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B.S. Earth Sciences, Secondary Education Emphasis


The course work and experiences in the Secondary Education major are designed to provide the student with a broad background of the four earth science disciplines (astronomy, geology, meteorology and oceanography) and supporting sciences, including biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics. Graduates of this program are prepared to teach earth science in grades 7-12 and will have satisfied all the requirements to receive Secondary Science/Earth Science Licensure from the Colorado Department of Education.

Secondary Education is an excellent major for students planning careers in education.  While content courses are taught in science disciplines in the College of Natural and Health Sciences, the College of Education provides the required courses in the Secondary Professional Teacher Education Program (STEP).  Ultimately, students must pass the PRAXIS exam in order to obtain their teaching certificate.

Entry into the STEP program requires the following:

  • Declare Earth Science and licensure as your major and speak with an advisor in ESCI.
  • Make sure you have completed 30 credit hours or have sophomore status and your GPA is 2.5 or above.  Priority will be given to teacher candidates exceeding the minimum GPA requirement as spaces are limited. Explore the Secondary PTEP Program Design.  Register for EDFE 110, complete the required paperwork, submit the paperwork to McKee 216, and receive a satisfactory grade prior to taking STEP 161.
  • EDFE 110 is a 0-credit course that is considered part of your application to Secondary PTEP.  EDFE 110 is not a class that you physically have to attend during the semester, but a method for documenting your completed application.
  • Complete the Request for Placement Form between February 15-March 15 or September 15-October 15.  If you miss the deadline, you will miss your opportunity to be in the program until the next semester.

A comprehensive undergraduate secondary education program emphasizing:

  • Colorado Teaching Certification
  • Classroom Experience in Public Schools
  • Preparation for graduate school and job market
  • Collaborations with school districts in the Northern Colorado region
  • Opportunities to take small classes and to study earth science in the field.

Courses and Requirements

Students will study sciences including chemistry, physics, mathematics, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and others.  Lectures/discussions, laboratory exercise, field trips, internships and research efforts form a well–rounded educational experience as preparation for either postgraduate education or beginning a career related to Secondary Education. 

Degrees Offered:

Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education - Earth Science

Secondary Education Faculty

  • Dr.Joe Elkins, Associate Professor
    • Expertise: Field-based Geoscience Education, Geology and Geochemistry 
  • Dr. William Hoyt, Professor
    • Expertise: Marine Geology, Earth Systems Science and Science Education in the K-12 setting
  • Dr. Steve Anderson, Professor and Director of the Math and Science Teaching Institute (MAST)
    • Expertise: Volcanology, and teaching and learning in the Geosciences