- Year 2016
- NSF Noyce Award # 1035443
- First Name Sharon
- Last Name McCrone
- Discipline Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, Mathematics, Physics
Dawn Meredith, UNH, firstname.lastname@example.org
Judith Robb, UNH, email@example.com
Orly Buchbinder, UNH, orly.buchbinder.unh.edu
Diane Silva-Pimentel, UNH, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dawn Meredith, UNH, email@example.com
Teacher preparation programs, not matter how good, rarely address the issues or needs of teachers who work in rural areas. Although there are many similarities to urban high need districts, particular stresses of the rural schools can be different Some similarities include: lack of funding for mentors, lack of resources, low parent involvement, student disengagement. Some of the differences include: lack of community of teachers, no other teachers in same subject area in the school or district, need to teach a wide range of subjects, no social draw to the area, no other young adults in the town or surrounding area.
Our project sought to better prepare teachers for rural high-need districts in our state and beyond so there would be less teacher turnover.
The main goals of the UNH Noyce Program are:
** To attract talented individuals from a range of STEM disciplines to be UNH Noyce Scholars and to teach science and mathematics in grades five through twelve;
** To prepare the Scholars for the unique challenges faced by STEM teachers in rural high need districts; and
** To provide support for the Scholars as practicing professional teachers in rural high need districts.
Key activities during the past year included:
** Professional development workshops (on campus) for current graduate students/Noyce Scholars;
** Support for our teaching scholars through e-mentoring
** Funding to attend a professional meeting or professional development workshop (graduate students and recent graduates from the UNH Noyce Program)
Because this was our final year of funding, our approach this year was to continue with professional development of our last cohort of Noyce Scholars, continue with the e-mentoring program (with minor modifications), and have a reunion of Noyce Scholars so they can reconnect with each other and with university faculty.
Our professional development efforts this year focused on addressing issues and needs of high need rural districts. In addition, the state of NH is beginning to move toward competency-based assessments at all grade levels. This is a major issue and concern for our new teachers. Thus, this was the focus of one of our professional development workshops this year. We had a panel of teachers, administrators, parents, and student teachers who are all at various stages of figuring out the new system.
Key findings of the project are that the Noyce Scholars have appreciated and benefited from our efforts over the years to provide expert advice and better preparation for rural and high-need schools. Over the past 5 years we have been able to support 22 Noyce Scholars as they have progressed through our teacher preparation program. In the coming year we will support our final cohort of Noyce Scholars as they enter the teaching profession. We will continue to provided mentoring to prior scholars, as needed. We also are preparing a Track 1, Phase 2 proposal for continued scholarship funding and long-term evaluation of the impact of our project.
Results from our UNH Noyce Program has been disseminated to various communities of interest including:
** Other Noyce Program administrators and scholars via posters at the Northeast Regional Noyce Conference attended this academic year.
** UNH faculty, students and alumni via the campus media such as the school newspaper. Campus administrators are very support of the program and are supporting our new proposals, as well.
Local teachers and school administrators as they have attended (and presented at) our on-campus monthly workshops for Noyce Scholars, through Education Program liaisons, through descriptions of the program and our scholars accomplishments in letters of recommendation written for our program graduates.
The website provides information about the UNH Noyce Scholarship Program including eligibility criteria and program benefits. The site has a downloadable scholarship application, links to related sites, current program news and events, a FAQs page, and contact information for faculty advisors.