Biology, BS - Grades 7-12 Life Science Education Concentration
The College of Science and Engineering is committed to the support of students seeking to become science, mathematics and technology educators at all levels. The Science, Mathematics and Technology Education (SMTE) program offers content courses for students seeking K-12 science, mathematics and technology education. SMTE classes are also an integral part of the course work for degrees preparing students for Teacher Certifications. The SMTE program does not offer a degree; rather, degrees leading to Teacher Certification are offered by other Science and Engineering programs and by the College of Education and Human Development. Students seeking to teach in the elementary and secondary schools of Texas must meet degree requirements as well as certification requirements. The requirements and procedure to become a science, mathematics or technology teacher in Texas are outlined below. Undergraduate students who are graduating from the College of Science & Engineering or the College of Liberal Arts who are seeking initial teacher certification at the 4-8, 7-12 and EC-12 levels prior to graduation, automatically qualify for the Minor in Education.
How to Become a Science, Mathematics or Technology Teacher in Texas
In order to be recommended for teacher certification at this university, a candidate must fulfill three basic requirements:
- have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university that includes an academic major and teacher training courses,
- complete teacher training through an approved program, and
- successfully complete the appropriate teacher certification tests for the subject and grade level that the candidate wishes to teach.
Additional information on the requirements to become a teacher in Texas can be obtained at the State Board of Educator Certification (SBEC) website: http://www.sbec.state.tx.us/SBECOnline/certinfo/becometeacher.asp. This website also provides information on the resources available to help students pay for a teacher training program.
SBEC has approved three levels of teacher certification for regular educators:
- Early childhood to grade 6 which includes foundation subjects and enrichment areas such as art, PE, and music,
- Grade 4-8 which includes the foundation areas only, and
- Grade 7-12 certification.
Students can find information on the different certifications at the official Texas Examinations of Educator Standards (TExES) Web site: http://www.texes.ets.org. Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi offers several degrees leading to a number of these teacher certifications. The College of Education and Human Development offers several degrees leading to teacher certification. The College of Science and Engineering offers bachelor’s degrees leading to teacher certification in the sciences, mathematics and technology at the 4-8 and the 7-12 levels:
- Biology, BS - Grades 7-12 Life Science Education Concentration (120-122 sem. hrs.) Details immediately follow below.
- Chemistry, BS - Grades 7-12 Physical Science Education Concentration (126-128 sem. hrs.)
- Environmental Science, BS - Grades 4-8 Science Education Concentration (125-130 sem. hrs.)
- Elementary Education, BS - Grades 4-8 with Mathematics Certification (College of Education and Human Development)
- Mathematics, BS - Grades 7-12 Mathematics Education Concentration (120 sem. hrs.)
Mathematics 7-12 teacher certification is also possible with an undergraduate major other than mathematics. Details can be found in the Mathematics, Grades 7-12 Teacher Certification Without a Mathematics Major section.
The individual programs, Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, and Mathematics offer these degrees and courses.
Students seeking Teacher Certification are also strongly urged to contact the Certification Officer in the College of Education and Human Development about current requirements and procedures that must be met to obtain the certificate. In particular, students following a degree plan leading to teacher certification must be admitted to the Teacher Education Program at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi prior to enrolling in any 4000 level EDCI or EDUC courses. Application forms for admission to the teacher education program may be obtained from the Undergraduate or Certification Office, room FC 201. The students are referred to the College of Education and Human Development section of this catalog for more information on the Teacher Education Program.
Grade Point Average for Admission to Teacher Education
A minimum grade point average of 2.75 (4.0 = A) in all work attempted, a minimum grade point average of 2.75 in all science, math, or specialization areas, and no grade below “C” in any science or mathematics course on a student’s degree plan and/or education courses within the professional block of courses are required. (See College of Education and Human Development, “Admission to Teacher Education” and “Admission to Clinical Teaching” for other requirements.)
