The 5+ Club Supported SiteThe 5+ Club Supported Site University of Central Florida: Recruitment

Successes

  • The TIR has provided information on teaching careers to thirteen individual undergraduate students.
  • Six recent graduates, including five physics majors, are looking for physics teaching positions.
  • The Learning Assistant Program has grown steadily every semester.
  • Students are attracted to the Physics MAT program for certification because teachers receive a salary bonus for field-related advanced degrees.

Challenges

  • Many students become interested in teaching careers as they are nearing graduation, reducing their opportunities to engage with the PhysTEC project.
  • Some students use the TIR for information, but have not engaged in our PhysTEC community.
  • The combination of a physics major and professional undergrad teaching certification requires a large number of credits. We hope our physics BA program will allow students flexibility to fulfill many of the certification requirements without exceeding 120 credits.

Sustainability

  • The Physics BA program has passed the initial stages of approval, and should begin graduating students in Summer 2015.
  • Each semester, additional faculty members have asked to add Learning Assistants to their courses.

Lessons Learned

  • If faculty members are made aware of resources that provide students information related to teaching careers, they will make the necessary connections.
  • We need events that incentivize student engagement in the PhysTEC community.

Activities

  • The TIR announced the PhysTEC and LA Programs in all introductory physics courses.
  • Several physics faculty have directed students interested in teaching to the TIR or Director of the Learning Assistant Program.
  • The TIR posted his contact information on the Facebook pages for physics and engineering student groups.
  • Flyers announcing the program were hung in the Physical Sciences, Mathematical Sciences and Engineering buildings.
  • A PhysTEC website was developed (http://physics.cos.ucf.edu/phystec/).
  • The option of pursuing a physics teaching career was highlighted at our inaugural Physics Career Exploration Day.
  • A popular local high school teacher gave an engaging seminar, which was attended by all Learning Assistants.
  • The semester-end LA poster presentation attracted physics graduate students, faculty members and some UCF administrators.