Rider University to offer new elementary education – STEM studies major

This fall, Rider University will offer a new major in elementary education – STEM studies that will prepare students for certification as elementary and middle school teachers of math and science. In addition to field work at the elementary school level, students in the program will spend one semester in a middle school math or science classroom.

“Through this new major, we hope to make a meaningful impact in the number of STEM teachers, especially those in New Jersey,” Susan Dougherty, chair of the Department of Teacher Education, said. “Students in this program will not only have academic preparation in STEM topics, but plenty of real-world experience before starting their professional careers.”

Building a pipeline of qualified teachers, particularly those in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields, is critical as the U.S. faces a nationwide teacher shortage.

“We anticipate sending greater numbers of educators who are passionate about math, science, technology and engineering, and are well-prepared to teach those subjects, into New Jersey classrooms,” Dougherty said.

Rider has participated in a number of efforts to strengthen the field of education. The university partnered with the 100Kin10 initiative that aimed to prepare 100,000 new STEM teachers over a 10-year period. While 100Kin10 hit that goal, the effort continues on as Beyond100K, which hopes to end the STEM teacher shortage by 2043.

This fall, Rider will also offer a $2,000 annual scholarship for eligible incoming first-year and transfer undergraduate education majors to further support the next generation of teachers.

To learn more about Rider’s elementary education, click here.