Frequently Asked Questions BA/MA STEM

What is STEM?

STEM is an acronym that stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.

Why choose STEM/Elementary Education as a major?

As societies become more technologically complex, and as that complexity affects the natural world, the development of greater understanding of the natural and human-made worlds becomes increasingly important. There is a need locally, regionally, and nationally for better prepared elementary school teachers, especially in the area of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).

This liberal arts science program will allow future elementary school teachers, who are simultaneously taking courses in the School of Education, to develop academic strength in STEM. Students who complete this major will have a broad understanding of the scientific and mathematical foundations of the natural and human-made worlds.

This is exactly the type of knowledge that elementary school teachers tend currently to lack, but increasingly need, in order to provide more meaningful educational experiences for their students. Our primary mission is to have students, primarily those who wish to be elementary school teachers, understand the many aspects of science and technology. This requires thinking broadly about the natural and human-made worlds. Scientific inquiry and engineering design are processes by which scientific investigations and engineering designed solutions are undertaken.

What is a STEM/Education major?

This bachelor of arts degree is designed as a co-major for future elementary school teachers majoring in elementary education who wish to have a broad background in the liberal arts with a focus on STEM areas.  The courses for the major are primarily those from science, math and engineering disciplinary offerings.  There are two STEM designated integrative courses that students will take at the end of the program, one integrates STEM from a science or natural world perspective and the other integrates STEM from an engineering or human-made world perspective.  In the third year students begin their education courses and in their fourth year begin to take graduate courses toward their MA in ELED/STEM.

Who is eligible for this Five-Year Bachelor Degree/Master’s Degree in ELED – STEM?

STEM majors who are accepted into the School of Education in their second year are eligible to take this five year program.

What are the admissions requirements for the MA program?

Below are the requirement of admission to the BA Elementary Education Program.  If a STEM major is accepted into this program, they may, if they choose, be accepted into the five year program.

  • A passing score on the Hofstra Writing Proficiency Exam.
  • An overall GPA of 2.75 or higher in all undergraduate course work.
  • An overall GPA of 2.75 or higher in liberal arts and sciences course work.
  • Two letters of recommendation addressing the applicant’s success in the teaching profession and the capacity to undertake graduate study.
  • A written personal statement of professional intent and rationale.

After acceptance into the ELED program, the candidate must have an interview with the program director.

The department understands that any single criterion may not reliably predict a student’s potential for success in the program. Students may consider applying even if they fail to meet one of the criteria but feel that other aspects of their experience might compensate.

How many credits does the BA-MA/STEM degree require?

The degree requires 136 undergraduate credits and 32 graduate credits.

What is the mission/goal for the Five Year Bachelor of Arts/Masters of Arts in Elementary Education: STEM and the BA/MA STEM?

We strive to graduate teachers who actively engage students in discovery and exploratory learning, who inspire students to think critically and creatively to solve problems, who teach students the skills necessary to collaborate with others, and who promote effective and relevant connections between the 21st century learning skills and their real-world applications.  Our STEM courses accomplish these goals by having students create engineering designs, solve problems using hands-on inquiry, and work in teams to craft creative and effective projects.

What makes Hofstra’s BA-MA/STEM different from other Five Year Degree programs on Long Island?

First: At the end of four years the students in this program will fulfill the requirements for New York State initial certificate to teach early childhood and/or childhood education.  In all other five year BA/MA ELED programs on Long Island certification requirements are finished at the end of the fifth year.

Second: There are no graduate programs on Long Island that specialize in either elementary math, science or STEM,  so our difference is obvious.  The uniqueness of this program and the local, regional, and national call for STEM teachers makes this program a good choice for those seeking a Master’s Degree.

What makes Hofstra’s STEM program unique?

Besides the pre-requisite courses that train degree candidates in the skills that are the hallmark of effective STEM teachers, the culminating courses of this program prepare the candidates to be researchers of their own teaching. These courses use action research to explore how using STEM teaching strategies improve students’ learning.  Degree candidates are required to develop a wide range of assessment techniques such as, performance based assessment, teaching and student journals, interviews and observation scales, as well as, portfolio design and construction. Since teachers are now being held publicly accountable for student achievement results, understanding different methods of assessing students’ learning and teacher effectiveness is a necessary skill.

The capstone project for this program is action research, what is that?

Action research is a process in which participants examine their own educational practice systematically and carefully, using the techniques of research. Rather than dealing with the theoretical, action research allows practitioners to address those concerns that are closest to them, ones over which they can exhibit some influence and make change. In the STEM program the action research examines the effectiveness of using STEM teaching strategies to improve student learning.

How many students are there in the MA/STEM courses?

All Hofstra’s education classes are small, usually no more than 20 students, the MA/STEM classes are sometimes smaller.

What do students say about the classes they are taking in this program?

Need quotes

What do Long Island Superintendents say about the need to STEM teachers?

All of the ten Long Island superintendents with whom STEM preparation for elementary school teachers was discussed were enthusiastic about such a program because teachers with STEM knowledge are exactly the type of people they are searching for.  

What do national leaders in government, science, and business say about the need for STEM education?

Over the last 50 years much discussion has taken place about the need for a STEM educated population. Recently, the cry has become more urgent. 

