May 28, 2024  
2024-2025 Catalog 
2024-2025 Catalog

Natural Sciences Education Minor with Teaching Credential

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The Natural Sciences Education Minor with Teaching Credential (NSEC) is a program designed for students interested in graduating concurrently with a Bachelor’s degree from UC Merced and a single subject teaching credential from UC Berkeley. The NSEC minor was developed as part of the California Teach (CalTeach) Program. Under the California governor’s initiative CalTeach has been instituted as a UC-wide effort to address the severe shortage of science and mathematics teachers in California’s secondary schools. The program offers courses, academic and career counseling that allows students majoring in science and engineering to explore and prepare for careers in teaching sciences and mathematics in secondary schools.

Minimum Requirements

To be awarded a minor in Natural Sciences Education with Teaching Credential, students must successfully complete at least 36 units.

Stage One

Complete all NSEC Minor coursework at UC Merced and one semester of coursework at UC Berkeley.

UC Merced Coursework [25 units]

  1. Two lower division NSED Seminar Courses [2 units]
    1. Complete one of the following courses.
    2. Complete one of the following courses.
  2. Two lower division NSED Fieldwork Courses – total 60 hours fieldwork [2 units]
    1. Complete one of the following courses. *This course will be taken concurrently with the Seminar course.
    2. Complete on of the following courses. *This course will be taken concurrently with the Seminar course.
  3.   or   [4 units]
  4.   to be taken concurrently with   [5 units]
  5.   to be taken concurrently with   [5 units] 
  6. NSED 130: Technology in Education  [3 units]
  7. NSED 150: Research Methods in Education  [4 units]

UC Berkeley Coursework

  1. EDUC 130: Knowing and Learning in Mathematics and Science [3 units]
  2. HIST 138T, 180T or 187T: History of Science in the U.S and the Cal Teach Perspectives [4 units]
  3. UGIS 188: Research Methods for Science and Mathematics K-12 Teachers [3 units] OR UGIS 189: Integrating Research Methods into K-12 Teaching Summer Research Institute

Total of 10 units or 7 units & Summer Research Institute

NOTE: Since NSEC coursework amounts to less than full-time semester status, students should make arrangement to also complete courses that will fulfill requirements for their major during the semester at UC Berkeley.

NOTE: Completion of the US Constitution requirement for the California Teaching credential may be fulfilled through either coursework or the US Constitution test. Contact your CalTeach Student Services Advisor for more details.

Stage Two

Prepare and submit an application to the CalTeach Teaching Credential option that consists of the following:

  1. Completed application form.
  2. Prepare a portfolio that highlights work you have done in your CalTeach courses.

Stage Three

Once a student is admitted into the Teaching Credential Option, she/he will enroll and complete two courses to receive a single subject teaching credential:

  1. EDSTEM 303: Supervised Apprentice Teaching [3 units]

Student should enroll in UGIS 303 at UC Berkeley via Simultaneous Enrollment. Supervised Apprentice Teaching meets one afternoon each week for three hours. Taught as a seminar, the course provides a supportive and collaborative environment where apprentice teachers share their experiences and successes and work through classroom challenges. One of the central components of Apprentice Teaching is the teacher inquiry project, a systematic, data-based investigation that teachers use to improve their professional practice. Instructors and peers provide guidance and feedback as apprentice teachers plan, implement, and evaluate these projects. The finished project portfolio serves as the final evaluation for the course. The course emphasizes curriculum and assessment planning, and instructional strategies to actively engage students.
The course also provides a safe space in which students can “think out loud” about ideas or issues that have come up as a result of their fieldwork. The goals is to cultivate a community of practitioners that engage in supporting all members by taking on roles of active listener, creative problem solver, and critical friend.

  1. NSED 184 : Supervised Apprentice Teaching Fieldwork [2-6 units]

Students will enroll in the NSED 184 course at UC Merced. The CalTeach program will assist students with the process of placements with local area teachers but students themselves will be primarily responsible for finding an apprentice teaching placement. To complete apprentice teaching, students must have time in their schedule to complete apprentice teaching in the classroom and the Supervised Apprentice Teaching course during their last semester at UC Merced. The student teaching placement will require approximately 2 hours per day in the classroom, plus travel and prep time; the exact timing will depend upon the schedule of the school where they are doing their apprentice teaching placement.

Natural Sciences Education Minor with Teaching Credential Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the NSEC minor students will be fully prepared to enter K-12 classrooms as teachers by earning a Preliminary Single Subject teaching credential in Science or Mathematics. The students will be able to articulate what constitutes a profession of a science or mathematics teacher and will be able to demonstrate that they acquired the skills necessary to carry out responsibilities and duties of this profession. This is done through completion of the required California Commission on Teacher Credentialing EdTPA process. In addition, the students will be able to demonstrate their familiarity with the California educational system, its requirements, special aspects and structure as well as the intricacies of teaching in the diverse Californian classrooms.

Guidelines Applying to all Natural Sciences Minors

To declare a minor, students must have an overall grade-point average of 2.0 (C) or better. Students should consult an advisor in the School of Natural Sciences to officially declare the minor and plan their courses. The following guidelines must be adhered to:

  • At least five courses, four of which must be upper division, must be taken for a letter grade.
  • At least three of the required courses must be taken at UC Merced.
  • Only one course may be used to satisfy two minor programs’ requirements.
  • Only one course may be used to satisfy both a minor and a major requirement.
  • Work for the minor must be completed within the 150 unit maximum limit for graduation. If the student’s major and minor are in different schools, the higher unit maximum will apply.
  • Students must consult the course descriptions for prerequisites to required courses.
  • The minor will appear on the student’s transcript.

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