Biology Teacher assisting students with a lab project

The Science and Mathematics Education Center (SMEC), based in College of Science and Mathematics, has as its primary mission the recruitment and retention of science and mathematics students at the undergraduate level through special academic, financial, programmatic, advising and counseling support. Advising and counseling focus on the students' course needs in order to assure that subject matter competency is established within the target science discipline or for mathematics. SMEC provides students with a comprehensive early field experience in conjunction with training workshops designed to better prepare them for the demands of the teaching profession. SMEC, which has been extensively supported by the National Science Foundation, emphasizes recruitment of students from diverse backgrounds in an effort to reflect the demographics of our highly culturally diverse region. SMEC takes great pride in the diversity of its students. The SMEC Counselor is very conscientious about the advising and counseling services provided to all students, making sure that services are conducted in an inclusive, culturally sensitive manner. SMEC carefully monitors student financial needs and makes every effort to carefully coordinate its efforts on behalf of students with the Financial Aid Office in order to determine student eligibility for available scholarships and loans. SMEC's support of students continues beyond the undergraduate years into the credential year with continued counseling, financial and programmatic support including special professional development opportunities such as summer research internships, etc. SMEC works closely with the Kremen School of Education to provide comprehensive support as students transition to the credential program. Beyond the credential program, SMEC continues to work collaboratively with the Kremen School of Education and other organizations to provide professional development opportunities for practicing teachers to enhance their content and pedagogical knowledge within the science and math disciplines. Often, these professional development programs address new credentialing requirements under the No Child Left Behind legislation. In addition, SMEC is a leader in the state for the development of a new online learning community that allows students and teachers at all stages of the teacher preparation and development continuum to be connected digitally to a wealth of teaching and learning resources and to share their on contributions to the community.