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Integrated Science Program, Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley State University integrated science program curriculum. Diagram constructed by Carol Ormand from information provided by Ginny Peterson. Click on the image to see a larger version.
Information for this profile was provided by Ginny Peterson in 2007. Information is also available on the program website.

Jump down to Overview and Context * Connecting to the Future of Science * Goals and Assessment * Courses and Sequencing * Additional Materials

Overview and Context

The integrated science major is designed for students seeking certification to teach at the elementary school level. It provides the pre-service teacher broad exposure in all the sciences and emphasizes the connections among the scientific disciplines, their relationship with technology, and their relevance to society.

The Integrated Science program is an interdisciplinary program that is not housed within any department. The Integrated Science faculty belong to their respective disciplinary departments and collectively run the Integrated Science program. Three Integrated Science courses are offered by the geology department specifically for students in that program. Two full-time tenure-track faculty from Geology are dedicated to teaching those classes.

Connecting to the Future of Science

This interdisciplinary program has science courses aimed at providing future elementary teachers with strong science content background, linked to state standards and modeling an inquiry approach. The courses have a significant lab component and a relatively small number of students per class. It connects to the future by developing a strong cohort of elementary science teachers.

Goals and Assessment


  • Future elementary science teachers will gain broad exposure in all the sciences with emphasis on the connections between the scientific disciplines, their relationship with technology, and their relevance to society. In addition, these students will gain experience with different teaching and learning styles, some of which are modeled in various courses.
  • Our students will learn essential science content through the perspectives and methods of inquiry; integrate knowledge of science, learning, pedagogy, and apply that knowledge to science teaching.
  • On completion of this cohesive and integrated program, pre-service teachers will understand the importance of lifelong learning.


Assessment plans at GVSU are in the process of revision. Some current assessment tools are:

  • Tracking students during and after the program
  • Web-linked student portfolios
  • Course syllabi

Courses and Sequencing

Entry into the program

There is no specific entry level course.

Core courses

  • SCI 319: Science in Elementary Education
  • SCI 336: Ecology for K-8 Teachers
  • GEO 201: Geosphere for Teachers
  • GEO 202: Hydrosphere for Teachers
  • GEO 203: Weather for K-8 Teachers
  • CHM 201: Introduction to Chemical Sciences or CHM 109: Introductory Chemistry
  • BIO 120: General Biology I
  • BIO 121: General Biology II
  • BIO 205: Genetics for K-8 Teachers
  • PHY 200: Physics for Life Sciences
  • PHY 201: Inquiry: The Mechanical and Thermal World
  • PHY 205: Astronomy for Teachers




Science in the 21st Century

Other required courses

No required cognates, but students seeking elementary certification have an additional set of required courses that include:
  • MTH 221: Math for Elementary Teachers I
  • MTH 222: Math for Elementary Teachers II
  • ED 225: Diversity in Education
  • ED 205: Computers in Education

Additional Materials

Download the general curriculum guide for Integrated Science students. (Acrobat (PDF) 19kB Mar26 07)