- Year 2017
- NSF Noyce Award # 1439827
- First Name Liza
- Last Name Cummings
- Discipline Math
Tammy Voepel, Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, email@example.com
Sharon Locke, Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, firstname.lastname@example.org
Liza Cummings, Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, email@example.com
Given the need for this nation to maintain its leadership in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and the growing diversity and needs of our school population, it is important to increase our production of mathematics teachers who are well prepared to teach in high needs schools. This project is designed to meet that challenge. In particular, the Noyce Math Scholarship Program assists junior and senior students through monthly mentoring meetings where scholars network with quality STEM educators to explore topics outsides of their normal teaching curriculum in which an intense focus on high needs students is offered. Scholars also gain mathematics research experiences with faculty, participate in various outreach opportunities, and are engaged in intensive teaching experiences that occur in high-needs schools prior to student teaching. In addition, a tutoring opportunity is offered to the Noyce Math scholars at a local community college.
Our major goals for this program are as follows:
1. recruit highly qualified STEM students that demonstrate an aptitude for teaching mathematics,
2. provide these students with an enhanced experience in mathematics education and research,
3. supply high-needs middle and high schools with exemplary mathematics educators,
4. increase outreach experiences in the communities of southwestern Illinois, and
5. disseminate project findings for use in other mathematics education settings.
In particular, the Noyce Math Scholars participate in monthly seminars and observations with mathematics educators from high-needs middle and high schools held by expert teachers. The scholars participated in regular observations prior to student teaching and during their student teaching experience. Specific adjustments are made to assure these experiences are in high needs settings. Scholar participate in outreach experiences including the ICTM Regional Math Contest, Science Olympiad, SIUE Homework Hotline and the Research Challenge. Senior Noyce math scholars participate in regular observations and student teaching coursework. The junior Noyce scholar participate in additional intensive teaching experiences in a high needs school as well as tutor at one of the local community college.
The monthly seminars are led by four master teachers from local schools in the southern Illinois region over topics and activities about pedagogical practices in high needs areas. Scholars attend mathematics research and mathematics education conferences. All scholars participate in community outreach events. Some examples of the community outreach events in which scholars participated include the ICTM Regional Math Contest, Science Olympiad, and the Research Challenge, all hosted at SIUE. Junior scholars participate in intensive classroom experiences before their normal student teaching experience at a high needs school. They also participated in tutoring at the local community college. The faculty members from the mathematics department worked closely with seniors on mathematics research.
Key findings from the Spring of 2016 for the SIUE Noyce Math Program include the following:
1. Four Noyce Mathematics Scholars completed the program quality survey and did not universally agree that the program goals complemented their Noyce Mathematics Scholarship experience. They did agree that their experiences were complemented by their experience with a master’s teacher and through involvement with professional organizations. Two students either disagreed or remained neutral that their experiences were complemented by involvement with the Noyce program cohort, with education-oriented outreach and service, and math tutoring.
2. Overall, all four scholars agreed that the program is preparing them to work in a high-needs school.
3. The two graduated scholars found employment as a mathematics teacher, though only one became employed at a high-needs school according to the U.S. Department of Education?s Teacher Cancellation Low Income Directory.
The Noyce program provides full scholarships that enable talented mathematics undergraduates to obtain a teaching certification and teach in a high needs school, thus contributing to improving the quality of mathematics education at the middle and high school levels. For undergraduates who come from low-income families, the Noyce Math scholarship helps them to overcome financial constraints and finish their four-year university degree. Thus, the project is contributing to college access and retention, which is an important national concern.