University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Project Report 2009
- We graduated 8 students – one physics and seven biology – in the first UNC-BEST cohort. A physics major who completed the first pedagogy course, but did not join the program due to lack of time, went through the Southern Teachers Agency and obtained a position in a North Carolina school as a physics and math teacher.
- We have received 6 applications to the UNC-BEST program for AY2009/10. Of these, 1 was from a physics major. We expect to receive more applications by the summer deadline.
- We enrolled 7 students in the second offering of our physics pedagogy course. Of these, one plans to join UNC-BEST and another is considering doing so.
- Jennifer Coble prepared a set of very attractive recruiting posters that we have distributed widely.
- We offered our “recruiting seminar” for the first time in Spring 2009, enrolling 6 students. Based on the student evaluations, it was well-received.
- Students continue to express interest in the program, including those pursuing majors not included in UNC-BEST.
- We do not yet have enough visibility in the state to attract to UNC significant numbers of students who aspire to be science teachers.
- Because students typically take the pedagogy course in the junior or senior year, word-of-mouth is not very effective for recruiting.
- Marketing the “recruiting seminar” is difficult because it is different from other classes that students normally take in its format, credit hours, and registration label (IDST 101, for “interdisciplinary studies”).
- We need to do more coordinated recruiting with the other departments in UNC-BEST to tap the pool of science-minded students who have not yet chosen a major (especially freshmen).
- We need to develop brochures that will allow the Office of Undergraduate Admissions to help us recruit students to come to UNC to pursue the program.
- We need to continue to protect the program from state budget cuts. Now that we have new Deans in place, we need to continue to build institutional support. The departure of our Provost means we will have to begin again to build support at that level (although the Interim Provost is very supportive). Fortunately the Chancellor is a big fan of the program.
- Educating the majors’ advisors in the department about the value of the program continues to be an important component of effective recruiting. This is even more true of the College advisors, who turn over more frequently.
- We need to continue to recruit aggressively, since the program is not yet self-sustaining in its enrollment.
- Our PER specialist visited every introductory physics class (first three semesters of the sequence) to talk about the program.
- We put up many attractive and eye-catching posters all over the building, dorms, Academic Advising, and other locations.
- We continued to remind all of the majors’ advisors in the department and all of the people in Academic Advising about the program and urged them to point students toward it.
- We put up posters about the Noyce Scholarships and informed the majors’ advisors about them. We also informed the Director of the MAT program, and urged him to bring the opportunity to the attention of eligible students.
- We created a webpage for the program and linked to it from many other pages (those of participating departments, Undergraduate Admissions, etc.)