William F. McComas

William F. McComas (Ph.D. in Science Education, University of Iowa, 1991) is the founding director of the Program to Advance Science Education (PASE) in the Rossier School of Education at USC. This program attracts graduate students who wish to earn masters and doctoral degrees while learning to become more effective science teachers, instructional leaders, and science innovators and serves others who would like to earn teaching credentials.

He teaches courses in educational research, the philosophy of science, issues in science education and advanced science teaching methods. His research focuses on issues in biology education, the elements of effective laboratory and inquiry instruction, models for the assessment of science learning, science learning in museum settings and the intersection of the philosophy of science and science instruction. He is a science education advisor to the California Science Center, the Huntington Gardens and the LA County Museum of Natural History. In 1998 McComas won the Distinguished Achievement Award from the Educational Press Association and the Outstanding Science Teacher Educator by the Association for the Education of Teachers in Science (AETS). He is the 2001 winner of the Ohaus / NSTA Award for innovative college curriculum design and in 2003 he received a grant from the USC Fund for Innovative Undergraduate Teaching to produce an on-line searchable database of students' science misconceptions. McComas was named one of the two 2004 winners of the USC Associates Award for Excellence in Teaching.

McComas adds: "I continue to enjoy my experience as a CET Fellow and am looking forward to continuing to be a resource for USC colleagues, particularly those with interests in science instruction. Areas of expertise that others might find useful include assessment, design of laboratory-based instructional experiences, and curriculum development within the sciences. I have been encouraged by the growth of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and by the ways in which it has touched and enhanced the lives of many in the USC community. This year I plan to continue support for the CET mission with workshops such as Asking Better Questions and participating as a panelist on topics like Negotiating a Job Offer. With the amazing success of the new certificate course, The Future Professoriate, I am anxious to continue work with the participants as they make the transition from graduate student to university professor. Designing and implementing this course remains a unique, exciting and energizing experience."