Paper No. 11
Presentation Time: 10:45 AM
THE POWER OF COLLABORATION: NEW DIRECTIONS, COURSES, AND SUMMER INTERNSHIPS FOR RECRUITMENT AND PREPARATION OF PRE-SERVICE TEACHERS AT THE COLLEGE OF WILLIAM & MARY
Collaborations among STEM departments, the School of Education, and the Office of Community Engagement at the College of William & Mary and local school systems have resulted in expanded opportunities for students interested in STEM education careers. These opportunities include new courses, summer internships, and other support for students; the focus is on recruiting talented science and mathematics majors and preparing them for teaching in high-needs schools. We developed two new one-credit courses, a neuroscience class on “How Students Learn” and an education practicum focused on high-need settings; freshman seminars on “Improving America’s Schools” and “Opportunity Gap in the Schools”; and a spring break off-campus course offered by the Office of Community Engagement in which students investigate the achievement gap. Our program includes paid science and mathematics summer internship opportunities, primarily in education and outreach programs, that are designed to attract mathematics and science majors toward a future teaching career, giving them a chance to “test the waters” while cultivating valuable knowledge, know-how, insight, and dedication with respect to the educational enterprise. Other paid summer internships provide teaching or research experience for pre-service teachers. Support for these programs and for scholarships for pre-service teachers comes from grants from the National Science Foundation Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program and the Department of Education Teachers for a Competitive Tomorrow (TCT) Program. Noyce Scholar Awards have been made in biology, chemistry, earth sciences, mathematics, and physics, with three-fourths at the graduate level and one-fourth at the undergraduate level. Recruitment of students into STEM teaching at W&M has nearly tripled during our project, and visibility of STEM teaching careers has increased dramatically. Contributors for program success include strong support from STEM faculty for recruitment of academically-strong students, a designated recruiter, collaboration with the Career Center, a new fifth-year program for science and mathematics majors in the School of Education, an active management team, and an Advisory Board that includes representatives from local schools systems and all STEM departments on campus.