Students interested in seeking a career as a middle school or high school Earth-Space science teacher, should consider pairing an Astronomy major with a UFTeach Minor. The UFTeach Minor program allows the student to minor in a mathematics or science discipline while earning a specialized minor in education. The “Pathways to Teaching” minor allows a mathematics or science major to complete the professional preparation coursework for teachers required by Florida State Board of Education (Rule 6A-4.006(2), FAC) in four years, while completing the bachelor’s degree.
UFTeach is an alternative certification program, officially recognized by the State of Florida as a “Professional Training Option (PTO) for Content Majors.” A Bachelor of Arts in Astronomy can satisfy Florida’s specialization requirements for certification in Earth-Space Science (grades 6-12) and middle school general science (grades 5-9). Depending on the student’s specific choice of electives, it may also satisfy Florida’s specialization requirements for certification in Physics (Grades 6-12). For students who will teach Earth-Space science, we recommend that students take electives in the Geological Sciences and Soil & Water Science departments. Given the course requirements for the UFTeach program, most UFTeach students who major in Astronomy are expected to earn a B.A. in Astronomy. A suggested four-year plan can be found here for various natural science majors with UFTeach Minor.
Upon completion of the bachelor’s degree, the education minor, and a passing score on an appropriate Subject Area Examination (SAE) of the Florida Teacher Certification Examination (FTCE), students will be eligible for a temporary certificate to teach in Florida. Professional Education certification in Florida requires additional passing scores on the General Knowledge Test (GK) and the Professional Education Examination (PED) of the FTCE, background fingerprint clearance, at least one year of successful teaching experience, and completion of a school district induction program.
Students interested in UFTeach are encouraged to explore the UFTeach and Astronomy websites and then consult with faulty advisors, such as the Astronomy Undergraduate Coordinator and the UFTeach advisor.