WEST PLAINS, Mo. – Area elementary education students can now become a part of the Missouri Department of Conservation’s Discover Nature Teachers (DNT) Program through the Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education (BSEd) completion program offered by Missouri State University’s Outreach Program at Missouri State-West Plains.
Outreach Coordinator Deanna Smith said the classes needed to complete DNT certification will be offered beginning this fall to students in the BSEd program, as well as to area elementary, junior high/middle school and high school teachers interested in the certification. The 12-credit-hour program consists of four three-credit-hour classes designed to train current and future teachers on how to use nature as a teaching tool to reach their students in all subject areas. Students who successfully complete the program will receive special recognition on their college transcripts, as well as completion certificates from Missouri State University and MDC, she added.
The DNT program is anchored in the Discover Nature Schools (DNS) curriculum created by MDC. It is designed to give education students the skills needed to use nature as a teaching tool while still meeting grade-level expectations set by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), Smith said.
Students who complete the DNT program and begin teaching in Missouri will become eligible to receive free student/teacher materials, transportation funds for classroom field trips, classroom education supplies and classroom consultation by MDC education staff, Smith said.
The first of the program’s four classes, Nature Unleashed, will be offered from 4:30 to 7:20 p.m. Tuesday evenings during the 2013 fall semester. The class, which will be offered at both the undergraduate (EEM 576) and graduate (EEM 676) levels at the same time, will focus on the untamed world of Missouri ponds, forests and prairies. It is specifically for teachers of grades three through five. Handouts and teacher helps will be provided, Smith said.
The remaining courses – Nature Unhooked (grades six through eight), Nature Unfolds (grades kindergarten through two) and Project WET, WILD, Learning Tree (grades pre-kindergarten through eighth) – will be offered in coming semesters, she said.
For more information about the program or to register, contact Teacher Education Completion Program Adviser Susan Johnson at 417-255-7937 or at SusanJohnson@MissouriState.edu. Registration for 2013 fall semester classes available through the Outreach Program at Missouri State-West Plains is going on now.