2016-2017 Catalog 
    Jun 01, 2020  
2016-2017 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Biology, Secondary Education Specialization, B.S.


Department Chairperson- Dr. Penny O’Connor

Biology ClassroomThe Biology major at Mount Aloysius College prepares students to enter careers in biology or to pursue graduate or professional education with a foundation in the liberal arts. The goals of the program include:

  1. Scientific Method - Students will be able to effectively define and use the scientific method to answer biological questions;
  2. Reasoning and Analysis - Students will be able to critically analyze scientific data and its interpretation both in the literature and in their own experimental work;
  3. Core Biological Knowledge - Students will be able to demonstrate knowledge of core biological subjects with additional proficiency related to their chosen specialization;
  4. Research Skills - Students will be able to identify and utilize appropriate resources for both primary and secondary research. In addition, students will be able to identify and utilize the appropriate experimental design, methodology, and equipment to conduct field and laboratory research in an ethically sound manner; and
  5. Communication Skills: Students will be able to organize and express scientific knowledge and their own ideas clearly and coherently both in written and oral formats.

Requirements for Admission

Completion of high school coursework in biology, chemistry, and algebra with a “C” or better.

A combined score of 900 on the Math and Critical Reading on the 2005 SAT or 980 on the 2016 SAT or a 19 on the ACT. Any required Educational Enrichment courses per the results of SAT or ACT testing must be completed with a “C” or better prior to achieving sophomore status. Please refer to the Educational Enrichment section found elsewhere in this catalog.

Education - Secondary Eduction

Department Chairperson - Dr. Marilyn Roseman

Bachelor Degree programs leading to certification in secondary education are available in Biology, English, General Science, and Social Studies through the College’s Secondary Education Program and are designed to provide students with a broad knowledge base in the teaching specialty.

The Secondary Education program at Mount Aloysius College flows naturally from the College’s philosophical roots. Preparation for a career in teaching requires a desire to serve others, engage in life-long learning, and work toward social justice and the common good. The Secondary Education program prepares students to accept people of all faiths and walks of life, respect their individual gifts and talents, and empower those who have been disenfranchised in the system. As guided by the philosophy of Mount Aloysius College, students are expected to value and engage in holistic learning experiences that synthesize intellectual, spiritual, emotional, social, and creative ways of thinking, and base their own teaching on these principles.

The mission of the Secondary Education certification is to develop teachers whose pedagogy is based on theoretical understandings, who employ frequent reflection, and who are competent in using a wide variety of teaching, learning, and assessment techniques. Recognizing that quality in teaching requires a broad knowledge base and content, Secondary Education students will complete one of the following majors: Biology, English, General Science or History/Political Science to be able to complete a secondary education program.

PA State Department of Education changes in regulations may result in changes in the requirements of education programs.

Education Department Admission

All students interested in teacher certification will enter into their desired major program (Biology, General Science, English or History/Political Science) until all requirements for admission into the education department have been met. The following requirements for academic preparation and performance must be successfully met prior to admission into a certification program.

Education Department Admission Requirements

  • Earn a minimum of forty-eight (48) credits and have sophomore standing.
  • Successful completion (a grade of “C” or better) in the following coursework:
    – six (6) hours in communication/writing (EN 110 /EN 111 )
    – six (6) hours in college level mathematics (according to the requirements of the content major)
    – Mount Aloysius College Foundation Courses (LA 101 /LA 201 /LA 301 )
    – pass ED 225  Child and Adolescent Development for Educators with a C or better
  • Successfully pass the PRAXIS Core Battery tests in Reading, Writing, and Mathematics.
  • Complete other courses as specified in the College Core Curriculum and content major as directed by the student’s major.
  • In compliance with Pennsylvania Department of Education Guidelines meet a minimum overall GP A of 3.0.
  • Successful Interview (see Secondary Education Student Teaching Handbook).

Admission to Student Teaching

All students will be charged a Student Teaching Fee. (Please see Tuition and Fees  section.)

Student Teaching Admisson Requirements

  • A GPA of 3.0 or better.
  • Successful completion of all PRAXIS exams as listed above.
  • A grade of “C” or better in all education courses.
  • A completed application to Student Teaching and Data Sheet.
  • An essay describing the student’s interest in and preparation for a career in teaching.
  • Successful completion of all required education courses.
  • Successful completion of all field experiences.
  • Current Act 34 and 151 Clearances (Request for Criminal Record and Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance) and FBI Federal Criminal History
  • Records for Prospective Employees (fingerprinting).
  • Completed Health Appraisal including TB test.

Degree Completion Requirements

  • Successful completion of Content Discipline PRAXIS Exams.
  • A successful exit interview with College faculty and local school district administrators.
  • A portfolio that demonstrates that the student has met each of the learning principles identified in Chapter 354.33, Professional Competencies of the Pennsylvania Department of Education General Standards.
  • A satisfactory evaluation from the College supervisor on the state-wide performance evaluation and inventory of student teachers (PDE 430).
  • Successful completion of all student teaching assignments.

