- Year 2022
- NSF Noyce Award # 2050173
- First Name Jennifer
- Last Name Miller
- Discipline Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Computer Science, Geosciences, Mathematics
Angela Brown, Jeanne Qvarnstrom, & Savannah Williamson, Sul Ross State University; Catarino Morales, Southwest Texas Junior College
Jennifer Miller, Sul Ross State University
The Noyce en la Frontera program addresses gaps identified in literature to provide insight supporting STEM preservice preparation to the pipeline of talented students serving underrepresented populations in isolated communities by focusing on strategies to improve confidence levels of STEM preservice teachers. Quality mentorship through two programs has shown to positively impact underrepresented STEM postsecondary students’ science efficacy, identity (feeling of belonging to the STEM community, and values, predicting a STEM career pathway persistence for up to 4 years following graduation in a recent longitudinal study investigating STEM mentorships (Estrada et. al., 2018, p. 1). Project strategies center on improving community partnerships between isolated high need public schools, community college, and the university.
How does a culturally responsive teaching and mentoring program influence underrepresented and underserved STEM students in their pursuit of teacher certification from an institution serving isolated communities?
The Noyce en la Frontera program aims to increase increase the number of underrepresented minority undergraduate STEM students pursuing and earning teaching certifications by 10% over a five year period. In addition, the program will implement a mentoring program to increase self-efficacy of preservice teachers, Education and STEM faculty to integrate technology in STEM content courses as measured by the Technology Proficiency Self- Assessment for 21st Century Learning (TPSA) and the Teacher Efficacy and Attitudes Toward STEM (T-STEM) Survey. Finally, the Noyce en la Frontera program will provide support and ongoing training to improve pedagogical practices and culturally responsive teaching of STEM teachers and faculty serving high need schools, bilingual students and English Language Learners as measured by the Culturally Responsive Teaching Survey and Teacher Efficacy and Attitudes Toward STEM (TSTEM) survey.
The Noyce en la Frontera program met and/or exceeded all program objectives during year 1. The Track 1 program recruited and admitted 3 Noyce Scholars and navigated both scholars and mentors through an intensive 1st year program. Noyce mentors and scholars participated in pre-test activitities, attended ongoing professional development, and will be participating in hands-on summer activities implementing many science and math experiences at the Caving Across STEM summer camp with middle school students attending surrounding high need public schools. An additional 7 candidates were identified this spring, with 5 Noyce Scholars and Mentors being admitted into the program next fall.
Outcomes of the Noyce Scholars en la Frontera program offers isolated communities insights as to how culturally responsive mentoring programs might influence teacher recruitment and retention approaches among underrepresented minority communities. In addition, the program broadens the use of evaluation instruments targeting isolated and underrepresented minority communities.