Alteration of a Certification Plan
Any amendment to a degree plan originally filed must be approved by the student’s academic advisor, the Department Chair, the Dean of the College of Science and Engineering, and the Certification Officer of the College of Education and Human Development for the degree to be granted.
The Life Science Education plan is designed for those students who desire a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology and a secondary teaching certificate in life science. The requirements for a Bachelor of Science in Biology degree with grades 7-12 Life Science Education Concentration are a minimum of 1201 semester hours. Forty-two are designated University core curriculum courses; 39 are biology teaching core courses, and 27 are professional development courses. Other requirements include a psychology course and upper division elective courses.
Students may have to take additional hours to meet university requirements such as First-Year Seminar courses or major requirements that include 4 hour math and science courses.
Additional Educational Requirements for Certification
Students seeking teaching certification are required to complete 9 credits of English coursework and 3 credits of Public Speaking coursework.
ENGL 1302 Writing and Rhetoric (3 sch)and a literature course (ENGL 2316 Literature and Culture (3 sch),ENGL 2332 Literature of the Western World: From the Classics to the Renaissance (3 sch), orENGL 2333 Literature of the Western World: From the Enlightenment to the Present (3 sch)) from the core curriculum will satisfy 6 of the 9 required credits. EitherCOMM 1311 Foundation of Communication (3 sch)orCOMM 1315 Public Speaking (3 sch)will satisfy the public speaking course requirement.
|First-Year Seminars (when applicable)1||0-2|
|Core Curriculum Program||42|
|Biology Teaching Core||41|
|Professional Development/Reading Sequence||27|
|Total Credit Hours||122-124|
Full-time, first time in college students are required to take the first-year seminars. The First-Year Seminars will not count towards the 120 hour minimum requirements to graduate.
|Full-time, First-year Students 1|
|UNIV 1101||First-Year Seminar I *||1|
|UNIV 1102||First-Year Seminar II *||1|
|Core Curriculum Program|
|University Core Curriculum||42|
|Life Science Education students must take specific courses to ensure they have the proper prerequisites for more advanced coursework:|
|Foundation of Communication *,2|
|Writing and Rhetoric *|
|Calculus I (lab hour counts under Component Area Option) 3|
|Life and Physical Sciences|
|Biology I (lab hour counts under Component Area Option)|
|Biology II (lab hour counts under Component Area Option)|
|Language, Philosophy, and Culture|
Students must select one literature course of the following:
|Literature and Culture *|
|Literature of the Western World: From the Classics to the Renaissance *|
|Literature of the Western World: From the Enlightenment to the Present *|
|Component Area Option|
|Biology I (Lab Hours)|
|Biology II (Lab Hours)|
|Calculus I (Lab Hours)|
|General Chemistry I (lab hour counts under Support Areas) *|
|CHEM 1412||General Chemistry II||4|
|CHEM 3411||Organic Chemistry I||4|
|ENGL 3301||Technical and Professional Writing||3|
|CHEM 1411||General Chemistry I (1 sem. hr. lab) *||1|
|Biology Teaching Core|
|Biology I (included in University Core)|
|Biology II (included in University Core)|
|BIOL 2371||Principles of Evolution||3|
|BIOL 2401||Anatomy and Physiology I||4|
|BIOL 3428||Principles of Ecology||4|
|Calculus I (included in University Core)|
|SMTE 4270||Science Education Topics I ^||2|
|SMTE 4217||Secondary Approaches to the Life Sciences||2|
|SMTE 4320||Secondary Science Laboratory Techniques||3|
|Chemistry of Life/Cell Biology Requirement|
|BIOL 3403||Molecular Biology||4|
|or BIOL 3410||Cell Biology|
|Organismal (Animal) Requirement|
|BIOL 3413||Invertebrate Zoology||4|
|or BIOL 3414||Vertebrate Zoology|
|Organismal (Plant) Requirement|
|BIOL 2472||Principles of Botany ^||4|
|or BIOL 4422||Plant Taxonomy|
|Upper Division Biology Elective Requirement|
|Select one of the following electives:||3|
|Coral Reef Conservation|
|Biology of Marine Mammals|
|Global Change Ecology|
|Oceans and Human Health|
|Biology of Viruses|
Other upper division Biology courses may be taken with approval
|Professional Development and Reading Sequence|
|READ 3353||Content Area Reading for Secondary Students ^||3|
|EDUC 3311||School and Society ^||3|
|EDUC 4605||Planning, Teaching, Assessment and Technology||6|
|EDUC 4321||Instructional Design for Special Populations||3|
|Student Teaching Semester|
|EDUC 4311||Classroom Management||3|
|EDUC 4995||Clinical Teaching||9|
Students entering with some college credit may not be required to take one or both of the First-Year Seminar courses (see the “First-Year Seminar” section of the Core Curriculum Program for rules and exceptions concerning these courses).
