Challenges of Recruitment: The Teacher Education Context in North Carolina

  • NSF Noyce Award # 1540830
  • First Name Tracie
  • Last Name Salinas
  • Email salinastm@appstate.edu
  • Discipline Other:: Math and all sciences
  • Co-PI(s)

    Tracy Goodson-Espy, goodsonespyt@appstate.edu
    David Wiley, wileyda@appstate.edu
    Anthony Calamai, calamaiag@appstate.edu

  • Presenters

    Tracie McLemore Salinas, Appalachian State, salinastm@appstate.edu Chris McCollum, Alexander Central High School, cmmcollum@alexander.k12.nc.us Katherine Gray, Caldwell Early College, kagray@caldwellschools.com Chris Kolischak, River City Academy, ckolischak@kpbsd.k12.ak.us Jennifer Burris, Appalachian State, burrisjc@appstate.edu Rebekah Saylors, Appalachian State, Laura Mallard, Appalachian State, mallardl@appstate.edu David Sitar, Appalachian State, sitardj@appstate.edu Carol Babyak, Appalachian State, babyakcm@appstate.edu Jenni Geib, Appalachian State, geibjc@appstate.edu

Need

Many states have undergone political, social, and economic transformations that have resulted in diminished numbers in the teacher preparation timeline. Even institutions that have historically led their states in graduation numbers have struggled recently to recruit into teacher education programs. In the University of North Carolina system, teacher education enrollments have been down 25-30% in recent years, adding pressures to the state?s challenges of recruiting and retaining effective classroom teachers. This project examines the challenges specific to recruiting teacher education candidates in STEM fields at Appalachian State University and aims to provide both a model initial process for examining program recruitment that will benefit other STEM programs. In particular we examine what factors of the broader context for teacher education have impacted our ability to recruit and retain teacher education candidates.

Goals

In this project, the key goals are to better understand factors impacting recruitment and retention in our Noyce project, which in turn informs recruitment and retention in teacher education more generally. We will also begin to consider strategies to counter the negative factors that we uncover. The key activities supporting these goals are: 1) undertaking a survey of teacher education candidates in our mathematics and science programs and of non-teacher education majors, 2) reviewing our Noyce project data on applicants and scholars, and 3) exploring experiences of program directors, department chairs, and recruiters.

Approach

In this project, (a) the goals are being achieved by connecting stakeholders in meaningful conversations and review of data related to teacher education recruitment. We will use a combination of survey data, interviews, personal experiences, and project data to explore recurring factors that impact our ability to recruit and retain teacher education candidates in our Noyce program. A simplified application of (b) grounded theory will allow us to identify emerging themes from those data sources that will coalesce into specific factors that can be addressed. In addition, the data itself may suggest strategies for responding to those factors. Involved persons include (c) department chairs, program directors, administrators, Scholars, and teacher education recruitment personnel from our institution.

Outcomes

The project provides (a) an articulation of impacts on teacher education recruitment in STEM areas that increases our capacity to respond to confounding factors. We will provide (b) summaries of factors and strategies that can be used to counter them both within our own programs and those of others. Follow up will include (c) disseminating the information and providing support for faculty and staff in implementing strategies. Planning to monitor data on effectiveness will also follow.

Broader Impacts

In addition to informing our Noyce project, the broader impacts of this project include informing our non-Noyce teacher education recruitment and retention and increasing our impacts as we move forward with our existing Noyce project. We are in the early stages of data collection and review, so it is too soon to provide a full list of those impacted by the project. However, we anticipate that it will impact all of our programs and our ability to reach future Scholars.

Posted on July 4, 2018