PhysTEC Definitions

PhysTEC Institution: A four-year institution of higher education that has been identified and selected to receive financial support for implementing the PhysTEC program components.

PhysTEC Secondary Graduate*: Any student who has graduated from a PhysTEC Institution and

(a) has a major or minor** in physics, OR (b) has completed coursework equivalent to a major or minor in physics


(a) has certification to teach high-school physics, OR (b) has completed a teacher education program.

PhysTEC Elementary Graduate*: Any elementary education major who graduates from a PhysTEC institution having taken one or more reformed physics or physical science courses for elementary teachers.

PhysTEC Secondary Teacher*: Any PhysTEC secondary graduate who is employed as a secondary teacher.

PhysTEC Future Teacher***: A student at a PhysTEC Institution who has committed to completing a program of physics teacher education.

PhysTEC Secondary Student*: Any student in a secondary class being taught by a PhysTEC secondary teacher.

PhysTEC Course: Any physics, physical science, or education course that has been revised or created at a PhysTEC Institution for the PhysTEC program.

PhysTEC Student: Any student who has completed or is enrolled in a PhysTEC course. Graduates and undergraduates will be aggregated.

PhysTEC Learning Assistant: Any PhysTEC student who facilitates learning in an undergraduate physics course, receives formal pedagogical instruction, and is encouraged to enter a teacher preparation program.

PhysTEC Teacher in Residence (TIR): Any experienced teacher employed at a PhysTEC Institution to work with the PhysTEC program and as a mentor in the induction component of the PhysTEC program

PhysTEC Mentor: Any PhysTEC TIR who mentors a practicing K-12 teacher or pre-service teacher. (Mentors are counted each year, so after their first year of mentoring, they are recounted if they mentor in the next year.)

PhysTEC Faculty: Any university faculty member in physics or education engaged in any aspect of the PhysTEC program

*Secondary is defined as including high school, middle school, and junior high where appropriate - in other words, all levels at which teachers specialize in a content area. Typical ranges are 6-12 or 7-12.

Elementary is defined as before middle or high school, when teachers do not generally specialize by content area. Typical ranges are K-5 or K-6.

**The physics minor must provide sufficient content knowledge to prepare graduates to teach high school physics.

***Due to program variation, each PhysTEC Institution must define what actions a student needs to take to demonstrate they have "committed to completing a program of physics teacher education."