- Year 2019
- NSF Noyce Award # 1240118
- First Name Carolyn
- Last Name Viviano
- Discipline Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Engineering, Math, Physics
Cathy McElwain, Loyola Marymount University
Carolyn Viviano, Loyola Marymount University, firstname.lastname@example.org
LMU has an outstanding record of preparing teachers who remain in the profession, however the number of math or science majors that have enrolled in our state accredited programs is low. In an effort to increase the number of talented STEM students who choose teaching as a career we aim to: identify potential math and science teachers early in their college career; provide them with experiences that introduce teaching as an attractive career option; aise the profile of teaching as a profession by involving more faculty in the advising, mentoring and support of potential teachers. The Noyce Summer Internship and Colloquium was designed to meet these objectives and provide students at the beginning of their career path with opportunities for guided reflection and career discernment. In addition, we are able to support the education outreach efforts at the host institutions by connecting them with enthusiastic STEM interns.
We were interested in determining the effectiveness of using an informal internship as a recruiting strategy. We provided rising sophomore STEM majors with teaching opportunities and relevant support throughout the experience in order to increase their confidence, efficacy, understanding of teaching as a profession and personal growth.
We created the Noyce Colloquium to accompany students throughout the internship experience. The Colloquium consists of weekly meetings where students share their experiences and participate in specific workshops designed to enhance and support each intern’s role as educator. In addition to the interns and Principal Investigators, these meetings also include the faculty mentors assigned to each internship team. The 8 sessions in the Fall help the interns to contextualize the experience, complete their project and develop a poster.
Noyce interns complete pre-and post-internship knowledge/attitude surveys as well as learning gains (including career decisions) associated with participation in the program. Analysis of these data will identify any substantive changes in knowledge and attitudes in STEM fields and personal knowledge gains that have occurred as a result of participation in the Noyce internship program. In addition, we have collected longitudinal career data from all program participants.
The results of the project evaluation will enable us to determine whether and how well the different elements of the program have worked and particularly if the internship targeted at STEM majors early in their academic careers increased their interest in K-12 education. What we learn will continue to inform our work with future teachers; if successful, this program could provide a model for other universities seeking to increase the number of math and science majors who choose a career in K-12 education. We will be sharing the results from our internship program particularly with respect to its effectiveness as a recruiting tool.