- Year 2022
- NSF Noyce Award # 1748400
- First Name Allison
- Last Name Little
- Discipline Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Mathematics
Erold Bailey & Jennifer Hanselman, Westfield State; Daron Barnard, Worcester State; Hirul Patel, Quinsigamond Community College
Ileana Vasu, Holyoke Community College; Allison Little, MA Department of Higher Education
STEM teacher diversity needs to be addressed at scale in order to dramatically increase teacher representation in the classroom. MassTeach explores one way to address this through the exclusive recruitment of community college students interested in transferring to university as Noyce Scholars. This is critical because community college students are not intentionally recruited to become secondary teachers. However, in doing so we have excluded a potentially rich pool of teacher applicants to engage. Community college students tend to be the most diverse higher education segment and should be actively recruited to become teachers because of the representation, commitment, and expriences they can bring to the classroom and their commitment to their communities.
1. To what extent are the recruitment strategies effective in drawing more students of color into STEMteacher preparation programs within participating institutions?2. How and to what extent do MassTeach supports help participating students overcome the barriers totheir interest in and pursuit of a career in STEM education?3. In what ways and to what extent is the MassTeach Noyce Scholars program brought to scale (i.e.,implemented and supported by Massachusetts’ public IHEs)? To what extent
MassTeach is uniquely positioned to explore how to increase STEM teacher diversity at scale due to the statewide implementation of the project and the exclusive recruitment of STEM community college students into STEM teaching. MassTeach is looking at the supports and resources necessary to recruit a large number of community college STEM students into teaching.
Teacher diversity in MA is 8% compared to MassTeach which is 28%. MassTeach has identified three findings: Community college transfer students require additional supports to be successfully retained at the university and their timelines look different than “native” students; introduction to education is an underutilized recruitment strategy to diversify the teacher pipeline; and paid pre-teaching internships are valuable to changing students’ perspectives about what it means to be a teacher.
The broader impacts of this project is the increased attention to diversifying the STEM teacher pipeline and the Associate-to-Bachelor’s degree pathway that the project developed to seamlessly transfer secondary education credits as companion pathway to STEM across the entire Massachusetts public higher education system.