This project addresses the critical shortage of science and mathematics teachers in New York, and in particular in the Long Island and New York City area. The Dowling College Robert Noyce Scholarship Program provides scholarships for science and mathematics majors in the teacher training program, and has a particular emphasis on attracting minorities, underrepresented genders and persons with disabilities.
Proven recruitment strategies are conducted off-campus through visits both by faculty and Enrollment Services personnel at community colleges and college fairs, as well as mailings to targeted audiences. On-campus recruitment is carried out at semiannual Open Houses and Early Decision Scholarship Days. Selection is based on NSF Noyce Scholarship criteria as well as GPA, a personal essay, and interviews focusing on the commitment to fulfilling the post-graduate Noyce program requirements.
Every Noyce Scholar is paired with a faculty mentor who directs academic and personnel interventions if needed and encourages extra curricular involvement in research and internship opportunities, especially those that enhance preparation for teaching in high need school districts. This relationship continues as a support mechanism during the induction stage of the Noyce Scholar's career. Post-graduate activities include an annual four-session Professional Development Seminar Course, follow-up classroom observations and consultations.
Phase One of the Robert Noyce Scholarship program at Dowling College provided scholarships and professional support for 30 Noyce Scholars and two NSF Master Teaching Fellows from 2003 to 2012. Highly qualified math and science students and career changers obtained New York State teaching certification and fulfilled multi-year teaching commitments in middle school and high school classrooms. The program created a network of former Noyce Scholars who are working as successful teachers, participating in professional development, and acting as mentors for pre-service and new teachers at Dowling. Several Scholars participated in authentic research activities at Brookhaven National Laboratory and Dowling College that are advancing important scientific contributions to society, while other scholars were engaged in dinosaur digs at Marmarth Research Foundation that were featured on National Geographic Channel. An important outcome of these and similar activities is that Scholars bring science and math to life in the classroom for their students, and they engage students in summer research and learning activities. The strong teacher preparation, professional development, and support network has resulted in a high rate of teacher retention and a highly positive impact on the students they teach. Since 2003 Dowling College Noyce Scholars and Noyce Faculty have provided approximately 30,000 middle school and high school students with a high quality science and math education, and have engaged hundreds of students in real world science and math research. The program hosts an annual symposium for high school students to present their science and math research to the local community, and to attend science and math workshops given by practicing scientists and mathematicians; approximately 250-300 students attend each year. In addition to their regular teaching duties, Dowling College Noyce Scholars and Faculty have initiated many innovative programs for students and the community: introduced 3D printers into their classes and are teaching students how to do computer programming and design of products, bring their knowledge into the local communities by hosting star-gazing sessions for residents, engage students in Habitat for Humanity build projects, run extracurricular summer science programs, mentor Intel Science Talent Search students and American Chemical Society Project SEED students, set up new courses and laboratories at their schools for fossil preparation, DNA analysis, marine science, astronomy, environmental studies, and more. In summary, the Dowling College Robert Noyce Scholarship program has prepared teachers who are effective in the classroom, who inspire their students, and who contribute to the larger community.