Member Institution University of Oregon
University of Oregon
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Our institution includes a College of Education and science departments (Biology, Chemistry, Geological Sciences, Physics, etc.) under the College of Arts and Sciences. Our College of Ed. has recently restructured its primary and secondary licensure program, UOTEACH, to include specialized training for ELL instruction for all graduates. We have no engineering programs at UO from which to recruit physics majors. We have recently started a center focusing on improving pathways to STEM careers called STEM CORE (Careers through Outreach, Research and Education). See stemcore.uoregon.edu for details)
UO Physics has added a third track leading to a baccalaureate degree in Physics, called the Physics Education Track (PET). This will include 2 years of core physics, chemistry and mathematics, the opportunity for >= second-year undergraduates to co-lead whiteboard-centered problem-solving tutorials (Sokoloff et al.) and both algebra- and calculus-physics linked labs. Significant opportunities to undertake authentic undergraduate research within the confines of our innovative Undergraduate Projects on the Frontiers of Research in Physics (UPFoR Physics) facility and curriculum are required elements of PET. This track leverages the efforts of NSF GK-12, STEP and S-STEM programs in remote, rural Oregon and Portland by providing opportunities for outreach and recruitment in K-12 schools and community colleges. With intensive coursework, including summer courses, the PET track could be completed in 3 years, with completion of the College of Ed. licensure program during year 4 (which follows, somewhat loosely, the UTeach model of U.TX, Austin).
Starting fall 2010 UO Physics has engaged 23 undergraduates as 'undergraduate TAs' (now named 'Peer Learning Assistants' following the infinite wisdom of U Colorado, Boulder) who help (regular graduate students) lead problem-solving tutorials for our algebra general physics and calculus general physics courses, along with lab courses for both non-majors and majors. These students are trained in late September just before the start of term. We didn't initially model this program after UC Boulder's.
UO Physics has a very active SPS chapter.