- Year 2016
- NSF Noyce Award # 1136426
- First Name Janet
- Last Name Barnett
- Discipline Mathematics
Victoria Marquesen, Colorado State University- Pueblo, firstname.lastname@example.org
; Janet Nichols, Colorado State University-Pueblo, email@example.com
; Frank Zizza, Colorado State University-Pueblo, firstname.lastname@example.org
Janet Nichols, Colorado State University-Pueblo, email@example.com
CSU-Pueblo, the only federally designated Hispanic serving university (HSI) in Colorado, is located in Pueblo, Colorado, and serves the southeastern quadrant of the state, providing the majority of teachers to its service area. Many school districts and communities within this service area face substantial challenges, including low levels of family income and education, historically poor achievement, and graduation rates that lag behind those in other parts of the state. Among Colorado school districts that meet the criterion of high need by the federal government (i.e., at least 20% of children served by the district are from families below the poverty line), 22 of 52 (42%) are in CSU-Pueblo’s service area. Among these districts, percent poverty rates are 20-51%, and in some partner schools, the free and reduced lunch rates are greater than 90%. Among adults aged 18-24 in the 10 counties in the service area, 19.8% – 46.2% are without high school diplomas/GEDs (state average is 24.9%). In Pueblo County itself, this statistic is 29.2%. According to the Colorado Department of Education, Pueblo City Schools (PCS), the largest school district partner in this proposal, is one of only eight districts in the state which met the poverty level, did not have 100% highly qualified teachers, and missed Annual Yearly Progress for 3 consecutive years. Two other school districts in southeastern Colorado also met all three criteria. These benefits will extend beyond the project’s duration by also strengthening the capacity of the regional mathematics education community to prepare and support new teachers.
The immediate goal of the Colorado State University-Pueblo (CSU-Pueblo) Noyce Scholars Program is to strengthen 7-12 mathematics achievement in southeastern Colorado by providing incentives and support which attract undergraduates and post-baccalaureate STEM professionals to the teaching profession, provide them with the strong content and pedagogical training required to teach in high needs schools, and retain them within the teaching profession beyond their obligatory service period.
Towards this end, the program intends to directly impact approximately 80 undergraduate and graduate students over the course of five years by providing scholarship and stipend support to highly qualified individuals who are pursuing secondary licensure in mathematics, as well as three-week summer internship opportunities for select freshmen and sophomores recruited from mathematics majors at CSU-Pueblo and its Community College partners.
Through this support, the program will remove two of three major obstacles currently encountered by potential secondary mathematics teachers in the Pueblo service region: lack of knowledge about the teaching profession, and lack of adequate financial resources. The third major obstacle facing new teachers of mathematics, lack of adequate support during the initial years of teaching, is addressed by two additional program components:
1.) A sustainable collaborative model of supervision for student teachers in which Teacher Education faculty members, mathematics faculty members and the assigned 7-12 cooperating teacher assume joint supervision and mentorship of Noyce scholars during their student teacher practicum; and
2.) A sustainable collaborative model of induction for the first two years of teaching through which new teachers will enter into a learning community with a CSU-Pueblo mathematics faculty mentor, a CSU-Pueblo Teacher Education faculty mentor and a 7-12 district mentor.
Awarded in 2011, the program has to date awarded scholarships to 18 students, and professional stipends to another 4 individuals. Of these 22 award recipients, 14 have now completed their licensure program and are already or soon will be teaching.
Three key components of our project are:
** Our “Explore Teaching” Summer Internship Program, which serves as a recruitment tool for prospective scholars, as well as giving students valuable experiences planning, executing and reflecting on activities that are used with middle and high school students attending the concurrent CSU-Pueblo Summer Mathematics Academy.
** Our Mathematics Education Seminar Series, which gives our Noyce Scholars an opportunity to interact with area classroom teachers, provides an opportunity for our community college partners’ students to explore teaching, and contributes to our efforts to build a sustainable partnership between the University, local K-12 school districts and regional community colleges.
** Our Mentoring and Professional Development Program, which provides individualized support for our Noyce Scholars during their student teaching practicum, as well as their first two years of teaching. Mentoring support provided to our new teachers includes the Noyce Induction Seminar that brings together recent graduates as a professional learning community to examine their teaching practice through the completion of case study work.
An especially exciting aspect of the project’s work has been the growth in leadership observed by the PIs and mentors for our scholars. Specific evidence of this growth includes:
** An Honors Thesis entitled “Active Learning in the Secondary Mathematics Classroom: The Effect on Student Learning” that reported on and analyzed results from our Noyce Scholars Summer 2014 Student Math Academy completed by a Noyce Scholar who also served as a summer intern in 2013, and served as a Junior Mentor for the Summer 2014 Academy. ** A workshop entitled “Teaching Mathematics Through Story-Telling” presented for local middle school teachers by one of our Noyce Scholar graduates.
** Presentations by two of our second-year Noyce Graduates at the Colorado Council of Teachers of Mathematics (CCTM) 2015 Annual Meeting, along with a panel discussion entitled “What every novice mathematics teacher wants to tell you” that featured seven of our Noyce graduates as panelists.
** Three presentation proposals involving seven of our graduates have also been submitted for the 2016 CCTM Annual Meeting.
The broader impacts of this project focus on both the long term effects of project activities on teaching and learning of the individuals and of the institutions involved with the project (i.e., benefits from the development of a partnership across programs, educational institutions, and community agencies to meet a regional challenge, effects of mentors trained in the project on retention of future teachers, and the long term effects of program graduates on mathematics achievement of 7-12 students). Through its partnership with a number of Hispanic serving institutions, led by CSU-Pueblo, the program will also broaden STEM participation of underrepresented groups. The project’s research and evaluation activities will also contribute to the current understanding of teacher education and its relation to 7-12 student achievement. With respect to recruiting pre-service mathematics teachers and retaining them to graduation and licensure, for example, the project will evaluate the extent to which participation in summer internships strengthens students’ interest in mathematics and/or in teaching, and will use project assessment data to identify specific activities that are essential to sustain a partnership for the recruitment and preparation of teachers. With respect to the impact of the program on teacher effectiveness and 7-12 student achievement in mathematics, questions addressed by the project’s research and evaluation activities will include: How do professional development and networking activities for novice mathematics teachers affect teacher retention? In what ways does professional development for novice teachers focused on teacher inquiry regarding 7-12 student learning and the use of student work samples to develop instruction result in changes in teaching and in 7-12 student learning? Additionally, the program is producing a number of field-tested products that can impact other programs with similar goals. These include manuals for summer internship mentors and directors of Summer Math Academies and a series of modules that focus on inquiry activities and resources for beginning teachers. Dissemination of these materials and our evaluation findings will take place via conference presentations and the project website.