- Year 2018
- NSF Noyce Award # 1557389
- First Name Danielle
- Last Name Jacobs
- Discipline Other: STEM, STEM
Peter Hester, Rider University, firstname.lastname@example.org
Shahin Pirzad, Brookdale Community College, email@example.com
Danielle Jacobs, Rider University, firstname.lastname@example.org
To remain globally competitive in the fields of science and technology, the US must develop modern and effective strategies for recruiting, training, and preparing young scientists for the future. These strategies must attract students of all demographics, particularly those currently underrepresented in STEM fields, so as to improve the innovation of scientific and technological advances for future generations. Rider University’s STEM Scholars program will contribute to the growing body of knowledge and scholarship on best practices to (1) improve the number and quality of STEM educators; (2) promote their
retention in traditionally hard-to-staff school districts? and (3) measure the overall impact of these educators on the pipeline of underrepresented learners in STEM disciplines and careers.
The overarching goals for Rider University’s Noyce grant are four-fold: (1) Recruit qualified student cohorts from Rider University as well as our partner community colleges. (2) Sustain and holistically deliver STEM academic programming and comprehensive support that encourages the development of highly qualified pre-service high school STEM teachers, particularly focusing on productive evidence-based strategies that lead to the successful degree completion of students from first-generation/underrepresented/economically disadvantaged populations. (3) Provide frequent opportunities for the professional development of pre-service STEM teachers in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and Culturally-Responsive Classroom Management (CRCM), both as tools to increase retention of Noyce participants, as well as to equip them with the tools they need to effectively teach their STEM disciplines in high-need school districts. (4) Deliver and support a substantial population of highly qualified and culturally responsive STEM educators into high-need high schools in New Jersey and surrounding states.
In this second year of the NSF-Noyce grant, Rider’s approach to promote sustainable, successful STEM teaching in the urban classroom has focused on the: (1) Development of innovative programming: (a) EDE 226: Teaching & Managing in the Urban Classroom; (b) STEM Scholars Seminar; (c) Urban Tutoring Internship; (d) STEM Teacher Academy. (2) Installation of creative policies & coursework: (e) no-cost coursework over summer and J-Term; (f) mandatory (no-cost) tutoring for Praxes and STEM coursework; (g) BA in Biology, Chemistry, & Environmental Studies with fewer credits than BS equivalents. (3) Rigorous recruitment via formalized partnerships with local New Jersey community colleges, including Brookdale Community College, and Middlesex & Essex County Colleges.
In AY 2017-2018, we had three STEM Scholars scholarship recipients: Cathryn Jolley ’18 (full year scholar, Biology) Veronika Geiger ’18 (one semester scholar, Environmental Science) Sophia Troche ’19 (full year continuing scholar, Chemistry) New scholars will be brought into the pipeline: Socrate Berroa ’19 (Math) Kimberly Konczyk ’20 (Biology & Behavioral Neuroscience) Laura Sanchez ’20 (Biochemistry) DeForestt Thompson ’20 (Chemistry) Amanda Gaughan ’20 (Math) Sarah Parylak ’18 (Biology) Several transfer students will be enrolling at Rider University in the Fall to join the STEM Scholars program, although they will not be eligible for scholarships until Spring: Emily Koester (Environmental Science), Emily Frascilla (Biology), Melba Oseida (Math), Ty Sebor (Math), Jordan Grillo (Math), Brianna DeMaio (Math), Tatyana DeJesus (Chemistry). Other Rider students are in the pipeline but will not be receiving scholarship until 2019-2020.
Rider’s STEM Scholars initiative is strategically designed to reach populations that are not currently served by other programs: Rider’s is the only program in the state that targets talent from all STEM disciplines (excluding Physics) in central and southern New Jersey, which encompasses the low-income cities of Trenton and Camden, listed in the US DOE’s Teacher Shortage Areas for Science since 2004. Furthermore, our unique “grow-your-own” strategy focuses on the most rapidly growing population in our state―Hispanics and Latinos―because when placed into urban school districts similar to their own upbringing, they are far more likely to remain past the 4-6 year period required by the NSF. By graduating 24 highly qualified and culturally responsive STEM educators, we expect to impact hundreds of high school and college students, as well as novice and veteran teachers.