At both the state and national level, the importance of a technologically literate workforce is essential to meeting the challenges of the 21st Century.  

Preparing students for this workforce depends not only on producing high quality science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) majors, but also improving their ability to communicate STEM concepts and work effectively with others. Whether they become doctors, teachers, or engineers, it is imperative that STEM majors are able to work in a variety of collaborative environments.  Paramount to creating collaborative environments is recognizing the inherent strengths in embracing diverse perspectives, creating safe and affirming spaces, and valuing social justice and equitable teaching/learning.

The STEM Education Certificate provides STEM majors with skills in how to effectively communicate STEM related concepts, as well as an awareness of discipline-specific approaches to teaching and learning.  Students enrolled in the STEM Education Certificate become part of a supportive CU Teach community. They work collaboratively teaching STEM concepts in local elementary and secondary schools and also experience working with youth in programs across campus and in the community.  Moreover, the STEM Education Certificate allows students to graduate with a skill set that can be applied in business and industry, while providing them required foundational courses if they choose to complete a secondary mathematics or science teaching license.

Certificate Requirements
(Coursework + STEM outreach)

*Updated as of 3/8/2021

Course Title Course Number Credits

Step-1: Inquiry Approaches to Teaching
OR Becoming a Learning Assistant

EDUC 2020
OR EDUC 4610


Step-2:  Inquiry-Based Lesson Design EDUC 2030 2
Knowing and Learning in Mathematics and Science EDUC 4050 3
(any two below, additional courses will be added as necessary)    
Teaching and Learning Biology EDUC 4811/6811
MCDB 4811/5811
Teaching and Learning Chemistry EDUC 4822 3
Teaching and Learning Earth Systems EDUC 4833 3
Teaching and Learning Physics EDUC/PHYS 4460/5460  3
Teaching Design GEEN 4400 3
Teaching K-12 Mathematics: Number Sense EDUC 4815/5815 3
Teaching K-12 Mathematics: Algebraic Reasoning EDUC 4821/5820 3
Teaching K-12 Mathematics: Geometry and Measurement EDUC 5831 3
Teaching K-12 Mathematics: Probability and Statistics EDUC 4850/5840 3
Teaching & Learning Math: Topics in Calculus, Trig & Analysis EDUC 4xxx 3
Perspectives on Mathematics  EDUC 4317/5317 3
Assessment in STEM Education EDUC 4706/5706 3
Total   13 credits

In addition to the required courses listed above, students must also complete a total of 15-hours volunteering with youth in select STEM education/outreach organizations. (Sites include CU Science Discovery, CU Fiske Planetarium, WOW! Children’s Museum, Destination Imagination, Butterfly Pavilion, Thorne Nature Experience, Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge - Environmental Education Assistant or Leader, and Science Fair judging.)

Student Eligibility: Degree-seeking students majoring in Math, Science, or Engineering (through Engineering Plus) are eligible to enroll in the STEM Education Certificate.  At completion, students must have an overall GPA of 2.75, and maintain at least a 3.0 GPA in the STEM Education Certificate courses.

Many of the courses included in the STEM Education Certificate are also applicable to the curriculum for obtaining licensure in secondary math or science; thus, students who decide to pursue a STEM secondary teaching license will be able to do so in a timely manner (~2 additional semesters + student teaching).  

The STEM Education Certificate will be an integral part of the CU Teach Program, which includes a supportive community of students, master teachers, and mentor teachers.  Data compiled by the School of Education show that CU Teach Step-1 participants—even if they do not ultimately attain teacher licensure—have a 10% greater likelihood of completing their STEM degree at CU than non-participants.  Additionally, students are increasingly interested in interdisciplinary and customized programs that bring together resources from multiple disciplines. The STEM Education Certificate is a collaborative venture between the School of Education, the College of Engineering and Applied Science, and the College of Arts and Sciences and focuses on creating learning environments that support the sharing of diverse perspectives in the process of solving interesting and relevant mathematical, scientific, and engineering problems.