- Year 2018
- NSF Noyce Award # 1660621
- First Name John
- Last Name Hammett
- Discipline Other: STEM, STEM
Dr. Yosra Badie, Saint Peter’s University
Dr. James Clayton
, Saint Peter’s University
Dr. John E. Hammett, III
, Saint Peter’s University
, Saint Peter’s University
New Jersey has a shortage of qualified teachers in math and the sciences. About 31 percent of all New Jersey public schools teaching 9th through 12th graders did not have a physics class in 2013-14, according to data from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights. “New Jersey overproduces elementary school teachers but under produces middle- and high-school STEM teachers, and 30 to 40 percent of New Jersey teachers leave the profession during their first three years in the classroom – more in high-need districts,” said Arthur Levine, Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation president (Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, n.d.). While the demand for STEM employment ranks in the top quarter nationally (12th), the number of STEM bachelor’s degrees ranks in the bottom third (36th) (NSF, 2014). Yet between now and 2024, STEM jobs are projected to grow at a rate of 11%. Data from the New Jersey Research and Development Council estimates 270,000 new STEM jobs.
The goal of the INVEST Scholars Program at Saint Peter’s University is to identify, recruit, and prepare a minimum of 25 highly qualified STEM teacher candidates (majoring in biology, chemistry, mathematics, and physics) to teach in high-need school districts primarily in New Jersey. The goal will be accomplished through four objectives: 1. Offer multiple pathways to teacher certification for STEM majors. a. A traditional, four-year, full-time route to STEM degree attainment plus certification; b. A nine-semester option due to the credit demands of two programs: STEM and Education; c. Transfer from HCCC through the dual admission program; 2. Implement intensive recruitment and marketing strategies targeted especially to those of the highest achievement and ability, and those who might not otherwise consider a career in STEM teaching. 3. Provide a holistic program of support to teacher candidates, which supplements the curricular requirements and develops in students the commitment to service, social justice, and discernment of teaching as a vocation and career. 4. Mentor and support new teachers during their first three years through a professional learning community and seminars and activities to support success. Focused activities include recruiting at the University and at Hudson County Community College. The recruitment efforts include creating marketing materials and attending various venues such as open houses and holding information sessions to attract STEM majors to the teaching profession. In addition to marketing and recruiting, programs such as tutoring and the STEM Camp have been planned to afford the prospective STEM teachers opportunities to experience firsthand experiences in teaching situations. The team is presently planning the Immersion Program for the summer which will consist of workshops and trainings to develop the skills and knowledge necessary for successful teaching. These workshops and trainings will include but not limited to creating an environment conducive to inclusion and caring in the classroom, developing reflective practices in teaching, using active learning strategies in lessons to engage learners, writing and developing lessons which support student learning outcomes, and using formative and summative assessment to improve learning.
The goals of our project are being achieved though collaboration with partners (k-12 districts, Hudson County Community College), with the dialogue among the biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics and education faculty, and support from among the staff and instructors in the Center for Externships and Experiential Learning and the Center for Academic Success and Engagement.
The collaborations with the local K-12 partners have yielded tutoring programs.. As a prominent part of our active recruitment strategy, prospective scholars tutor high school students enrolled in our partner LEA’s and other similar districts. In addition, the local LEAs are working towards the recruitment of students for the summer STEM camp. They have been eager to partner with Saint Peter’s in improving the success of student learning. Collaborations among the biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics and education faculty has initiated the establishment of a workshop for PRAXIS preparation which will be held on campus and facilitated by one of the INVEST scholars. This workshop began on May 24, 2018.
Through outreach efforts, the faculty and STEM students have developed awareness of the Noyce program. All faculty have been updated on the Noyce scholarship opportunities during faculty convocation and other full faculty meetings. All STEM students have been invited to the events at the STEM Center during the Fall 2017 and Spring 2018 semesters through broadcast announcements targeting STEM majors. Open house events have served as a venue for recruiting students. At all events brochures, flyers, and timeline activities have been distributed to students and parents. A brochure as well as other marketing materials was created to bring awareness to the program and has been distributed during all events. The brochure highlights the program goal, requirements, benefits and eligibility. A web presence has been created to promote the program: www.saintpeters.edu/invest.