- Year 2019
- NSF Noyce Award # 1439926
- First Name Virginia
- Last Name Vandergon
- Discipline Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, Geosciences, Math, Physics
Kellie M Evans, CSUN Dept Mathematics. firstname.lastname@example.org; Brian Foley, CSUN Dept Secondary Education, email@example.com; Norm Herr, CSUN Dept Secondary Education, firstname.lastname@example.org
Virginia Vandergon, CSUN Dept of Biology email@example.com; Thomas Garcia, CSUN Dept Secondary Education firstname.lastname@example.org
(a) As California institutes the NGSS and CCSS in all schools there is an even bigger need to hire quality subject matter teachers in math and science. We feel that the CSUNoyce Phase II scholars program helps us support promising pre-service teachers so that they can reach the classroom quickly. Providing a scholarship/stipend to students as they finish their undergraduate degree and/or their credential allows them to finish in a timely matter. (b) This project benefits our promising students especially our students that are from underrepresented groups in STEM teaching. It also benefits our partner schools as they get high quality teachers in the hiring pool.
Our goals and the key activities for those goals are what guides our work. Goal 1: to provide one-year stipends to individuals with bachelor’s degrees in STEM fields who, because of this program, have decided to pursue teaching careers; Goal 2: to provide one- two- or three-year scholarships to undergraduate junior- and senior-level science and math majors who have committed to an additional credential year or who are already in an integrated math/credential program; For goals 1 and 2 we have been recruiting STEM majors either as undergraduates or while they are in their credential program to provide scholarships/stipends. Our criteria include a GPA of 2.8 or better as an undergraduate or a degree in a STEM field for the credential students. They also have to provide letters of recommendation and participate in an interactive interview. Goal 3: to provide support for freshmen and sophomore math and science majors to participate in summer field experiences with a goal of interesting these STEM majors in teaching careers; For goal 3 we recruit for summer opportunities on our campus in which the freshman and sophomore candidates can assist in teaching subject matter enhancement courses. They have to be making good progress in their courses and also participate in a short interactive interview. Goal 4: to provide professional development opportunities for our CSUNoyce Phase II scholars and to the past scholars who are one to two years in their own classrooms; For goal 4 we provide professional development (PD) and seminars centered around reading of original research on aspects of teaching in diverse classrooms and classroom management. We also invite the scholars to attend PD linked to some of our other activities for example Math Morsels, CSCS open house and JPL open house for teachers. Goal 5: To provide financial assistance for opportunities to attend teaching and subject matter conferences. For goal 5 we pay for travel to meetings for the scholars for example the California Math teachers and the California Science Teachers Association annual meetings.
(a) Recruitment is being done by working with Science and Math departments and undergraduate organizations within these departments (e.g. Matador Math Society, Tutoring Center), we speak with the advisors and we also post fliers both electronically and physically in both Colleges (Science & Math and Education). (b) A key framework is to recruit undergraduates by providing early experiences in classrooms and other learning environments. We have created programs like Tomorrow Scientists, Earth Day, Pi Day and summer teaching workshops where undergraduates work as TAs for expert teachers. These early experiences help students realize that teaching is a great way to promote a more educated society. Our goal is to give students experiences showing what the best education is like – which may be different from the teaching they experienced in school. (c) CSUN faculty in both Colleges collaborate on these efforts to engage undergrads and credential students in the CSUN STEM teaching program.
(a) To date we have had 42 STEM majors participating in our program (most of these students were/are supported for more than 1 semester). Surveys show that it was a very positive experience and increased the participants’ interest in teaching. We have supported students who were on the fence about entering teaching and the support we offered helped them decide on a teaching career. Many of these scholars have also attended a STEM teaching conference. (b) We have provided extra-curricular STEM activities for local 6th-12th grade students, Tomorrow’s Scientist, Pi Day and Earth Day. The Noyce scholars have helped plan and deliver engaging activities for these events interacting with local students. (c) We have also invited all of our alumni (targeting the first year teachers) to our seminars and extra activities. We asked them to share how it is going both their challenges as well as their triumphs. We are also providing support for these alumni to travel to STEM teaching conferences.
(a) CSUNoyce Phase II scholars will develop teaching and mentoring skills by working with teachers in selected high-need schools. The scholars will thereby impact the lives of students from high-need communities. Our scholars have also participated in bringing engaging STEM activities to local students who come from underrepresented groups. (b) CSUN undergraduates who have been involved in the above these programs have had the opportunity to experience teaching and think about possibilities for their future career goals that might include teaching. The students from local schools have had the opportunity to be on campus and meet college students who come from their neighborhoods. (c) This second phase is moving forward successfully and our dissemination has consisted of attending Noyce and meetings and discussing our program and goals.