Touro College Adds New Master’s Degree to Increase Science Teaching

Certification Allows Students to Teach Biology, Environmental Sciences, and General Science Courses

July 31, 2014

New York, N.Y. – In partnership with New York Medical College (NYMC), Touro College’s Graduate School of Education (GSE) will be offering a new Master of Science in Biology Education starting in fall 2014.

The new degree will allow graduates to meet the requirements for New York State teacher certification to teach biology at the middle and high school levels, as well as teach environmental and general science courses. This is the first partnership program between Touro’s GSE and NYMC.

“There is enormous value in our ability to collaborate between the schools in the Touro College and University System,” said Dr. Alan Kadish, president and CEO. “This unique relationship between New York Medical College and the Graduate School of Education addresses a real need that we see in this country today — to create teachers grounded in both science and pedagogy who will inspire our students to achieve in the sciences.”

GSE and NYMC see the partnership as one that will benefit future teachers. They will be exposed not only to the latest in pedagogical techniques and training, but also to the most current research and practices in biomedical science.

“This program is an important collaboration that will allow us to add a science program to the broad array of GSE master programs,” said Dr. Lamar Miller, dean of the Graduate School of Education. “And, it reinforces Touro College’s commitment to serving the public schools.”

The program consists of 10 courses for 30 credits. It combines biology content, teaching skills and teaching practice in middle and high schools.  The program will be offered as a combination of online and face-to-face classes in Valhalla and Manhattan, New York.

The program has been designed as a two-year, part-time program to accommodate those who have employment or family responsibilities, and includes evening classes. While the focus is on developing teachers for middle and high schools, graduates can participate in a “downward extension” that provides training for teaching science to fifth graders.

According to Dr. Francis Belloni, dean of the Graduate School of Basic Medical Sciences at NYMC, the program will enhance the way in which we create new science teachers. “Rather than simply focusing on teaching methodologies,” he said, “this program will encourage those with stronger science backgrounds and interests to become teachers by giving them both pedagogical training and exposure to some state-of-the-art concepts in biology and biomedical science.”  

Enrollees will develop a network of connections that will serve them well as they teach. They will have access to NYMC faculty and researchers.

The newly-appointed chair of the new Master of Science in Biology Education program, Frances L. Hannan, Ph.D., is an active science researcher whose laboratory at NYMC studies learning and memory, and auditory function, in fruit flies. She will retain her appointment at NYMC, in addition to her new responsibilities at the Touro Graduate School of Education.

Dr. Hannan has a strong background as a science teacher and educator at both secondary and tertiary levels. She also has many connections with the local high school community through her involvement in the Summer Training in Academic Research STAR program, which places high school student interns in research laboratories at NYMC.

As chair of this exciting new MS in Biology Education program, Dr. Hannan strives to merge the worlds of research and education, in order to enhance the skills of the next generation of biology teachers.