- Year 2016
- NSF Noyce Award # 1340109
- First Name Gretchen
- Last Name Andreasen
- Discipline Multidisciplinary
Dave Belanger, Physics Department & Physical and Biological Sciences Division, UC Santa Cruz, firstname.lastname@example.org
Grant Hartzog, Molecular, Cel and Developmental Biology Department, UC Santa Cruz, email@example.com
Debra Lewis, Mathematics Department, UC Santa Cruz, firstname.lastname@example.org
Gretchen Andreasen, Cal Teach at UC Santa Cruz, email@example.com
Alisun Thompson, Education Department at UC Santa Cruz, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Cal Teach program at UC Santa Cruz has been providing job preview opportunities for prospective science and math teachers and associated course work for ten years. We are exploring the attractions to, and concerns about, teaching careers expressed by participants — those who have become teachers and those who have not — before participating in a school-based internship, and annually thereafter. Improved understanding of the evolving perspectives of these two groups may help us refine the design of our program to better inform prospective teachers about teaching careers and better prepare them for successful experiences.
Our goal is to recruit science, math, and engineering majors into K-12 math or science teaching careers in high-need schools where they will be retained for extended careers.
The Phase I NSF Noyce project at UC Santa Cruz is synergistic with the campus’ successful Cal Teach program and with NSF Noyce research projects led by UC Santa Cruz collaborators. Cal Teach provides undergraduate coursework and internships to attract and prepare STEM majors for careers in K-12 math or science teaching. Cal Teach also provides opportunities for undergraduates, recent graduates, and prospective career change professionals to work with K-14 students without associated university coursework. Notably, one-week intensive internships are an alternative entry point into the program and an alternative opportunity for continuing students to gain experience in high-need schools. This second Noyce Phase I grant has allowed us to dramatically expand intensive internship opportunities and to develop stronger relationships with feeder community colleges. This project will fund 40 Noyce Scholars over four years, with the third cohort of 8 Noyce-funded students entering the MA/Credential program at UC Santa Cruz this summer.
We coded survey responses using the workplace sociological framework of Lortie (1975) for attractors, and drawing from the literature on teacher attrition and retention for concerns (e.g., Johnson, 2014 and Ingersoll, 2010). Our data is helpful in informing the design of the program to address some of the issues that affect recruitment and retention. It may also add to the broader understanding of barriers to entry into the profession by helping to illuminate possible factors influencing the current math and science teacher shortage. We have linked the survey responses to individuals’ specific academic and career pathways. Findings indicate that some of the initial concerns expressed in the entrance survey remain concerns years later, for both teachers and non-teachers. For example, salary emerged as a concern for both recruitment and retention of teachers. In our follow up surveys, we have also asked about the role Cal Teach played in career development, and results suggest that Cal Teach plays a role in career development far beyond the simple recruitment and preparation of K-12 science or math teachers.