1. Complete a criminal background check as required by the school system in which the internship is located.
  2. Complete all required coursework.

The Standards were revised and approved in February 1996, May 1998, February 2000, May 2007, May 2008, April 2009, December 2011, November 2012, February 2014, October 2014, February 2015, November 2015, May 2019, February 2020, and March 2021.

 

All Biology majors must complete minimum 19 units toward the major in residence at Towson University, with at least 10 of these units at the upper (300-400) level. Courses taken to fulfill Ancillary Course requirements do not count toward units in residence.

Minimum requirements for admission into teacher education programs, maintaining candidate status and formal entry into the capstone internship are outlined on the Standards for Teacher Education page in the Undergraduate Catalog. 

Foundation Courses
BIOL 200
200L
BIOLOGY I: INTRODUCTION TO CELLULAR BIOLOGY AND GENETICS [LECTURE]
and INTRODUCTION TO CELLULAR BIOLOGY AND GENETICS [LAB]
4
BIOL 202INTRODUCTION TO ECOLOGY AND EVOLUTION4
BIOL 204EDUCATIONAL AND CAREER PLANNING FOR THE BIOLOGIST1
BIOL 309GENETICS4
Breadth Courses
BIOL 205GENERAL BOTANY4
BIOL 207GENERAL ZOOLOGY4
BIOL 408CELL BIOLOGY4
or BIOL 409 MOLECULAR BIOLOGY
Select one of the following:4-8
HUMAN ANATOMY & PHYSIOLOGY I [LECTURE]
and HUMAN ANATOMY & PHYSIOLOGY I [LAB]
and HUMAN ANATOMY & PHYSIOLOGY II [LECTURE]
and HUMAN ANATOMY & PHYSIOLOGY II [LAB]
ANIMAL PHYSIOLOGY
Elective Courses
Biology elective course(s) selected from another concentration and approved by the student's advisor.3-4
Ancillary Courses
Chemistry 13-18
GENERAL CHEMISTRY I LECTURE
and GENERAL CHEMISTRY I LABORATORY
GENERAL CHEMISTRY II LECTURE
and GENERAL CHEMISTRY II LABORATORY
ESSENTIALS OF ORGANIC CHEMISTRY
ORGANIC CHEMISTRY I
and ORGANIC CHEMISTRY II
Physics4
GENERAL PHYSICS I; NON CALCULUS-BASED
GENERAL PHYSICS I CALCULUS-BASED
Mathematics
Select one of the following:3-4
CALCULUS FOR APPLICATIONS
BASIC STATISTICS
ELEMENTARY BIOSTATISTICS
CALCULUS I
Physical Science Electives
Select one of the following:3-4
THE SKY AND THE SOLAR SYSTEM
PHYSICAL GEOLOGY
HISTORICAL GEOLOGY
METEOROLOGY
Science Education
SCIE 380TEACHING SCIENCE IN THE SECONDARY SCHOOLS3
Total Units58-70

Towson UTeach Courses (37 units) 

Introductory Towson UTeach Courses
Students must complete either
SEMS 110
SEMS 120
INTRODUCTION TO STEM TEACHING I: INQUIRY APPROACHES TO TEACHING
and INTRODUCTION TO STEM TEACHING II: INQUIRY-BASED LESSON DESIGN
2
or SEMS 130 INTRODUCTION TO STEM TEACHING I & II COMBINED
*Permission of Towson UTeach Department required to take SEMS 130.
Towson UTeach Courses
SEMS 230KNOWING AND LEARNING3
SEMS 240CLASSROOMS INTERACTIONS3
SEMS 250PERSPECTIVES IN SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS3
SEMS 370PROJECT-BASED INSTRUCTION3
SEMS 498INTERNSHIP IN MATHEMATICS AND SCIENCE SECONDARY EDUCATION3
SCED 460USING LITERACY IN THE SECONDARY SCHOOLS4
SCED 461TEACHING READING IN THE SECONDARY CONTENT AREAS3
Towson UTeach Courses - Science
SCIE 393INTERNSHIP IN SECONDARY EDUCATION- SCIENCE12
SEMS 430SEMINAR IN APPRENTICE TEACHING1
Total Units37

Suggested Four-Year Plan

Based on course availability and student needs and preferences, the selected sequences will probably vary from those presented below. Students should consult with their adviser to make the most appropriate elective choices.

Freshman
Term 1UnitsTerm 2Units
BIOL 200
200L (Core 7)
4BIOL 202 (Core 8)4
CHEM 131
131L
4CHEM 132
132L
4
MATH 211, 231, 237, or 273 (Core 3) (if prerequisites met)3SEMS 1201
SEMS 11011Core 2 (or Core 1)3
Core 1 (or Core 2)3Core 43
Core 103Core 63
 18 18
Sophomore
Term 1UnitsTerm 2Units
BIOL 20421BIOL 2054
BIOL 2074CHEM 332 (or elective)5
BIOL 3094PHYS 211 or 2414
CHEM 330 or 3315SEMS 2403
SEMS 2303 
 17 16
Junior
Term 1UnitsTerm 2Units
BIOL 408 or 4094BIOL 222
222L (or elective)
4
SCED 4604SCED 4613
SEMS 250 (Core 5)3SEMS 3703
Select one of the following:4Select one of the following:3-4
Core 143
 
 Core 113
 18 16-17
Senior
Term 1UnitsTerm 2Units
BIOL Elective3-4SCIE 39312
SCIE 3803SEMS 4301
SEMS 4983 
Core 93 
Core 123 
Core 133 
 18-19 13
Total Units 134-136
1

Selection of this Concentration means that all of the requirements must be met; otherwise another Biology concentration must be completed.

