- Year 2019
- NSF Noyce Award # 1758499
- First Name Gwen
- Last Name Landever
- Discipline Other: Teacher Education
Caroline Mackintosh, University of Saint Mary, firstname.lastname@example.org
Gwen Landever,University of Saint Mary, email@example.com; Caroline Mackintosh, University of Saint Mary, firstname.lastname@example.org
This project is important in recruiting STEM teachers in our area. There is a shortage of qualified and prepared STEM teachers in K-12 schools, particularly in high need areas. Our project related to recruiting STEM teachers through our Future Teacher Academy, Partnerships with local Community Colleges, attracting retired military personnel into a second career in teaching, and recruitment with our own math and science majors is responding to the need and filling the gap of qualified, prepared STEM teachers in the Kansas City Metropolitan Area.
These are the objectives of our project: The program will accomplish the following objectives: (1) create a process to introduce high school students in math and science courses to teaching as a career option; (2) improve pathways into USM STEM and secondary teaching certificate programs for students transferring from community colleges; (3) increase the number of USM students who major in a STEM discipline and concurrently enroll in the secondary teacher certification program; and (4) develop the capacity for ongoing outreach to military-connected candidates/career changers who possess a STEM degree and may be interested in careers in teaching.
Our approach to addressing the STEM teacher shortage and building our capacity as a small liberal arts institution with limited numbers of students pursuing a STEM teaching career is a four-pronged recruitment strategy that will enhance pathways into STEM teaching for students from local high schools and community colleges; traditional students, including STEM majors who have not previously considered teaching as a career; and second career seekers/career changers and candidates with military connections. The project objectives are based on the following well-documented rationale: (1) Sound role models and mentors at the pre-K-12 level are integral for students who choose to pursue STEM careers (Cochran-Smith et al., 2011). (2) Accelerated MA programs, combined with teacher certification, can incentivize nontraditional students and career changers to pursue second careers in teaching (DiMaria, 2013). (3) Articulation agreements between two- and four-year institutions promote seamless transfer of credits, are cost-effective solutions to increase the pipeline of students seeking baccalaureate degrees, and reduce inefficiencies in a curricular plan while ensuring that students receive more career-relevant content (Parsons, 2013). The BEST program will incorporate strategies to help attract women and underrepresented minorities (URMs) to become STEM teachers, who in turn will help increase the number of women and URMs who pursue science careers. A the end of the capacity building project, the project team will widely disseminate evaluation results to share key findings with other educational institutions and communities seeking to prepare high-quality STEM teachers, especially in high-need schools, where the shortages more acutely affect poor children and children of color (Berry, 2009).
Key outcomes of the project are describing our lessons learned, our successes in the recruitment efforts and partnerships with community colleges and local school districts, through our Future Teacher Academy and recruitment with military connected personnel seeking a second career in STEM teaching and planning for next steps at the end of our capacity building project.
The broader impacts of this project can inform smaller liberal arts private institutions on how they can pursue similar efforts in recruitment of high school, community college and military connected career changers to seek a career as a STEM teacher. We will particularly share our experiences with the Future Teacher Academy and how we leveraged partnerships with local schools and our own Alumni who are STEM teachers into the recruitment activities.