School of Education STEM Top Stories

School of Education Branches Out with Two New STEM Programs

Hagedorn Hall, School of Education
Hagedorn Hall, School of Education

The Hofstra University School of Education will launch two new graduate-level STEM programs in fall 2016: Elementary School STEM Specialist, Advanced Certificate, and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) with Specialization in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), MA. Both programs are open to New York state certified teachers.

“I have had teachers, who have been in the field for years, who are now asked to help develop STEM programs,” said Eileen Simons, director of the advanced certificate program and adjunct assistant professor of teacher education. This program will give professionals the tools they need to be STEM pioneers in their respective districts.

The new MA program, co-directed by Simons and Professor of Teacher Education Tatiana Gordon, EdD, was created in response to recent research findings and recruitment trends. “State-of-the art research suggests that TESOL lessons are especially effective when they are based on academic subject teaching,” said Dr. Gordon. “Public schools are seeking to recruit new teachers who hold multiple certifications [especially] those TESOL educators who hold additional certification in an area other than TESOL, possess expertise in science and mathematics, and are proficient in the use of innovative technological tools.”

Additionally, “English is not the first language for so many students on Long Island,” Simons said.  “Principals have reported that these students have difficulty with the content of math and science because of the language barrier,” so TESOL teachers with a STEM degree will have a competitive edge in the job market.

These two new STEM offerings enhance Hofstra’s commitment to STEM education. The School of Education already offers an MA in Elementary Education: STEM and a 5-year dual-degree BA/MA in Elementary Education: STEM. And Hofstra students gain clinical experience in our STEM Studio, which is a teaching and learning lab that offers a distinctive problem-based curriculum of math and science design challenges customized for grades 3-8. Focused on STEM unifying concepts, students engage in hands-on, minds-on investigations in small groups.

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