2

A key assignment in BIOL 204 is the completion of an individual Plan of Study. Also, it is offered in Minimester and Summer too. 

NSTA Standard 1: Content Knowledge

Effective teachers of science understand and articulate the knowledge and practices of contemporary science. They interrelate and interpret important concepts, ideas, and applications in their fields of licensure.
Below are the elements of the standard.
Pre-service teachers will:
1a) Understand the major concepts, principles, theories, laws, and interrelationships of their fields of licensure and supporting fields as recommended by the National Science Teachers Association.
1b) Understand the central concepts of the supporting disciplines and the supporting role of science-specific technology.
1c) Show an understanding of state and national curriculum standards and their impact on the content knowledge necessary for teaching P-12 students.
Assessment: Praxis II scores

NSTA Standard 2: Content Pedagogy

Effective teachers of science understand how students learn and develop scientific knowledge. Pre-service teachers use scientific inquiry to develop this knowledge for all students. Below are the elements of the standard.
Pre-service teachers will:
2a) Plan multiple lessons using a variety of inquiry approaches that demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of how all students learn science.
2b) Include active inquiry lessons where students collect and interpret data in order to develop and communicate concepts and understand scientific processes, relationships and natural patterns from empirical experiences. Applications of science-specific technology are included in the lessons when appropriate.
2c) Design instruction and assessment strategies that confront and address nave concepts/preconceptions.
Assessment: This Standard is usually met using Assessment 3 - Unit Plan. GPA required in content coursework.

NSTA Standard 3: Learning Environments

Effective teachers of science are able to plan for engaging all students in science learning by setting appropriate goals that are consistent with knowledge of how students learn science and are aligned with state and national standards. The plans reflect the nature and social context of science, inquiry, and appropriate safety considerations. Candidates design and select learning activities, instructional settings, and resources--including science-specific technology, to achieve those goals; and they plan fair and equitable assessment strategies to evaluate if the learning goals are met.
Below are the elements of the standard.
Pre-service teachers will:
3a) Use a variety of strategies that demonstrate the candidates knowledge and understanding of how to select the appropriate teaching and learning activities  including laboratory or field settings and applicable instruments and/or technology- to allow access so that all students learn. These strategies are inclusive and motivating for all students.
3b) Develop lesson plans that include active inquiry lessons where students collect and interpret data using applicable science-specific technology in order to develop concepts, understand scientific processes, relationships and natural patterns from empirical experiences. These plans provide for equitable achievement of science literacy for all students.
3c) Plan fair and equitable assessment strategies to analyze student learning and to evaluate if the learning goals are met. Assessment strategies are designed to continuously evaluate preconceptions and ideas that students hold and the understandings that students have formulated.
3d) Plan a learning environment and learning experiences for all students that demonstrate chemical safety, safety procedures, and the ethical treatment of living organisms within their licensure area.
Assessment: Curriculum Development Project (CDP) score

NSTA Standard 4: Safety

Effective teachers of science can, in a P-12 classroom setting, demonstrate and maintain chemical safety, safety procedures, and the ethical treatment of living organisms needed in the P-12 science classroom appropriate to their area of licensure.
Below are the elements of the standard.
Pre-service teachers will:
4a) Design activities in a P-12 classroom that demonstrate the safe and proper techniques for the preparation, storage, dispensing, supervision, and disposal of all materials used within their subject area science instruction.
4b) Design and demonstrate activities in a P-12 classroom that demonstrate an ability to implement emergency procedures and the maintenance of safety equipment, policies and procedures that comply with established state and/or national guidelines. Candidates ensure safe science activities appropriate for the abilities of all students.
4c) Design and demonstrate activities in a P-12 classroom that demonstrate ethical decision-making with respect to the treatment of all living organisms in and out of the classroom. They emphasize safe, humane, and ethical treatment of animals and comply with the legal restrictions on the collection, keeping, and use of living organisms.
Assessment: Internship Evaluations

NSTA Standard 5: Impact on Student Learning

Effective teachers of science provide evidence to show that P-12 students understanding of major science concepts, principles, theories, and laws have changed as a result of instruction by the candidate and that student knowledge is at a level of understanding beyond memorization. Candidates provide evidence for the diversity of students they teach.
Below are the elements of the standard.
Pre-service teachers will:
5a) Collect, organize, analyze, and reflect on diagnostic, formative and summative evidence of a change in mental functioning demonstrating that scientific knowledge is gained and/or corrected.
5b) Provide data to show that P-12 students are able to distinguish science from non-science, understand the evolution and practice of science as a human endeavor, and critically analyze assertions made in the name of science.
5c) Engage students in developmentally appropriate inquiries that require them to develop concepts and relationships from their observations, data, and inferences in a scientific manner.
Assessment: Portfolio scores

Standard 6: Professional Knowledge and Skills

Effective teachers of science strive continuously to improve their knowledge and understanding of the ever changing knowledge base of both content, and science pedagogy, including approaches for addressing inequities and inclusion for all students in science. They identify with and conduct themselves as part of the science education community.
Below are the elements of the standard.
Pre-service teachers will:
6a) Engage in professional development opportunities in their content field such as talks, symposiums, research opportunities, or projects within their community.
6b) Engage in professional development opportunities such as conferences, research opportunities, or projects within their community. 
Assessment: Flinn Science Safety Course completion