Mission: The VMSC Statewide Masters Programs offers professional development opportunities leading to master’s degrees in combinations of science, mathematics, and/or education and leadership for teachers of science and mathematics across Virginia. These programs utilize the resources of science, mathematics and education faculty in universities statewide through on-site, summer institute and distance learning courses. Frequently, special tracks within the program are designed and appropriate new courses developed to meet the needs of identified cohorts of teachers, often with support from grants or other specific sources of funds.
Degree Granting Partners: These universities offer specific masters degree programs to at least some segments of the K-12 science and mathematics teacher population. Programs permit at least 15 academic credits to be completed at partner IHE.
- Degrees are granted by the degree granting institution;
- Admissions and degree requirements are set by degree granting institutions.
Contributing Partners: These universities offer courses that could be considered by partner degree granting institutions for inclusion in their specific programs.
- Courses are offered at school system sites, in residential institutes, on IHE campuses, or in distance learning formats;
- Tuition and fees are set and collected by each contributing partner and may vary depending on offering format.
Governing Council: Members include:
- One representative in mathematics/mathematics education and one in science/science education from each degree granting and contributing partner; one representative is usually from mathematics/science and the other from education.
- One representative each from Virginia Council of Teachers of Mathematics (VCTM); Virginia Association of Science Teachers (VAST); and Virginia Association of School Superintendents (VASS).
- One representative each from State Council for Higher Education in Virginia (SCHEV) and Virginia Department of Education (VDOE);
- One representative from Virginia Mathematics and Science Coalition (VMSC) who serves as the chair of the council.
Committees: The council has three standing committees:
- The VMSC Statewide Masters Degrees committee develops the criteria for inclusion of Masters Degrees and proposes the adoption of these criteria to the Council. The committee recommends the inclusion of degree programs to the Council based on these criteria.
- The VMSC Statewide Courses committee develops the criteria for inclusion of courses and proposes the adoption of these criteria to the Council. The committee recommends the inclusion of courses to the Council based on these criteria.
- The Recruiting and Publicity Committee develops/maintains a brochure and website describing the professional development opportunities. Initially the costs are being covered by grants that have been received by Virginia Commonwealth University and University of Virginia in response to proposals that were submitted in conjunction with the Virginia Mathematics and Science Coalition.
Criteria for Inclusion of Degree Programs: Nominated Degree Programs will be included in the VMSC Masters programs if they meet the following criteria:
- Programs are designed to meet the needs of teachers of science and/or mathematics at designated grade levels
- Degree programs have been approved by the degree granting institution and degree requirements and expectations are provided in a form that can be posted on the VMSC Statewide Programs website
- The program was developed/refined collaboratively by faculty from two or more institutions of higher education and teachers and other leaders of the targeted disciplines and grade levels
- The program routinely accepts toward the degree at least 15 credits of approved course work at partner institutions
Criteria for Inclusion of Courses: Certain courses that are regularly accepted as transfer courses in VMSC Statewide Masters Programs are designated as VMSC Statewide Masters Collaborative Courses. However, degree granting institutions maintain responsibility for determining which courses can be transferred into their degree programs regardless of whether or not they are designated as VMSC Statewide Masters Collaborative courses. The exact criteria for inclusion will be proposed by the VMSC Statewide Courses Committee, but will include the criteria that the courses are regularly accepted as transfer credits in at least one program and that they have been developed/refined through a collaborative process.