- Year 2019
- NSF Noyce Award # 1758248
- First Name Laura
- Last Name Altfeld
- Discipline Biology, Math
Holly Atkins, Associate Professor of Education, Saint Leo University, firstname.lastname@example.org
Laura Altfeld, Saint Leo University, email@example.com; Holly Atkins, Saint Leo University, firstname.lastname@example.org
Our project aimed to both improve our recruitment of students into our STEM teacher preparation program and to improve our preparation of those students for the demands of a STEM teaching career.
Our capacity building project focuses on three areas: (1) recruitment; (2) pedagogy; and (3) certification exam preparation and success.
We developed new marketing materials aimed at connecting passionate students with ways to share that passion through teaching. We surveyed current students and high school guidance counselors to learn more about students’ needs/interests in STEM teaching. We developed new courses for teacher preparation and implemented new certification exam preparation modules and test fee scholarships.
Our new marketing materials are engaging and specifically target the STEM Teacher Preparation program at the university, something which had not previously been employed. Our surveys indicated high student interests in STEM but not necessarily in teaching, with both positive and negative perspectives on teaching that can be addressed through outreach. We are still evaluating the effectiveness of our certification exam preparation modules and test fee scholarship program, but feel confident that there is great value in this investment of funding and time.
We see two main impacts of the work we’ve done this year. One, we are beginning to see greater recruitment into our STEM teacher preparation program, which bodes well for the school districts in our local and regional areas if we increase the number of highly qualified teachers entering the profession. Two, we have incorporated greater networking and mentorship between current teacher students and in-service teachers through the development of a Summer Institute that combines teachers and students in classes that focus on STEM-specific teaching challenges.