The hours associated with the First-Year Seminars do not count toward the total number of semester credit hours needed to graduate.
COMM 1311 Foundation of Communication (3 sch) meets the public speaking requirement for teacher certification; ENGL 1301 Composition I (3 sch) can be used to fulfill the public speaking requirement, but may not be used to fulfill other requirements in English.
Students who are not eligible to enroll in MATH 2413 Calculus I (4 sch) will need to take additional prerequisite courses (3-9 sem. hrs.) depending on their math placement level (i.e., MATH 0300 Developmental Mathematics (3 sch), MATH 1314 College Algebra (3 sch) and MATH 1316 Trigonometry (3 sch), or MATH 2312 Precalculus (3 sch)).
To become certified to teach, a total of 9 sem. hrs. of English are required. Six of these credit hours are taken in the University Core Curriculum Program: ENGL 1302 Writing and Rhetoric (3 sch) and the required 3 sem. hr. literature course (ENGL 2316 Literature and Culture (3 sch) or ENGL 2332 Literature of the Western World: From the Classics to the Renaissance (3 sch) or ENGL 2333 Literature of the Western World: From the Enlightenment to the Present (3 sch)). One additional 3 sem. hr. English course (2000-level or higher) is required to meet certification requirements and this degree requires that students take ENGL 3301 Technical and Professional Writing (3 sch) to fulfill that requirement.
Professional Development and Reading Sequence
Students who seek a 7-12 level Life Science teaching certificate should contact a Certification Officer in the College of Education and Human Development about requirements and procedures that must be met to obtain the certificate. The professional development sequence must be taken in a specific order and it is recommended that students contact the College of Education and Human Development early in their academic careers for specific details on these courses.
A non-majors science course in which students will learn basic biological principles, identify the relevance of science in everyday life, and will understand the scientific method. Hands-on lab activities will reinforce course concepts. This course does not substitute for BIOL 1406 - Biology I or BIOL 1407 - Biology II for science majors.
Presentation of basic biological concepts including scientific method, cytology, energetics, nucleic acids and genetics. This course is suitable for all majors.
This course is an overview of the major concepts in biological diversity and plant and animal biology. Laboratory work will include individual/team activities as well as technology-related assignments.
Prerequisite: BIOL 1406.
This course involves presentation and discussion of selected topics relating to the professional skills of practicing biological scientists, including basic software instruction, a review of library services pertinent to science, the application of scientific literature research skills, hypothesis generation and statistical tests, critical reviews of scientific articles, and an introduction to ethical issues in science.
An overview of the mechanisms by which heritable information changes, adaptations develop, and species diversify. Provides a foundation for molecular, cellular, and organismal studies in the biological sciences.
