Teacher Preparation > Supporting Practicing Teachers > Browse Professional Development Programs > TERC: Science in Education - Online Master's Degree

A part of the SERC Teacher Professional Development Program Collection

Page prepared for SERC by Heather Rissler

Science in Education

Program URL: http://scienceonline.terc.edu/
Program Type:
Online Masters Program


Dr. Sue Doubler

Science in Education Co-Director
TERC and Lesley University

Program Summary


Science Online: Science in Education Master's Degree Program is a program offered by Lesley University in collaboration with TERC.

What was the impetus for the program?

The Online Masters Program was created to provide a program that is accessible to every elementary and middle school teachers across the country. The program was designed to provide an avenue for teachers who want to further their science knowledge and develop inquiry-based teaching and assessment strategies.

How is the program structured?

The Science in Education Online Master's Degree program consists of 33-hour credit hours and six courses (modules). Each course includes both science content and a pedagogical focus. The courses range in topics covering physics, biology, earth science, engineering, and ecology:

The program incorporates examples/cases from the classroom. One goal of the program is for teachers to implement the practices they are learning with their students.

Who is involved?

The program was developed through a collaboration between TERC (a research and development organization devoted to science and mathematics education) and Lesley University. Each course is taught by faculty, including a scientist and an educator to ensure that both science and pedagogical content are addressed. Geoscientists participate in the Earth Science From a New Perspective course.

Nearly 250 teachers across the country are currently participants in the Online Masters Program and have the opportunity to learn in an environment that encourages interactions with their peers in different states.

How is the program evaluated?

Student feedback is used to evaluate program effectiveness. The Online Master Program is offered at Lesley University and Walden University and maintains a 95% retention rate, which also provides evidence of the programs effectiveness.

How is the program maintained and funded?

The first course in the program, Try Science, was funded by the US Department of Education's Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education Program (FIPSE). The full master's program was funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Teacher Enhancement Program.

Hints for starting a program like this:

Sue Doubler (personal communication)

References and Notes:

TERC maintains a list of references and resources related to the Online Masters Program.