PhysTEC Endorsed Sites

The Physics Teacher Education Coalition has directly supported numerous sites nationwide. These sites were chosen to provide models for teacher education in physics, but also to demonstrate that the PhysTEC project can have a significant impact on increasing the number of well-qualified high school teachers of physics. In the past, several sites have applied for PhysTEC funding, but owing to their success in already graduating a large number of high school physics teachers, we elected not to support them as we would be unable to show significant gains in a program that already graduates more teachers than nearly every institution in the country.

The PhysTEC project would, however, like to recognize these programs, and hold them up as models of teacher education in physics. Additionally, the project would like to aid these exemplary programs in ways similar to on-going support provided to original (“legacy”) sites. This might include support for Noyce scholarships, featuring programs in national or regional workshops, and connecting their teachers to a national network of master teachers and professionals in the field.

In order to become a PhysTEC Endorsed Site, the program must demonstrate that they follow the key components established for PhysTEC sites, and that they graduate a significant number of pre-service high school physics teachers each year (at least 2 per year averaged over the past 3 years). The criteria include the following:

  1. Active recruiting into the physics teacher education program
  2. Reformed courses that utilize research-based curricula and practices
  3. Early teaching experiences in physics
  4. Mentoring and induction program specific to teaching physics
  5. Involvement of master teachers in educating physics teachers
  6. Strong collaboration between the physics department and school of education
  7. Effective partnerships with local school districts
  8. Institutional commitment to sustaining the physics teacher education program
  9. Assessment of program effectiveness in recruiting, preparing and retaining teachers

To apply to become a PhysTEC Endorsed Site, an institution must take the following steps:

  1. Submit a report (15 pages maximum) describing the physics teacher education program.
    1. List physics and education faculty and staff involved in the program and describe their roles. Provide two-page c.v.’s for key faculty (for separate appendix).
    2. Give the number of graduates each year for the past 3 years that fit the definition of PhysTEC Secondary Graduate.
    3. Provide a description of the physics teacher education program. Describe how the program meets each of the criteria listed above.
  2. Host a site visit for PhysTEC management to review the project. The institution will be expected to cover all local costs (local transportation, meals, and lodging).
  3. Agree to provide data to the project including
    1. Name, demographics, degree(s), GPA, certification and contact information for program graduates who meet the definition of PhysTEC Secondary Graduate. The Physics Teacher Education Coalition is a joint American Physical Society and American Association of Physics Teachers project, with National Science Foundation and APS Campaign for the 21st Century funding.
    2. Updated contact information for program graduates each year they are employed as teachers (for up to 5 years after graduation), and assistance in gathering data of interest to the project such as surveys on teaching conditions.

Data from the endorsed site will be reviewed annually to maintain status. A site visit will only be required for initial endorsement.

For more information on the PhysTEC project, including a description of key components and PhysTEC sites, please visit the project website at