Structure and function of the human body emphasizing biological chemistry, cell biology, tissues, and the integumentary, skeletal, muscular, and nervous systems. Not recommended for majors in the College of Science and Engineering. To count this course toward a major in the Department of Life Sciences, a student must demonstrate that it is required by professional schools in his or her career track and obtain approval for a substitution from his or her faculty mentor. Students may not receive credit for both this course and either BIOL 3425 - Functional Anatomy or BIOL 3430 - Physiology.
Structure and function of the human body emphasizing blood, growth, development, genetics, and the endocrine, digestive, respiratory, cardiovascular, lymphatic, immune and urogenital systems. Not recommended for majors in the College of Science and Engineering. To count this course toward a major in the Department of Life Sciences, a student must demonstrate that is is required by professional schools in his or her career track and obtain approval for a substitution from his or her faculty mentor. Students may not receive credit for both this course and either BIOL 3425 - Functional Anatomy or BIOL 3430 - Physiology.
Prerequisite: BIOL 2401.
Principles of genetic transmissions and molecular basis of heredity and variation. Weekly recitation periods will involve team assignments, problem solving activities, and seminars.
Introduction to microorganisms with emphasis on those of importance in patient care. Principles of disinfection, sterilization, immunity. This class is intended for nursing majors; it cannot substitute for BIOL 2421 - Microbiology.
An introduction to microorganisms including the bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Laboratory involves microbiological techniques and development of basic laboratory skills.
Introduction to the structure, function, diversity and application of plants. Laboratory focus on anatomical features, physiological adaptations, classification, and life cycles.
Examines the dietary requirements of both companion animals and livestock. Includes the anatomy, physiology and biochemistry of the gastrointestinal system, nutrient procurement and use, feed additives, growth stimulants, metabolic diseases, and diet therapy. Cross listed with BIMS 3300.
The application of statistical analyses to biological data. Students will gain an understanding of how to apply statistical analyses to biological data through study of the principles of experimental design including how to frame informative research questions. At a fundamental level, these concepts are linked to the philosophy of science and our understanding of the way the world works.
Emphasis on cellular functions that underlie physiological processes, transport across membranes, membrane potential and excitability, the cell nucleus, and organelles and their relationship to energy, metabolism, and transport mechanisms within the cell. Offered during Spring semester of odd-numbered years
Principles of molecular biology including advanced concepts of gene structure, expression and regulation, chromatin structure, recombination, and current molecular biology techniques. Laboratory emphasis is on basic skills for nucleic acid analyses, including extraction, PCR amplification, quantification, restriction, and electrophoresis. DNA sequencing-based approaches are covered including bioinformatics for sequence comparisons, polymorphisms, and molecular identification. Cross listed with BIMS 3403.
Study of cellular architecture and function. Topics include membranes, transport, organelles, cytoskeleton, and signaling mechanisms. Interrelationships of structure, function, energy and metabolism are explored. Laboratory will emphasize basic techniques of cell biology.
Structure, life history, and evolution of the invertebrates with special emphasis on the phylogeny and ecological relationships of the major phyla. Laboratory will involve field trips and survey collections. Offered fall semester every year.
Structure, life history, and evolution of the vertebrates with special emphasis on the phylogeny and ecological relationships of the classes. Laboratory will involve field trips and survey collections. Offered only in Spring semester.
General trends in morphological development and adaptation as demonstrated by the anatomy and embryology of living and extinct chordates. Students may not receive credit for both this course and either BIOL 2401 - Anatomy and Physiology I or BIOL 2402 - Anatomy and Physiology II.
Introduction to the interrelationships of organisms and their environment. Population structure, community classification and regulation, and energy flow in ecosystems will also be covered. Laboratory sections will focus on experimental design and field techniques in ecology.
The study of physiological processes that are the product of complex interactions between tissues, organs and organ systems, with emphasis on the circulatory, respiratory, endocrine, muscular, digestive, and urogenital systems. Particular focus on homeostasis, and the role of the environment and evolution on organ systems. Students may not receive credit for both this course and either BIOL 2401 - Anatomy and Physiology I, or BIOL 2402 - Anatomy and Physiology II.
