- Year 2018
- NSF Noyce Award # 1439926
- First Name Virginia
- Last Name Vandergon
- Discipline Other: Science and Math
Kellie Evans, California State University, Northridge, firstname.lastname@example.org
Brian Foley, California State University, Northridge, email@example.com
Norm Herr, California State University, Northridge, firstname.lastname@example.org
Zuly Zappala, California State University, Northridge, email@example.com
Iqbal ‘Leila’ Thabet , California State University, Northridge, 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 those from groups underrepresented in STEM teaching. It also benefits our partner schools as they get high quality teachers in the hiring pool.
(a) Goal 1: to provide one-year stipends to individuals with bachelors 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;
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;
Goal 4: to provide professional development opportunities for CSUNoyce Phase II scholars and to scholars who have been teaching for one to two years in their own classrooms;
Goal 5: to provide financial assistance for opportunities to attend teaching and subject matter conferences.
(b) 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 (again with a cumulative GPA of 2.8 or better) for the credential students. Applicants must provide letters of recommendation and successful applicants participate in an interactive interview.
Goal 3: we recruit for summer opportunities on our campus in which 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: 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: we pay for travel to meetings for the scholars, for example the California Math Council and the California Science Teachers Association annual meetings.
Recruitment includes working with Science and Math Department advisors and undergraduate organizations within these departments (e.g. Matador Math Society, Tutoring Center) to advertise the scholarships and encourage students to apply.
A key framework is to recruit undergraduates by providing early experiences in classrooms and other learning environments. We have created several programs – Tomorrow’s Scientists, CSUN Earth Day, Pi Day and summer teaching workshops – where undergraduates work as TAs for expert teachers. These early experiences illustrate what the best education is like – which may be different from the teaching they experienced in school.
CSUN faculty in the Colleges of Science and Mathematics and Education are involved in the program.
To date we have had 30 STEM majors participating in our program (most of these students were/are supported for more than 1 semester). A survey of the participants showed that it was a very positive experience and increased interest in teaching. We have supported students who were on the fence about entering teaching and the support we offered them helped them decide on a teaching career. These students were also encouraged to attend STEM teaching conferences and most of the scholars have attended at least one such conference. We have provided extra-curricular math and science activities for local middle and high school students. Noyce scholars have helped plan and deliver the hands-on engaging activities for these events. This has given our scholars a chance to interact with local students and to come up with activities that they get to try first hand with students. Noyce alumni participate in seminar meetings and extra activities and mentor current scholars.
CSUNoyce Phase II scholars will develop their teaching and mentoring skills by working with teachers in selected high-need schools. Noyce Scholars will thereby impact the lives of students from the high-need communities from which many of them will have come.
We have continued a small pilot project that supports scholars as they implement engaging after school STEM programs.
CSUNoyce Phase II scholars have participated in programs that bring engaging math and science activities to secondary students from underrepresented populations on the CSUN campus. These events excite local students about math and science and provide opportunities for them to come to a University campus.
Dissemination has consisted of attending regional Noyce meetings (in 2016 and 2017) and discussing our program and goals.