- Year 2017
- NSF Noyce Award # 1240124
- First Name Rong-Ji
- Last Name Chen
- Discipline Math
Edward Price, California State University San Marcos, firstname.lastname@example.org
Andre Kundgen, California State University San Marcos, email@example.com
Rong-Ji Chen, California State University San Marcos, firstname.lastname@example.org
There is a dire need for quality math and science teachers in California and across the nation. But not many undergraduate STEM majors are interested in becoming teachers. There is a need to promote teaching as a viable career option and to recruit STEM majors to the teacher credential program.
Our goal was to increase the number of STEM undergraduates on our campus that applied to our fifth-year credential program. We leveraged a Learning Assistant program to target and recruit strong STEM majors. Specific strategies included creating early teaching opportunities and identifying strategic partners in each of the STEM undergraduate majors. In addition, we have a math subject matter preparation program for math majors who are interested in teaching at the secondary level.
In the Learning Assistant program, STEM majors attended an education seminar and explored effective teaching and learning. They worked with a STEM faculty and helped students learn the materials. They reflected on their experience in light of educational theories and practice. In the math subject matter preparation program, students took a collection of math courses that helped them become qualified for a Single Subject Credential in Mathematics. They also completed a foundations of education course, which required classroom observation experience.
In the past 4 years, we have recruited 34 Noyce Scholars. More STEM undergraduate majors are aware of the Noyce program, and more STEM faculty participated in the recruitment effort.
Our project provides viable strategies for STEM teacher recruitment. (1) It takes a village to recruit STEM majors into the teaching profession. Math, science, and education faculty work as a team to convey a consistent message and ongoing encouragement to STEM undergraduates. (2) Undergraduate communities such as our Learning Assistant program and subject matter program provide a site in which STEM majors have the opportunity to explore teaching.