Anatomy of vegetative and reproductive organs of plants, unique cellular features, development and differentiation of cell and tissue types. Emphasis on physiological mechanisms of response and adaptation to the environment.
Structure, physiology, life cycles, and economic impact of plants. Factors influencing diversity, succession and ecological distribution of plants.
A course designed to enhance the professionalism of undergraduate researchers. This course discusses the codified aspects of research ethics, including fabrication, falsification and plagiarism of data; assigning authorship, submitting manuscripts to more than one journal and management of lab teams. It also addresses careers in science, resume writing, producing the successful application and interviewing skills.
Studies the events that occur just prior to and during gestation. Includes gametogenesis, chromosomal and single gene aberrations, teratology, and the development of the body systems.
Prerequisite: BIOL 2416.
Survey of challenges and threats facing coral reef ecosystems in the 21st century and discussion of conservation and management strategies. Topics include biology and ecology of reef ecosystems, climate change impacts, coaral bleaching, over-fishing and the effectivness and design of marine protected areas.
Introduction to the study of viruses, including viral life cycles, replication schemes and Baltimore classification of representative bacteriophages, plant and animal viruses. Emphasis on analysis and review of primary literature on viruses.
This course offers an overview of the theories, methods, and current directions in modern biogeography, emphasizing marine and terrestrial plant and animal species and communities.
This lecture-based course examines the processes by which neuronal circuits generate behaviors and the mechanisms by which experience modulates the activity of these circuits.
Prerequisite: BIMS 4323.
The study and hands-on application of biological, mechanical, and other concepts required to develop the skills and techniques necessary for efficient operation and management of public and private aquaculture facilities. Offered in Fall of odd-numbered years.
Prerequisite: BIOL 4370.
Introduction to marine mammals, with a focus on their interactions with their biotic and abiotic environment
An introduction to the effects of climatic and anthropogenic change on terrestrial and aquatic structure and function. Includes readings from the current literature and discussion of controversial articles.
A study of theory and techniques in fisheries science, including practical fisheries sampling designs and techniques, behavior of fisheries populations and application to resource management with emphasis in tide-influenced waters. Includes readings in the current literature.
This class is designed to provide practical experience in the theory and application of traditional and modern fisheries sampling and analytical techniques used in Fisheries Science and Management. This is a hands-on field- and laboratory-based course that will develop skills that are most commonly used by fisheries biologists and technicians. Offered in Fall of even-numbered years.
Prerequisite: BIOL 4328.
This course will introduce the biology of corals, describe the abiotic and biotic interactions among coral reef ecosystem inhabitants, identify the threats of climate change, and discuss the conservation and management of reefs for the future. Offered every spring.
Principles and theories relating to the conservation of biological diversity, including patterns and processes creating biological diversity, estimates of extinction rates, consequences of losses of biodiversity and causes of diversity loss.
Habitats and community structure in marine environments; biotic and abiotic factors governing the distribution of marine organisms.
An introduction to integrative biological study using genome-wide approaches and bioinformatics. The "-omics" technologies (Genomics, Proteomics, Metabolomics, etc.) will be surveyed for current and potential contributions to understanding biological function at molecular, cellular, organismal and ecosystem levels.
Healthy oceans are essential to the habitability of our planet – for humans and all other forms of life. Students will explore links between oceans, pollution, human well-being, ecosystem services, resource management, and the science and legislation governing the enforcement of water quality standards.
Course will include experimental design, literature review of a research topic and laboratory work on the research topic.
This course covers aspects of ecology and biogeography of riverine and estuarine fishes while exposing students to field sampling techniques and museum preparation of specimens. This will be a unique opportunity for students to gain an in-depth understanding of the biological complexity of Texas Gulf Coast river systems while gaining hands-on experience in field and museum ichthyological techniques that are employed by state, federal and academic researchers alike.
