College of Science and Health | DePaul University > About > Centers & Institutes > STEM Center > About

About

The mission of the STEM Center is to provide leadership and service for the purpose of strengthening STEM education throughout Chicago.

We achieve this by developing an effective program of study, offering lectures and opportunities to a diverse group of students, and using the university’s unique strategic position as an academic institution in the center of a major urban area to support high quality primary and secondary STEM education for students through professional development of teachers.

The STEM Center
990 W. Fullerton Avenue, Suite 4400
Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 325-4777

FAQ: General Questions

What do we do in the STEM Center?

Our mission statement, see above, sums up our broad goal. Some specific initiatives which further our mission are as follows. The STEM Center runs the Master of Science in Science Education (MSSE) program, which offers science content courses specifically designed for in-service teachers. Additionally, as a founding member of the Algebra Initiative, we train CPS 8th-grade teachers in high school algebra. We also offer the Leading with Algebra professional development series for a select group of teacher leaders. The STEM Center houses a team of Math and Science Coaches who work directly with CPS teachers, both in their respective schools and during professional development events. Our work with undergraduates includes: awarding the Margaret O'Malley Scholarship to an exceptional undergraduate woman studying in a STEM Field (see below); support for LSAMP, SACNAS, and CAURS; and organization of the annual Undergraduate Science, Mathematics, and Technology Research Showcase. The STEM Center also coordinates the annual Jeanne LaDuke Women in Math, Science, and Technology Lecture Series. ​

Who works in the STEM Center?

The STEM Center houses three full-time faculty member—Dr. Lynn Narasimhan (Mathematics), Dr. David Jabon (Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning), and Dr. Bernhard Beck-Winchatz (Astronomy). Additionally, a team of five math and science coaches works out of the center. Ms. Ruth Seward leads the mathematics team. Coaches train teachers at CPS schools, as well as lead professional development events at DePaul and throughout the Chicagoland area. A three person administrative staff, headed by Victoria Simek, and including Max Barry and Kathleen ​Scheppe, oversees center operations. ​

What DePaul college is the STEM Center housed in?

The STEM Center works closely with the College of Science of Health, but is not officially housed in it, nor any overarching college, since our work spans a diverse set of disciplines. The STEM Center runs STEM Studies, which is a CSH department. ​

I am an undergraduate major in a STEM discipline. What can the STEM Center offer me?

The STEM Center is a great resource for undergraduates who are looking to maximize their time at DePaul. We help majors in the STEM disciplines register for and attend academic conferences, direct them towards summer internships, discuss graduate school options and support them in applications, and offer opportunities to serve as student representatives on conference and event boards. The best way to start a relationship with us is to drop by 990 W. Fullerton Suite 4400 or to email Victoria Simek at vsimek@depaul.edu

What does STEM stand for?

STEM is a widely used acronym which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.​

Does the STEM Center offer scholarships?

The STEM Center offers one scholarship, Margaret M. O'Malley Liput Endowed Scholarship, awarded to an exceptional undergraduate women studying in a STEM Field. The application can be foundhere. DePaul’s College of Science and Health offers a great number of additional scholarships, which can be foundhere.​

FAQ: MSSE (Master of Science in Science Education)

What is the MSSE program?

The Master of Science in Science Education offers Chicagoland educators broad, content-based science curriculum to increase science mastery and prepare teachers for the Next Generation Science Standards. Students join a cohort of peers who progress together through a 12 course program.

Classes are held once a week in the evening during the academic year. Teachers take one course each quarter—fall, winter, and spring—each of which lasts 10 weeks. Teachers also typically enroll in two intensive courses during the summer. More information can be found here.​

Who should I call for enrollment inquiries about the MSSE program?

Victoria Simek, Associate Director of the STEM Center, (773) 325-4790
vsimek@depaul.edu

How long does it take to complete the degree?

Teachers typically complete the program in 2 years.​

How much is tuition per MSSE course?

Tuition per class next year is $2720 (plus $50 in fees each quarter; $25 in the summer). While this sounds like a lot per class, there are a variety of programs and options available to help off-set tuition costs. To discuss these options, please contact Victoria Simek at vsimek@depaul.edu.​

Does the MSSE program include a Middle School Science Endorsement?

Teachers wishing to earn a general science endorsement may use seven of the content courses from the program to fulfill that portion of the state requirement. Additional pedagogy courses would need to be taken either in the College of Education or another area institution.​

Do I have to be currently an in-service teacher to apply to the MSSE program?

Full-time teachers comprise a large majority of each MSSE cohort, since the program does not offer certification.  However, exceptions exist. If after reading about the MSSE on this site you are still unsure about the program’s fit to your circumstance, STEM Center staff is available to help determine the best course of action. We welcome email, phone, and in-person inquiries.​

Do I have to be currently employed by CPS?

No. We welcome teachers from all Chicagoland schools.​

I am a graduate student enrolled in the College of Education’s Teaching and Learning Program. May I take an MSSE course to fulfill my requirements?

Yes, this is possible. However, permission to enroll in the MSSE course(s) must be given by your COE advisor. Please check with the College of Education to make sure they will accept the course before registering.​

FAQ: Undergraduate

What scholarship opportunities does the STEM Center provide for undergraduates?

The STEM Center awards the O'Malley Scholarship to a female student enrolled in Biology, Health Sciences, Environmental Science and Studies, Chemistry, Physics, Computer Science or Mathematics program, with at least sophomore standing, GPA of 2.75+, financial need, and a commitment to DePaul. Students apply in the spring of their sophomore year. Click here for more information.​

Does the STEM Center provide financial aid for undergraduates?

No. Please navigate to DePaul’s financial aid page by clicking here.​

I’ve heard there is a really cool undergraduate ballooning program. What’s that about?

STEM Center faculty member Dr. Beck-Winchatz and undergrads enrolled in STEM 240: Science at the Edge of Space, use helium balloons to collect data from near-space.  DePaul Distinctions describes the experience here.​

As a science undergraduate, can I major in STEM Studies?

No. There is no undergraduate STEM Studies major. You must choose from courses of study offered by the College of Science and Health listed here.​