President Barack Obama in 2008 said, “America’s leadership tomorrow depend on how we educated our students today, especially in science, math and engineering.”  Of particular influence has been a report issued in 2005 by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future, many of whose recommendations were contained in the Administration’s American Competitiveness Initiative.  Five of the recommendations targeted improving STEM education. The first called for an increase in the number of STEM teachers.

In 2010, the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine published “Rising Above the Gathering Storm, Revisited: Rapidly Approaching Category 5,”which built on the findings of their 2005 “Gathering Storm”report. Notably, the report warns that, “Today, for the first time in history, America’s younger generation is less well-educated than its parents.”

In 2011, Subra Suresh, director of NSF (National Science Foundation) claims that the 21st century is the century of science and technology--not just for people who are in the STEM enterprise, but for the average citizens of the world

What would my program look like for the five years of this degree?

FIRST YEAR – Fall
ProgramCourseCreditsLib Arts
HCLAS Biology 3 3 3
HCLAS Math 6 3 3
HCLAS Technology, Public Policy  3 3
HCLAS Humanities Distribution 3 3
HCLAS Writing Studies & Composition 1 3 3
    15 15
FIRST YEAR – Spring
ProgramCourseCreditsLib Arts
HCLAS Biology 4 3 3
HCLAS Foreign Language 1 3 3
HCLAS Math 030B 3 3
HCLAS Engineering 15 3 3
HCLAS Writing Studies & Composition 2 3 3
HCLAS Natural Science 3 3
    18 18
UG subtotal 33 33
SECOND YEAR – Fall
ProgramCourseCreditsLib Arts
HCLAS Geology 3 3
HCLAS Physics 3 3
HCLAS Humanities Distribution 3 3
HCLAS Foreign Language 2 3 3
HCLAS Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics 120 3 3
    15 15
UG subtotal 48 48
SECOND YEAR – Spring
ProgramCourseCreditsLib Arts
HCLAS Cross Cultural Distribution 3 3
HCLAS Math 45 3 3
HCLAS Computer Science 5 3 3
HCLAS Foreign Language 3 3 3
HCLAS Science, Technology, Engineering, Math 110 3 3
HCLAS Speech, communication, Rhetoric & Performance 3 3
    18 18
UG subtotal 66 66
SECOND YEAR – Summer
ProgramCourseCreditsLib Arts
HCLAS Social Science Distribution 3 3
HCLAS Social Science Distribution 3 3
    6 6
UG subtotal 72 72
THIRD YEAR – Fall
ProgramCourseCreditsLib Arts
HCLAS Foreign Language 4 3 3
HCLAS Interdisciplinary Studies 3 3
SOEHHS UG ELED 125A/ELED 134 5 0
SOEHHS UG FDED 111 0r 127 3 0
SOEHHS UG ELED 111A 1  
SOEHHS UG ELED 122 1  
SOEHHS UG ELED 104A 1  
    17 6
UG subtotal 89 78
THIRD YEAR – Spring
ProgramCourseCreditsLib Arts
SOEHHS UG SPED 101 3 3
SOEHHS UG FDED 111 or 127 3 3
SOEHHS UG ELED 126A/ELED 135 5 0
SOEHHS UG ELED 126L/ELED 135E 1 0
SOEHHS overlap ELED 206A 3 0
SOEHHS UG ELED 127L/ELED 136E 1 0
SOEHHS UG ELED 041 (only if needed) 2 0
    18 6
UG subtotal 107 84
GD subtotal 3  
THIRD YEAR – Summer
ProgramCourseCreditsLib Arts
HCLAS Social Science Distribution 3 3
    3 3
UG subtotal 110 87
GD subtotal 3  
FOURTH YEAR – Fall
ProgramCourseCreditsLib Arts
HCLAS Humanities Distribution 3 3
SOEHHS overlap ELED 232 3 0
SOEHHS UG ELED 128L 1 0
SOEHHS overlap CT 236 3 0
SOEHHS UG ELED 129L 1 0
SOEHHS Grad ELED grad elective 3 0
    14 3
UG subtotal 124 90
GR subtotal 9  
FOURTH YEAR – January (if doing the dual certification)
ProgramCourseCreditsLib Arts
SOEHHS UG ELED 139 2 0
SOEHHS UG ELED 140 1 0
    3 0
UG subtotal 127 0
GR subtotal 9  
FOURTH YEAR – Spring
ProgramCourseCreditsLib Arts
SOEHHS UG ELED 121/ELED 137 6 0
SOEHHS UG ELED 123/ELED 138 3 0
    9 0
UG subtotal 136 0
GR subtotal 9  
FOURTH YEAR – Summer
ProgramCourseCreditsLib Arts
SOEHHS/HCLAS Elective with advisement 3 0
    3 0
GR subtotal 12  
FIFTH YEAR – Fall
ProgramCourseCreditsLib Arts
SOEHHS CT 239 3 0
SOEHHS ELED 235 3 0
SOEHHS ELED 250A 3 0
SOEHHS ELED 253A 2 0
    11 0
GR subtotal 23  
FIFTH YEAR – Spring
ProgramCourseCreditsLib Arts

SOEHHS
ELED 235 3 0
SOEHHS ELED 250B 4 0
SOEHHS ELED 253B 2 0
    9 0
GR subtotal 32  

Who do I contact for more information?

David Burghardt (undergraduate STEM advisor)
Professor of Engineering
201A Weed Hall
Phone: (516) 463-5550
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