red Supported Site California State University, San Marcos: Recruitment

Successes

  • Two well-attended recruiting nights were held on the CSUSM campus.
  • We have continued growth in the LA program at CSUSM and Palomar (described in Early Teaching Experience section).
  • Recruiting for careers in teaching has been included in general STEM recruiting efforts.
  • PIs Dr. Edward Price and Dr. Brian Lawler were awarded an NSF-funded Noyce Scholarship program, which will begin awarding scholarship for 2013-14.

Challenges

  • Based on focus groups (conducted through another project), Palomar math and science students have limited interest in teaching careers. This makes activities such as the LA program all the more important in order to encourage these students to consider teaching as a career option.
  • To be certified, students must complete a one-year post-baccalaureate program that requires a complex application and admission process. This can be an additional hurdle to physics majors becoming credential candidates.

Sustainability

  • CSUSM has an NSF-funded STEP project with a focus on recruiting STEM students. CSUSM STEP project PI Dr. Charles De Leone has agreed to "mainstream recruiting for careers in STEM teaching; in other words, while recruiting students for STEM disciplines, include teaching careers as one of many career options available with a STEM degree." The STEP project is a five-year project; sustainability is addressed through creation of print resources, transfer agreements, and capacity building with staff/administrators that will persist after the funding period.

Lessons Learned

  • Students need additional information on the admissions process to the credential program and the steps to becoming a teacher.

Activities

  • Recruiting nights have been held each fall and spring. These events included a description of the LA program, a discussion of the need for math and science teachers, and statements from current and former LAs. Typically 30-50 CSUSM and Palomar math and science students attend these sessions.
  • Focus groups at CSUSM and Palomar (October 2011) were conducted as part of the CSUSM STEP project in coordination with the PhysTEC project. Students' interest in careers in teaching was one topic of the focus groups.
  • A recruiting poster has been developed.
  • CSUSM Physics majors were surveyed on their career interests, including careers in teaching. Students reporting interest in teaching have been contacted with further information.
  • The Physics Department included a talk on physics education research in the 2012-13 colloquium series.