- Year 2016
- NSF Noyce Award # 1035234
- First Name Robert
- Last Name Sherwood
- Discipline All
Catherine Pilachowski, Indiana University Bloomington, firstname.lastname@example.org
Robert Sherwood, Indiana University Bloomington, email@example.com
There has been a continued substantive decline in the number of students seeking licensure in all areas of science at IU Bloomington and in the State of Indiana. This project was designed to help stop this decline and increase the number of students in such programs.
Project Goals include:
1.) Increasing the number of undergraduate students with strong science content backgrounds to seek licensure via graduate programs a the IUB School of Education; 2.) Attract ‘Career Changers’ to enter into graduate science licensure programs; and 3.) Improve communication between the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Education.
Faculty from the Indiana University Bloomington School of Education and the College of Arts and Sciences have partnered with local school districts in the Indiana Noyce Science Scholars: Teachers for a New Decade project since 2010. Partner school corporations include Bartholomew Consolidated Schools, Monroe County Community Schools, Community Schools, North Lawrence Community Schools and Paoli Community Schools; all in southern Indiana. All of these districts are considered “high-needs.”
The Indiana Noyce Science Scholars project offers three different avenues for students to pursue teacher licensure. The first program is a joint BS/MS program where a student can complete a BS in a science area in the College of Arts and Sciences and an MEd in Secondary Education in the School of Education in five years. A second program is the Secondary Transition to Teaching program where post-baccalaureate students attend an intensive 11 month program that prepares them for teacher licensure and provides them with 18 graduate credit hours. The third program is Community of Teachers, which has a strong clinical emphasis where a student will work intensely with a classroom teacher over a minimum of three semesters along with taking graduate coursework.
As the project enters it last year of recruitment some data about the students selected and “lessons learned” are noted below.
Recruitment: It was more difficult to attract students to the program than expected. Even with an increase in stipend and two no cost extensions the program will like only produce only 34 teachers out of a goal of 44. Some possible reasons include:
** Being a residential program, some distance from a major metropolitan area, students have to commit to moving to Bloomington for at least one year. Almost all of the attracted students where either already in Bloomington due to undergraduate or graduate programs or where career changers from the area.
** There have several policy changes at the state level that have made teaching in all areas less attractive to students. This has resulted in the number of students pursuing teacher licensure dropping approximately 50% from 2010 to 2014. Science teachers prepared dropped about 30% during this same period.
** Advertising about the program was not especially effective. Our webpage was useful to potential students and many were alerted to the program by faculty in both the School of Education and the College of Arts and Sciences but somewhat costly advertising that was done over public radio and television did not appear to be helpful. Perhaps more personal interaction with undergraduate directors and advisers of the various science departments would have been useful but individual meetings and communications were done.
Follow-up: Participants have mentioned to the Program Evaluator that they did not feel enough contact was maintained by the program staff after they left the university. Improvements for this year and next year include personal e-mails and possible visits to first year teachers. The longer term follow-up of participants have turned out to be a much more time consuming effort than expected. Students must be followed for at least two years to document their teaching and sometimes this is difficult if the student does not provide contact information.
Some of the ‘lessons learned’ will be helpful to other research extensive universities that are considering applying for a Noyce grant. The relatively modest level of success may also be useful for policy makers in regard to what some of the barriers to attracting science students to consider secondary teaching.