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New Master of Education Program Provides “Add-On” to Teachers’ License as Science Specialists

NC State’s College of Education is offering a new Master’s degree hybrid program that will give students the opportunity to specialize in elementary science education.

In March 2016, the North Carolina Board of Education approved NC State’s Elementary Education program to offer courses that will prepare elementary teachers in North Carolina as science specialists. The College of Education currently offers a mathematics specialist program.

“As with our current math specialist program, now in its third cohort, we offer courses for teachers to earn an “Add-on” science specialist designation to teaching licenses with our Master of Education degree,” said Associate Professor Sarah Carrier, Department of Teacher Education and Learning Sciences.

NC State is the first and currently the only university in North Carolina with State Board of Education approval to prepare teachers to earn a science specialists “Add-on” to their NC teaching licenses. The courses in the program are designed to fit with teachers’ schedules.

Carrier added that earning a Master’s degree specializing in elementary science not only expands teachers’ understanding of life, physical, and Earth science but further expands their professional opportunities. Carrier identified that teachers who complete the program enhance their own science instruction and have potential to become science specialists at their schools. Teachers who are science specialists have potential to work in informal settings (such as museums or nature centers), become curriculum developers, participate in educational research, or kickstart their doctoral studies.

The new science specialist program launches Summer 2017. Courses include face-to-face, hybrid, and online courses, however, the degree can not be earned completely online. The face-to-face courses for this program will be offered at Athens Drive High School in Raleigh.

Students with additional questions about the science specialist program can email Dr. Carrier directly at

Interested in other online and distance education opportunities? Check out the NC State Online and Distance Education website.