- Year 2016
- NSF Noyce Award # 1439848
- First Name John K.
- Last Name Coleman
- Discipline STEM
Franklin Fondjo, Langston University, firstname.lastname@example.org; Ernest Barnett, Langston University, email@example.com; Yvonne Montgomery, Langston University, firstname.lastname@example.org;
Alonzo Peterson, Langston University, email@example.com
John K. Coleman, Langston University
Langston’s program aims to produce STEM teachers who have demonstrated knowledge and understanding of STEM disciplines, can serve as empathic role models in underserved communities, and who also understand pedagogy. There is an information deficit in this area, and we aim to supply data that helps the education community understand processes that deliver results. The need for qualified STEM teachers, and under representation of minorities in STEM disciplines are both widely documented with a broad array of sources that begins with the nation’s president.
Langston’s program aims to produce 24 new STEM teachers who have excellent understanding of their discipline, and who meet all Oklahoma teacher licensure requirements. The goal is that each new teacher will teach in an underserved area and remain for their period of commitment and beyond.
Langston’s program is an integration of the university’s resources and program-specific plan and Oklahoma City Community College, as well as over 35 area high schools through several school districts. The partner high schools have a long history with Langston in providing clinical experiences for pre-service teachers. Primary field experience sites include urban sites such as the Oklahoma Public Schools and the rural areas of Oklahoma, lower and middle socioeconomic sites, and schools with diverse ethnic and racial cultures. The clinical faculty for STEM teacher candidates are accomplished professionals who are jointly selected by Langston’s school of education, STEM faculty, and the partnering school.
The program adheres to a process of recruitment and program induction that ensures participants are committed to excellence in STEM, and fully understand the Noyce program process. Initial recruits primarily came from students who participated in LU’s LINC program that technically ended in 2014. These students were already being groomed for excellence in STEM. The scholarship funds offered in the Noyce program was an inducement to become a STEM teacher. Future candidates are among STEM majors at LU and OCCC who are already being exposed to STEM enrichment experiences. All candidates go through a 2-week summer workshop that begins the preparation for OGET and OSAT licensure, which is required for teaching in Oklahoma. An integral part of the program is a rigorous mentoring class before participants are permitted to participate in tutoring and mentoring activities where there skills at teaching and empathic interactions are demonstrated and honed. The Noyce program’s team closely monitor teacher candidates’ academic performance and enrichment experiences (tutoring, mentoring, research) to ensure that they remain on course for reaching their own goals, as well as program goals. STEM and Education faculty mentors also provide overall guidance and counsel. Assessments and data collection evaluate and track all program elements.
Expected outcomes are that the program’s objectives of 1) producing 24 new STEM secondary teachers during the life of the grant who will teach in high-need school districts, and 2) retaining 75% of the cohort group through their commitment periods will be met. Its goals are aligned with LU’s larger commitment to eliminate the achievement gap for low-income and minority students, improve their college readiness for STEM, and contribute to the pool of highly qualified STEM graduates needed to meet the needs of the country.
Broader Impacts include contributing 24 new STEM teachers who have subject matter mastery in STEM disciplines, including real research experiences, to the pool of public school teachers in high needs school districts. Research shows that students in K-12 grades are influenced by competent, caring teachers who look like them (Achinstein, et al, 2011), and that is exactly what Langston will contribute to students of color in Oklahoma’s public school system. Quantitative tracking and a Data Management Plan provide a clear roadmap of outcomes and lessons learned that will be shared locally, regionally, nationally, and worldwide via workshops, presentations, and scholarly articles in peer reviewed publications. Stem Digital Village, our online STEM community, will also be used to showcase appropriate successes and lessons learned.