Through this Capacity Building Grant the SUNY College at Oswego is developing the means necessary to increase the number of secondary education teachers in the STEM disciplines in high-need schools in their area. The school districts involved include: the Central Square Central , the Altmar-Parish, the Mexico Central, the Fulton City, the Oswego City, and the Hannibal school districts.
The project is developing the following: 1) a teacher preparation program designed so that students majoring in STEM disciplines can receive a master's degree in teaching and complete their science major within a five year period; 2) programs that expose STEM majors to teaching possibilities early in their academic careers through internships and student teaching opportunities; 3) online versions of some of these classes to expand the reach of the program; 4) articulations with regional community colleges that allow transfer students to complete their degree and certification within the same timeframe as students who start as freshmen on the four year campus; 5) partnerships with local, regional and state middle schools and high schools to place and support Noyce teachers as they begin their professional careers; 6) a campus infrastructure to support the grant distribution process, including mechanisms for ensuring that scholarship recipients are meeting the expectations of the program; and 7) a robust assessment process that ensures the goals of the Robert Noyce Scholarship Program are being met and that provides formative feedback for program improvement.
The project anticipates recruitment of three types of students: upper division students at SUNY Oswego presently majoring in STEM disciplines (including transfer students from community colleges and technical colleges) to complete the undergraduate degree in their STEM discipline and a master's degree in teaching (MST); those who have graduated with a degree in a STEM discipline who will be recruited into a fast-completion MST program that allows for completion of the master's degree within a one year plus one summer timetable; and those students early in their careers as STEM majors who will have experiences that allow them to determine whether a career as a teacher is an appropriate choice for them.
Intellectual Merit: The program draws on an established body of literature as to what makes for an effective STEM teacher. It uses the findings from a variety of successful programs to develop a unique model that includes a quality educational experience for future teachers, field experiences and orientations that help students to develop innovative pedagogical techniques.
Broader Impact: This model has the potential to be easily used by other institutions with strong science programs and histories of quality teacher education. The interaction between the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the School of Education combines a dedication to discipline with strong and active pedagogy.
project was developed to recruit students who are presently majors in any of the STEM areas to become teachers of science, technology, or mathematics. The purpose is to take the passion and preparation students develop for their disciplines and use that to prepare them to be superior teachers in these crucial areas. In addition, it is to find people already possessing degrees in these areas who are interested in changing their careers to education. It is particularly important to develop these excellent science and math teachers to serve areas where there is high poverty, high teacher turnover at present, projected shortages in the future, or large numbers of teachers teaching out of their certification area. The Full STEM project had a series of goals in order to reach this outcome. These included: the development of courses in technology education to expose STEM majors to principles related to the pedagogy of teaching; the development of internship and student teaching experiences for students at the freshman and sophomore level to build early awareness; the development of programs and materials to recruit present STEM majors and those already possessing STEM degrees; partnerships with local schools to place and support these future teachers; and the development of a robust evaluation component. All of these goals were effectively realized by the program. To this end, two new courses, Introduction to STEM Learning and Practicum to STEM Teaching were developed and approved by the college governance process. These courses are now available to all students in the STEM discipline to encourage thinking positively about career opportunities in STEM education. Internships placements in informal science education settings were developed with such places as the Beaver Lake Nature Center, the Rosamond Gifford Zoo, and the Rice Creek Field Station. Students were also allowed to seek out and engage in internships at other locations where internship supervision was available. The project granted seven internships for students in the first year of the Phase I grant. In addition, a vigorous advertising campaign was developed to recruit the widest number of qualified applicants. There were three main routes for the dissemination of information. First, faculty from the STEM departments were kept informed about the program through their participation on an advisory board, through attendance of the Primary Investigator at department meetings and through direct emails to all faculty. Sixty percent of the scholarship applicants and 58.3% of the internship applicants indicated they were informed by a faculty member or their advisor. Second, posters were designed and placed strategically in locations across campus in the science building and in high traffic areas. Finally the staff for the project visited advisement sessions and STEM clubs. A small handout was available for all students. This accounted for the remainder of how students indicated they were notified. Finally, an entire infrastructure had to be developed for the program. This included, for the internships, a learning agreement signed by the site supervisor and the student, and bi-weekly time sheets. In addition, a mechanism had to be developed for distribution of the scholarship funds. Protocols were developed with the campus financial aid office that clearly outlined the terms of the scholarship repayment. This included ways for following up Noyce scholars on an annual basis for proof of employment at high needs schools or an exemption waiver indicating that the student made every attempt to find a relevant place of employment.