What is DragonsTeach?
DragonsTeach is a Drexel University program that allows Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) majors the opportunity to earn high-school teaching certification in Biology, Chemistry, Math, Physics, or General Science alongside their degree and co-op experience. The DragonsTeach program is designed to address the national need for qualified STEM teachers by training students with the content-knowledge to teach and encourage inquiry-based learning in the classroom. DragonsTeach is a collaborative effort of the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Engineering, and the School of Education and is supported by a $1.45 million grant from the National Math and Science Initiative to replicate the UTeach program.
What is the UTeach Institute?
The UTeach Institute was established in response to national concerns about the quality of K-12 education in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and growing interest in the innovative teacher preparation program started in 1997 at The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin), UTeach.
DragonsTeach is one of 44 programs nationwide implemented by the UTeach Institute. Students involved with DragonsTeach are a part of the UTeach network and have the chance to attend conferences, author papers, and conduct/present research.
Please visit: https://institute.uteach.utexas.edu/ to find out more.
How do I join DragonsTeach? Do I have to change my major?
First, you will need to take DragonsTeach introductory courses - ESTM 201 and ESTM 210. These courses can be found in the Term Master Schedule housed in the School of Education under STEM Teacher Education.
After successful completion of these courses (a letter grade of a “B” or better), you will meet with the DragonsTeach Advisor to discuss whether or not you are interested in continuing the program. If you decide to add DragonsTeach to your program of study, the DragonsTeach Advisor will declare the STEM Education minor and confirm participation in the program.
How long does it usually take to complete the program?
The length of time required to complete the program is contingent upon how far along the student is in their college career and their academic plan of study. We’ve found that students can finish the program for certification if they start by Fall term of their pre-junior year (at the latest). To find out how long it will personally take you to complete the program, please schedule an appointment with DragonsTeach Advisor.
How many credits does it take to complete the program and receive certification?
The program requires the completion of 38.5 credits for those interested in obtaining secondary certification in Biology, Chemistry and Physics. For those pursuing secondary certification in Mathematics, there are 42.5 credits required for completion.
How do I register for DragonsTeach courses?
The same way that you register for all Drexel courses. DragonsTeach courses are included in the Term Master Schedule housed in the School of Education under STEM Teacher Education.
Due to my current plan of study, I am unable to complete the program for certification, is there a way that I can still be a part of DragonsTeach?
Yes! If you don’t have enough flexibility in your plan of study to complete the program for certification, you have the option to declare a minor in STEM Education. Students that declare the minor must complete 25 credits and will gain valuable skills from courses and field experiences.
I already have 20 credits this term, how can I take DragonsTeach courses?
The introductory DragonsTeach courses are offered during the Fall, Winter, and Spring terms each year. If you have reached credit capacity, you can opt to take a DragonsTeach course in another term.
If I need to skip a term (not take a class one term), is that OK?
Yes! You simply need to keep track of when DragonsTeach courses are offered to ensure that you don’t fall behind.
How does the teaching experience work?
In ESTM 201, you are paired with a partner to deliver two lessons to an elementary school classroom. The Master Teacher (Drexel Professor) takes time to provide you with the skills necessary to achieve each lesson and you are required to observe your classroom before each field experience. Students have the full support of their Mentor Teacher (a Philadelphia school teacher), Master Teachers, and DragonsTeach faculty and staff as they enter the classroom.
In subsequent courses, you will prepare and deliver lessons to middle and high school classrooms. A specific amount of time – which will be communicated by your Master Teacher- is required for students to complete field experiences.
Are students assigned to schools or are we able to pick/find the schools where we will be teaching?
School assignments are determined by the Master Teachers. Master Teachers take into consideration factors such as accessibility and class schedules in determining where students will be placed.
Is transportation provided by the DragonsTeach program?
Students are responsible for their own transportation to and from the Philadelphia schools.