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Salish Kootenai College offers new science teacher degree

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POLSON, Mont. – Salish Kootenai College, tribal college of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Reservation in northwest Montana, recently announced a new four year degree to prepare students to be middle school and high school science teachers.

Funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation, graduates of the new Bachelor of Science in Science Education degree will be eligible to apply for a Broadfield Science teacher license – the most commonly sought science teacher license in Montana and other rural states – which licenses teachers to teach all science disciplines at the middle and high school levels.

The SKC BSSE degree is designed to graduate highly qualified teachers who are prepared to effectively teach diverse student populations, particularly American Indian students. Students enrolled in the BSSE will take a majority of their four years of course work in the sciences, with additional core courses in education theory and practice. In alignment with SKC’s mission, students will also complete coursework focused on culturally competent science teaching.

There is currently a shortage of certified science teachers in the United States. American Indians are particularly underrepresented in the profession and in science related fields in general. The SKC BSSE seeks to address this shortage by offering competitive scholarships and a generous monthly stipend for selected American Indian students and tribal descendants who enroll in the BSSE. A proven record of success in completing college science courses, junior year status, and formal acceptance into the BSSE program are required for students to be eligible to receive this funding.

SKC is currently accepting applications for enrollment in the BSSE. If you like science, enjoy working with young people, and are looking for a rewarding career that allows you to give back to your community, this may be the profession for you. If interested in enrolling in the BSSE and/or applying for funding for completing the program, contact Regina Sievert at the Indigenous Math and Science Institute at Salish Kootenai College at (406) 275-4995 or Regina_Sievert@skc.edu for further information.