April 1, 2015 - King’s College recently received approval from the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) to offer an Endorsement Program in Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM).  The four course graduate level program is designed to provide training to area educators regarding the development and enhancement of STEM programs and practices in elementary and secondary schools.

Millersville University is the only other educational institution listed to date earning approval since PDE introduced the endorsement last fall. 

Included in the faculty for the King’s program are instructors with practical application of STEM principles.  Marie Ernst, Assistant Principal at the Hazleton Area Academy of Sciences will teach a STEM Design course. Certified Chemistry and Biology teacher Ryan Boris from the Hazleton Area Academy of Sciences will teach a STEM methods course.   The other expertise will come from within the full-time King’s faculty.  Dr. Sunny Weiland, an assistant professor of education who earned a lunar-meteorite certification from NASA and is an advocate of inquiry-based learning will lead the STEM assessment course. Dr. Paul Lamore, the program director of the College’s co-operative engineering program with the University of Notre Dame will be developing the STEM hands-on Practicum lab course. 

Each of the four three-credit courses will have some flexibility with scheduling in terms of weekends and summers.  Essentially the design is for two weekends of classroom instruction held three weeks apart which would include blended online instruction and online assignments.  A five-hour field experience is required for each course.  One course will be offered this summer and one each during the fall and spring semesters.  The fourth and final course is scheduled to be offered early May or June, allowing the initial participants to complete the endorsement in just one year.  Tuition for each class is at a reduced rate of $900.  The lower tuition rate is possible through funding from the King’s College Scholarship Incentive Program.

The development of the King’s STEM Endorsement Program is timely with numerous school districts in the area developing and expanding their own STEM focus.  According to the US Department of Education, STEM jobs are growing at 1.7 times the rate of non-STEM jobs, and the nation’s schools are not producing enough candidates to fill the available jobs. The Obama administration is investing funds in an effort to produce an additional one million STEM undergraduates by 2022.

The STEM endorsement program at King’s is in addition to endorsement programs already offered in Autism Spectrum Disorder and Instructional Coaching. A full schedule of graduate classes offered by the King’s education department is available at www.kings.edu/academics/graduate_majors.

Further information about the STEM endorsement program can be obtained by contacting Dr. Deb Carr, assistant professor of education and director of the Curriculum and Instruction Graduate Program, at (570)208-5900, x. 5448.  Information about registering for a King’s endorsement program is available by contacting King’s Graduate Division at (570)208-5991.