- Year 2023
- NSF Noyce Award # 2151023
- First Name Gregory
- Last Name Chamblee
- Discipline Chemistry, Life Sciences, Mathematics, Physics
Amanda Townley, Tuyin An, Denise Carroll
In the first year of implementation, the team worked diligently to recruit scholars for the project, successfully signing one scholar in the first cycle. Despite our intensive recruiting effort, the enrollment of the Noyce Scholars remains low due to multifaceted reasons, such as the general downtrend in enrollment of Mathematics/Science majors, parents’ concerns, the current HOPE and Zell Miller Scholarships covering full tuition for potential scholars, the attractiveness of higher paying non-teaching jobs, foreseeable challenges in teaching at high-needs schools, the availability of openings for mathematics and science teachers prior to obtaining a secondary teaching credential, etc.
In what ways can we increase the Noyce Scholar enrollment and teacher certification for high-needs school districts? How can we support and mentor scholars in our Noyce program?
We moved program admission on a rolling acceptance to maximize the number of scholars obtained. Some seminar and program course schedules were modified to accommodate the current single scholar’s learning needs.
For the next step, we plan to redesign the dissemination of the scholarship funds, diversify the candidate source and program terminal degrees, expand recruiting partnerships, and collect feedback on scholar candidate decision-making. Contact with several other individuals has expanded our recruitment efforts and highlighted a common concern among potential scholars–completion of the entry-level dual degree rather than the higher-certification MAT degree in education for scholars that have already obtained a BS in their content area.
We successfully recruited one Georgia Southern University (GS) Robert Noyce Teacher Scholar and one freshman intern in the first semester of Year 1. Under the program mentorship, the scholar has participated in state-level STEM and regional and national Robert Noyce conferences. In addition to taking content courses in mathematics and mathematics education, the scholar has completed a sequence of program seminars focused on Problem-Based Learning. The internship student has participated in the Science Olympiad Competition, STEM Community STEM Days, and multiple other STEM field experiences. Our next steps are focused on recruitment, as previously mentioned, and include an additional pathway for potential scholars who have already obtained a BS in a STEM field to become certified.
Our Noyce Scholarship project is aimed at (1) recruiting freshman and sophomore students STEM majors into teacher education (2) providing support for initial teacher training and certification in STEM fields; and (3) mentoring scholars as new teachers in high-needs school districts. In southeast Georgia, where Georgia Southern University (GS) is located, there has consistently been over 200 secondary mathematics and science openings over the past several academic years, but Southeastern Georgia universities have only certified approximately seventy-five (75) secondary mathematics teachers and eighty (80) secondary science teachers during this time. This leaves a need for highly qualified educators in a region with historically persistent poverty counties, where most districts are designated as high-need districts. Our program aims at increasing the number and quality of secondary teachers in STEM fields for high-needs school districts in the southeastern Georgia region. For the next step, we will continue to support and mentor our Noyce scholar and STEM fields internship students. We also plan to redesign the dissemination of the scholarship funds, diversify the candidate source and program terminal degrees, expand recruiting partnerships, and collect feedback on scholar candidate decision-making.