- Year 2019
- NSF Noyce Award # 1660699
- First Name Anthony
- Last Name Thompson
- Discipline Biology, Chemistry, Math, Physics
Charity Cayton; East Carolina University;firstname.lastname@example.org
Heather Vance-Chalcraft; East Carolina University; email@example.com; Claudia Jolls; East Carolina University; firstname.lastname@example.org; Elizabeth Doster; East Carolina University;email@example.com
Ron Preston; East Carolina University; firstname.lastname@example.org
Recently, East Carolina University was funded for its 2nd Noyce Scholars program. The purpose of this research was to investigate teachers’ perceptions of their experiences as Scholars during ECU’s first Noyce grant in 2010 – 2015; this information is being used to inform our current Noyce Scholars program (2017 – 2022). Other programs can benefit from learning about our experiences (both following and researching prior graduates and using these results for program improvement). We could find no published studies that documented post-Noyce Scholars’ perceptions of their experiences as Noyce Scholars and how this information was later used for program improvement.
The questions guiding this research were: 1) What are prior ECU students’ perspectives of their experiences as Noyce Scholars? 2) What are prior ECU Noyce Scholars recommendation for future Noyce Scholars?
The review of literature on Noyce and other similar scholarship / loan forgiveness programs guided the researchers design of a survey consisting of six demographic questions, 21 Likert Scale items (Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree), and two open response questions. The anonymous, online survey was sent to all 40 prior ECU Noyce Scholars in Spring / Fall 2018. Of the original 40 Noyce Scholars, 32 responded (80% response rate); all respondents were currently teaching. The survey items were analyzed using descriptive statistics.
With regard to teachers’ perceptions of their experiences as Noyce Scholars: a) 100% agreed having a double-major or two degrees (content and education) made them better teachers b) 90% agreed they wanted to serve as mentors to new Noyce Scholars c) 75% agreed that being a Noyce Scholar made them better teachers d) 63% agreed that being a Noyce Scholar helped them take on leadership roles in their school or district; e) 55% of undergraduates agreed they would not have completed a double major without a Noyce scholarship; Concerns expressed by Noyce Scholars included: a) 75% wanted additional mentoring and support after graduation; b) 50% wanted additional professional opportunities at ECU beyond monthly seminars and attending conferences. Additional results will be provided at the conference (e.g., where responses differed among Noyce Scholars between undergraduate vs graduate and between Math v Science majors).
Our research provided insights into teachers’ perceptions of their experiences as Noyce Scholars; these findings are currently informing our new Noyce Scholars Program at ECU. Example changes include greater mentoring and support after graduation (e.g., lesson study), more activities prior to graduation (e.g., monthly seminars); and greater recognition of scholars (e.g., graduation reception). In addition, based on the results of this survey, past Noyce Scholars are now being used as mentors for new Noyce Scholars. This research raised new questions and a follow-up survey is currently being designed to gain additional insight into the experiences and perceptions of past Noyce Scholars. In addition, as new Noyce Scholars graduate, they will complete similar surveys; comparisons will be made to see if the changes made as a result of this research are making an impact.