- Year 2017
- NSF Noyce Award # 1540769
- First Name Brad
- Last Name Hoge
- Discipline Other: STEM, STEM
Judith Quander, UHD, firstname.lastname@example.org;
Jacqueline Sack, UHD, email@example.com
Judith Quander, UHD, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dual-credit courses are becoming increasingly popular among high school students. According to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, dual credit enrollment has increased steadily over the past 15 years. In 1999, there were 11,921 high school students enrolled in dual-credit courses in the state of Texas. By 2007, there was almost six times that with 64,910. As of fall 2013, that number had risen to 107,598 students taking dual-credit courses in Texas high schools. Dual-credit programs offer a variety of benefits to high school students, including that participating students are more likely to graduate from high school; more likely transition to a four-year college (as opposed to a two-year institution); less likely to take remedial, non-credit bearing courses in college; and more likely to persist in postsecondary education, including completing more college credits than their peers (Hughes, Rodriguez, Edwards and Belfield 2012).
ESPRIT de Corps: Expanding STEM Professionals’ Roles in Teaching is a Track II Phase I teaching fellowships program at The University of Houston ? Downtown (UHD). ESPRIT de Corps will provide secondary teacher certification and a UHD Professional Certificate in Dual-Credit Math or Science Teaching for STEM professionals and post-baccalaureate STEM majors through a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree plan with 18 hours of graduate level content courses. The ESPRIT de Corps program is designed to accomplish four aims:
Provide fellowships for STEM professionals wishing to enter teaching careers earn both secondary Grades 7-12 teaching certification in mathematics or science, and a Master?s of Arts in Teaching (MAT) with the option of earning the UHD Professional Certificate in Dual-Credit (science or mathematics) Teaching so that they are qualified to teach undergraduate lower-level dual-credit mathematics and science courses in high school.
Ensure quality field experience opportunities by placing candidates with vetted, high-quality mentor teachers that have experience mentoring pre-service teachers as part of working with the UHD Noyce Mathematics and UHD Noyce Science teacher scholarship programs.
Provide ongoing professional development and support during the first four years of the fellows teaching in high-needs districts to support success and long-term retention as secondary mathematics or science teachers in the high-needs districts.
Create and foster a collaborative community including UHD faculty, beginning teachers from the existing UHD Noyce Mathematics and Science Teacher Scholarship programs and the Esprit de Corps Noyce Teaching Fellows.
ESPRIT de Corps will provide $12,000 scholarships to four cohorts of 8 STEM teaching fellows per year over the first four years of the project. A total of 32 Noyce Teaching Fellows will receive certification through the UHD MAT program. Teaching fellows completing 18 hours of graduate level courses in math or science will receive a UHD Professional Certificate in Dual-Credit Math or Science Teaching. Teaching Fellows will continue to receive $10,000 supplemental stipends from ESPRIT de Corps for four years after they complete the program.
ESPRIT de Corps was funded in September of 2015. Three objectives were established for the spring of 2016. One was to recruit students into the first ESPRIT de Corps cohort for the Fall of 2016. The second was to establish the ESPRIT de Corps community support structure. And the third was to establish a dual credit program in the Natural Sciences.
Recruitment focused on three strategies. One was to advertise to Houston area professional groups and industry career development programs. The second was to advertise to STEM community events, such as STEM Education Day in Texas. And the third was to advertise internally to graduates of the UHD Scholars Academy.
The NS graduate concentration program is a response for a direct demand for dual-credit science teachers from surrounding high schools in the Houston-area. Currently, dual-credit courses are primarily taught by college faculty from a partnering college. This situation brings up some difficulties in that most college faculty members are not certified secondary teachers and have limited experience teaching high school students. The ability to connect with the students (Hughes et al., 2012) and address the students? particular needs as learners can be problematic for these college faculty members. Ideally, certified secondary science teachers who are trained in pedagogy for secondary science would be teaching these dual-credit courses. In a CST focus group with 15 high school teachers from HISD, all 15 expressed interest in a certificate program for dual credit and suggested that their colleagues would as well.