- Year 2017
- NSF Noyce Award # 1555634
- First Name Debra
- Last Name Poese
- Discipline Chemistry
Carolyn Schick, Montgomery College, Carolyn.Schick@montgomerycollege.edu
A major pathway through which Montgomery College develops future STEM teachers is through the recruitment and preparation given to freshmen and sophomores who then transfer to four-year institutions to complete their teacher training. Since 2013, MC has been one of a handful of community colleges nationally participating in the Learning Assistant program out of UC Boulder. Our grant continues to support this program which has one goal of recruiting STEM K-12 educators, and another to prompt redesign of curriculum taught to STEM students. We have learned that the program also promotes the desire of STEM professors to support K-12 teacher recruitment.
The primary goal for this Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarships and Stipends Phase I project is to increase the number and diversity of highly qualified STEM teachers going into the secondary classroom. Two parallel objectives support this goal and this poster will address the components of the second major objective: Designing, developing and supporting coordinated pathways into K-12 mathematics and science teaching careers for current Montgomery College students.
? Expand existing Learning Assistant Program (LA) for MC NEXT STEM participants
? Develop and provide resources for faculty mentors
? Engage in transfer curriculum matching
? Provided targeted advising and recruitment of LAs into STEM Education
? Improve transfer pathways
The Learning Assistant program continues to flourish, with approximately 30 students participating across the college in every STEM discipline. In 2016, a formal training program for the mentor teachers was designed and implemented, and in January 2017 support materials for teacher recruitment were added to the training. LA mentor teachers are a key component of the outreach to STEM students in the recruitment efforts.
The Noyce Scholar Program at the University of Maryland continues to be the destination of choice for STEM AAT graduates at MC. In addition, the Sherman Scholars program at the University of Maryland Baltimore County actively recruits MC STEM majors.
The proposed expansion of the Learning Assistant Program should yield very promising comparative data. LAs provide a win-win-win situation, with benefits to the students in courses with LAs, to the LAs themselves, and to the faculty mentors.
Additional participation as a faculty mentor in the LA program is aimed at allowing participants to develop and awareness of and understanding of how to recruit students into STEM teaching. Dissemination of the engagement of faculty in the recruiting and mentoring process is a key outcome.
Becoming a Learning Assistant provides students with the opportunity for experiencing teaching. Having the assistance of the LAs has resulted in revisions of course delivery and pedagogy in the classrooms of their mentor faculty. As the LA program has grown in popularity, we see the potential for the program to be embraced not only in philosophy but also in budgetary support by the College. ‘Classroom embedded support’ in the form of strategies such as the LA program is specifically mentioned in the Academic Master Plan recently released at MC.
Faculty participated and coordinated student participation in a variety of community based events over the past year, including supervising several program events at the annual Rockville Science Day community event.
Grant PI Poese and Program Director Dr. Schick have presented at local, regional and national conferences on this program and an article is being submitted this summer for peer review and publishing.