This course examines the unique requirements needed for public aquariums and zoos to balance animal care and health with public display for general education and conservation research.
Survey of the physiological, behavioral, environmental, and economic parameters governing the culture of selected aquatic species. Included are techniques employed worldwide to produce aquatic products.
An introduction to evolutionary processes and their genetic basis, this course focuses on theoretical and experimental approaches to the study of population genetics, quantitative genetics, evolutionary ecology, and molecular evolution.
Research in areas of current interest. Written report required. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 semester hours.
Independent laboratory- or field-based research project on topic of current interest. Project developed in conjunction with a faculty advisor. Written report required. May be repeated once for a total of 6 semester credit hours
The study of the functional relationships and productivity of aquatic communities as they are affected by their physical, chemical, and biotic environment. The influence of man's activities on these systems will be the focus of the course.
An overview of immunology with emphasis on current knowledge of the immune system. Detailed examination of the specific cells, cytokines, antibodies, and molecules that comprise the immune system. Laboratory exercises demonstrate the basic principles and techniques used in immunologic studies. Cross listed with BIMS 4406.
Prerequisite: BIOL 2421.
Biodiversity and roles of microorganisms in natural environments. Interactions with other micro- and macro-organisms (humans, animals and plants) and with abiotic factors. Unique abilities of microorganisms such as nitrogen fixation and adaptation to extreme environments.
Systematics and ecology of mammals. Offered in even Fall semesters.
An understanding of why animals behave in the manner they do, through examination of both invertebrate and vertebrate species.
A broad overview of the natural history, classification, phylogeny, ecology, behavior, development and physiology of insects and their kin. The lab will involve field work, collection and curation.
Prerequisite: BIOL 3413.
is a hands-on course designed to teach students key concepts by immersing them in nature. Topics include adaptations of plants and animals in different habitats, food web interactions, and how biotic and abiotic forces interact to structure natural communities including spatial and temporal variation in communities.
Principles and practice in the classification of flowering plants. Field trips are required.
Systematics, anatomy, physiology, ecology, behavior, and field identification of birds. Offered in odd Fall semester.
The ecology of marine plants with emphasis on identification, life histories, and environmental factors of distribution.
In this class we will investigate the systematics, distribution, and ecology of major marine plankton groups and introduce major concepts in biological oceanography. Offered in Spring of odd-numbered years.
Systematics, evolution, biology, and ecology of fishes. Laboratory identification of marine and freshwater fishes collected during field excursions.
An introduction to parasitology with emphasis on internal parasites and appropriate references to human endoparasites and parasites of veterinary importance.
Prerequisite: BIOL 2421.
Theory and techniques of processing specimens for histochemistry and microscopic examination. Laboratory includes preparation of tissues and small specimens for analysis and display.
Systematics, ecology, and behavior of amphibians and reptiles.
Systematics, distribution, and ecology of estuarine macrofauna and macroflora. Weekend field trips and individual study required.
Prerequisite: BIOL 3413.
Survey of the ecology and conservation issues of the major ecosystems in the tropics and field techniques used to study tropical forest ecology.
This course covers aspects of fish ecology from individual, population, community, and ecosystem levels. We discuss the role of the environment on fish physiology and behavior, food-web dynamics, community assembly and diversity, ecosystem interactions, and anthropogenic impacts on fishes with a focus on conservation.
Prerequisite: BIOL 4432.
Students learn techniques required to properly conduct marine science field research. Practical, hands-on experience is gained in a variety of topics including biotic and abiotic sample collection and processing, quantitative analysis of field data, evaluation of environmental factors, survival and distribution of living organisms, and the structure of biotic communities.
Variable content. May be repeated for credit.
Two to six semester credit hours may be earned by working in an internship position in a governmental agency, private industry, or other appropriate venue.
The study of techniques required for proper field work in the biological sciences. The course includes ecological sampling methods, safety, logistics, equipment operation and maintenance and travel concerns.