- Year 2023
- NSF Noyce Award # 2243169
- First Name Martha
- Last Name Parrott
- Discipline Chemistry, Life Sciences, Mathematics, Physics
Spence Pilcher, Stephan Sargent, Luke Foster
Martha Parrott, Spence Pilcher, Stephan Sargent, Luke Foster
This recently funded Noyce Scholars Program aims to serve a national need by increasing the number of highly effective secondary STEM teachers in high-need, culturally diverse schools in rural and urban areas of northeastern Oklahoma. The State currently faces teacher shortages, including teachers qualified for instruction in mathematics, biology, chemistry, and physics. Goals of this program include attracting, preparing, and inspiring prospective teachers to select diverse areas in which to teach upon graduation and will provide scholarships to high-achieving students, significantly reducing the financial burden of becoming a STEM teacher.
NSU’s Noyce Scholars Program proposes the integration of instruction in place-based education in its coursework as an innovative way to prepare STEM teachers for careers in high-need school districts. The Leadership Team will seek to understand the effectiveness of the NSU Noyce Scholars Program, specifically what aspects of the program were most/least successful, retention and graduation rates, and long-term post-graduation outcomes for NSU Noyce Scholars. These results will be used to develop evidence-based recommendations for enhancing the training of STEM educators at other institutions of higher education. In addition, the NSU Noyce Scholars Program will evaluate the impact of induction activities on scholars who are in their first years of teaching with the hope of improving retention of teachers in the field.
Unique project attributes include that these prospective teachers will receive enhanced programming through diverse experiential learning opportunities, enhanced mentoring, summer workshops, and after graduation, scholars will continue to receive high-quality induction support. Northeastern State University’s project proposes the integration of instruction in place-based education into its coursework as an innovative way to prepare STEM teachers for careers in high-need school districts. By utilizing place-based education, immersing students in local heritage as a foundation for learning, and other effective and engaging immersive learning STEM experiences, this program will improve learning outcomes for the Scholars and better prepare the students they teach for college and increase those students’ interest and engagement in the STEM fields. Examples of engaged immersive learning opportunities include the Peer Assisted Student Success Program (PAAS) which is a program at NSU in which upper-level students are trained as peer leaders to provide supplemental instruction for courses and the NSU Mathematics Clinic, a program in which teacher candidates will provide assessment and instruction to K-12 students from the community as service outreach. This program at Northeastern State University includes partnerships with two K-12 partners, Tahlequah Public Schools and Union Public Schools, and builds on established partnerships with local community colleges. The project further supports research on the persistence, retention, and effectiveness of K-12 STEM teachers in high-need school districts.
Year 1 of this grant began April 1, 2023 so there are not yet any outcomes to report. We look forward to sharing outcomes summer 2024.
The NSU Noyce Scholars Program will increase the number of STEM-certified teachers prepared to enter high-need school districts and address the local and national need for STEM educators. By utilizing place-based education and other effective and engaging STEM instruction, the NSU Noyce Scholars Program will not only improve learning outcomes for scholars but also better prepare their students for college and increase those students’ interest and engagement in the STEM fields. Research has shown place-based education helps some populations, especially Native Americans, to reconcile their cultural views and ways of knowing with traditional western views (Torso et al., 2021). This results in increased retention and development in STEM areas at the college level and, when implemented at the high school level, there was an increase in performance in the STEM course and an increase in college enrollment for these students (Cooley, 2022). Additionally, The NSU Noyce Scholars Program will strengthen existing partnerships with the local school districts as well as community college partners.