Important Information Regarding the Praxis Exams

  • Praxis bulletins and test information can be obtained from any education faculty member. Please see your advisor or any education faculty member for guidance and assistance regarding any facet of the PRAXIS exam.
  • Students should carefully read the bulletin to avoid problems in registering for the test and to mark test dates so that tests can be completed as required for admission into the department.
    – NOTE:.Testing Centers might not offer all the tests for each testing date. Regular testing is not available during the summer months. The PPST can be taken more frequently via the computerized format. Please read the Praxis Bulletin carefully and plan accordingly.

Below is the timeline for completion of PRAXIS tests and the required passing scores in Pennsylvania:

  • Sophomore, end of 1st Semester
    – completed 45 credits by end of the semester
    – completed six (6) hours in communication/writing (EN 110 /EN 111 )
    – completed six (6) hours in college level mathematics (according to the requirements of the content major)
    – passed ED 225  with a C or better
    – passed PY 221  with a C or better
    – passed the Mount Aloysius College Foundation Courses (LA 101 /LA 201 /LA 301 )
    – Recommended: complete a PRAXIS prep course or use PLATO or use practice tests
  • Sophomore, 2nd Semester - by end of the semester,
    – successfully completed PRAXIS Series I exams including:
    PPST Reading - passing score 172
    PPST Writing - passing score 173
    PPST Math - passing score 173
    A composite score of 521 with PA Minimum State Score Requirements (see ETS PA State Standards (www.ets.org)
    PPST Reading - passing score 171
    PPST Writing - passing score 170
    PPST Math - passing score 171

    – completed sixty (60) credits with a 3.0 GPA
  • Junior, 1st Semester - prior to the start of the semester,
    – submit formal application to the coordinator of Secondary Education
    – successfully complete interview with Secondary Education Admission Committee (see Secondary Education Handbook for admission requirements and interview information)
  • Junior, 2nd Semester
    – complete and submit student teaching application
  • Senior, 1st Semester
    – take Content area PRAXIS Exam
    Biology 7-12 Test Code 20235 Passing Score 147
    English 7-12 Test Code 10041 Passing Score 160
    General Science 7-12 Test Code 10435 Passing Score146
    Social Studies 7-12 Test Code 10081 Passing Score 157
    – apply for graduation
  • Senior, 2nd Semester
    – submit certification form

Prior to admission to Secondary Education, all students declare a major in a content area: Biology, English, General Science, or History/Political Science. All candidates for Secondary Education will have two advisors, one for the content area and one for education to aid in the scheduling of the courses.


The Education Department requires all students enrolled in a certification program to develop and maintain a sound professional record. Students applying to the Education Department must submit a Pennsylvania State Police Request for Criminal Record and the Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance, and the FBI Federal Criminal History Record (fingerprinting) for review.

Copies of these reports will be kept on file in the department. If individuals have offenses on the report, they may not be allowed to participate in practicum experiences or student teaching depending upon the policy of the public school district with which the College has a working relationship and to which they are assigned. This will mean they may not be able to complete a certification program and be recommended by the department’s certification officer for certification. If offenses show on these reports, students should see their Education Department advisor to discuss their situation and possibly consider other career options.

Transfer Students Admission Requirements

All transfer students interested in Secondary Education certification are subject to all current requirements for entrance to, retention in, and completion of the Secondary Education certification program including the GPA requirements.

Because of the nature of our certification programs, many education credits completed elsewhere will not be transferable. The transfer of education credits will be evaluated individually to be sure they meet the standards as addressed in the education coursework at Mount Aloysius College. The transfer of field experiences will be evaluated individually.

Students Admission with Completed Bachelor Degrees

Students who desire Secondary Education certification and who already have a bachelor’s degree will be admitted into the program after having completed one semester of coursework, demonstrating through transfer or Mount Aloysius coursework successful completion of college level mathematics and communications courses. Applicant must pass the PRAXIS Core Battery tests in Reading, Writing, and Mathematics. Transfer students with bachelor degrees must complete all coursework as specified in the program.

Core Course Requirements


Upper-Division Literature

  • EN 300/400 3 Credits


  • AR, EN, MU, TH 3 Credits

History /Political Science

  • HS or PS 3 Credits



Religious Studies/Philosophy

  • RS 3 Credits or PL 3 Credits
  • RS 300/400 3 Credits

Social Science

  • CR, EC, GE, PY, SO, WS 6 Credits

Cultural Diversity

  • Cultural Diversity: 3 Credits

Integrated Discipline Capping

Total Credits in Core: 46 Credits

Major Course Requirements

Total Credits in Major: 15 Credits

(Includes 7 credits in the core)

(46 credits including Biology credits are listed under Core Course Requirements. Students in the Biology major will complete 40-45 credits within the major with the completion of a required specialization.)

Secondary Education Specialization

Required Courses

Total Credits for Secondary Education Specialization: 59 Credits

(Includes 6 credits in the core)

Other Required Coursework

Total Credits in Other Required Coursework: 30 Credits

Total Credits of Free Electives for Biology Degree with Secondary Biology Education Specialization: 0 Credits

Total Credits for Degree with Secondary Biology Education Specialization: 137 Credits