- Year 2019
- NSF Noyce Award # 1557389
- First Name Danielle
- Last Name Jacobs
- Discipline Biology, Chemistry, Geosciences, Marine Science, Math, Other: Environmental Science
Peter Hester, Rider University, firstname.lastname@example.org; Kathi Knight, Bucks County Community College, email@example.com
Danielle L. Jacobs, Rider University, firstname.lastname@example.org; Kathi H. Knight, Bucks County Community College, email@example.com
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) increase the number of high quality and engaged 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 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/underrepresent/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 STME 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 third year of the NSF-Noyce grant, Rider’s approach to promote sustainable, successful STEM teaching in the urban classroom has focused on the: (1) Delivery of innovative programming: (a) EDE 226: Teaching & Managing in the Urban Classroom; (b) STEM Scholars Seminar; (c) Mathematics Teaching Workshop (d) Urban Tutoring Internship; (2) Installation of creative policies and coursework: (e) no cost coursework over summer and J-Term; (f) rearrangement of academic scholarships to allow for affordable on-campus housing (g) mandatory (no-cost) tutoring for Praxes and STEM coursework; (h) BA in Biology, Chemistry, & Environmental Studies with fewer credits than BS equivalents; (i) reversal of traditional model of Education & STEM degree conference; (j) increased flexibility in transfer credit allowance; (3) Rigorous recruitment: (k) formalized partnerships local community colleges, including Bucks County Community College, and Middlesex & Essex County Colleges; (l) STEM Summer Institute.
In AY 2018-2019, we had twelve STEM Scholars scholarship recipients (up from three the previous year): Sarah Parylak ’18 (one semester scholar, Biology) Sophia Troche ’19 (full year scholar, second year, Chemistry) Socrate Berroa ’20 (full year scholar, Math) Kimberly Konczyk ’20 (full year scholar, Biology & Behavioral Neuroscience) Laura Sanchez ’20 (full year scholar, Biochemistry) Amanda Gaughan ’20 (full year scholar, Math) Emily Fraschilla ’20 (one semester scholar, Biology) Kasmir Grapski ’20 (one semester scholar, Geoscience) Melba Oseida ’20 (one semester scholar, Math) Peter Rinaldi ’20 (one semester scholar, Environmental Science) Ty Sebor ’20 (one semester scholar, Math) and Jordan Grillo ’20 (one semester scholar, Math). New Scholars will be brought into the pipeline: Emily Koester ’21 (Geoscience) Ryan Weber ’21 (Biology) Samantha Wheeler ’21 (Math) Kasey Cupo ’21 (Math) Sarah Solorzano ’21 (Biology) and Alison Meszaros ’21 (Chemistry). Two transfer students will be enrolling at Rider University in the Fall or Spring to join the STEM Scholars program, although they will not be eligible for scholarships until a future semester: Alana Rodgers (Math) and Vanessa Medina (Math).
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 & 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.