The Missouri Southern Biology Department has a long history of training area high school biology teachers. Prospective teachers complete the core curriculum plus additional hours in education and science. Prospective middle school and junior high school teachers also take biology coursework through the department. A strong undergraduate science background is a fundamental component of preparing biology teachers.
Missouri Southern offers three plans to certify biology teachers: biology certification, unified science certification, and alternative certification. The unified science program with a biology emphasis certifies teachers to teach any high school biology course, plus the first courses in high school chemistry, earth science and physics. This 149-151 hour program is the most commonly chosen means of biology certification because of its versatility. Another option is the biology certification program, which involves fewer hours than the unified science certification, but only qualifies the student to teach biology courses. The newest biology education program is an alternative certification. It is designed for prospective teachers who have a bachelor degree in biology and have experience working in the field, but not teaching experience.
The state of Missouri is experiencing a shortage in certified high school biology teachers, and virtually all Missouri Southern graduates obtain teaching positions locally, if desired. For more information about the biology education program at Missouri Southern, contact Dr. Michael Lawson.