The University of Alaska Board of Regents approved two new programs for strengthening science teaching and outreach, wrapping up a two-day meeting today at the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus.
The 11-member board approved a new graduate certificate in science teaching and outreach at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, to be offered beginning spring 2014 using existing courses and faculty. The certificate answers a demand for enhanced teaching and outreach skills by science graduate students.
The board also approved a Master of Education in science education K-8 at the University of Alaska Southeast. No such program presently exists in Alaska for current certified teachers. The mostly online program is designed to strengthen teachers’ understanding of science, with a special emphasis on scientific inquiry and content in the K-8 curriculum.
“The UAS master’s program in science education will provide K-8 teachers in Alaska with an effective model and solid skills for teaching science,” said UAS Education Dean Deborah Lo. “The program meets a high demand across the state for Alaska teachers who are committed to helping students fulfill their potential in science and math.”
The program will be made available using existing faculty, at a minimally increased cost, and could draw upon faculty members at UAA and UAF as well.
In addition, the board gave formal project approval for a renovation of UAA’s Wells Fargo Sports Complex; renewal of the Technical Education Center at UAS; and a major upgrade to the UAF Heat and Power Plant.
Board members attended UAF Chancellor Brian Rogers’ 2013 Celebration of Giving event Thursday night at the UA Museum of the North, and toured the UAF Heat and Power Plant late Friday afternoon. The board elected the following to officer positions: Pat Jacobson of Kodiak, chair; Jo Heckman of Fairbanks, vice chair; Ken Fisher of Juneau, secretary; and Mike Powers of Fairbanks, treasurer.