The 5+ Club Supported SiteThe 5+ Club Supported Site University of Cincinnati: Recruitment

Successes

  • A new path to licensure was created in which students can earn a physics teaching license along with a BS in engineering. This program, ACCelerated Engineering Degree (ACCEND), was launched late Fall 2013 and this spring we met with roughly a dozen students who expressed interest in the program. We are now following up with those students to see who will be applying to the teacher cohort, which would begin next year for many of them, due to their status in the engineering program.
  • The establishment of the Tri-State Physics Teachers group will also become a recruitment tool in the near future. This past year we have identified, made contact, and established a routine of communicating and face-to-face meetings for this network.

Challenges

  • We have had over a dozen undergraduate students express interest in possibly teaching high school physics. One of the barriers that many students face is fitting in all the required coursework. Besides the content courses for each student's major, there is an additional 42+ credits needed for the professional licensure courses, along with additional coursework in science content to satisfy National Science Teachers Association Competency requirements for a physics license. These include a semester of biology, two semesters of chemistry, and one semester each of modern physics and astronomy.
  • Getting the word out about the various pathways to a physics teaching license is a challenge. Emails are sent to all students in the introductory physics courses and the TIR or a PhysTEC team member visits these courses as well. Even then, students occasionally indicate they didn't know that a physics teaching license was something they could work on while an undergrad.

Sustainability

  • The ACCEND program (BS engineering with physics licensure) is a regular program in the college of engineering as of Fall 2013.
  • The LA seminar course was designed to be a three-credit Breadth of Knowledge course (General Education credit).

Lessons Learned

  • Our current strategies for recruiting students into a licensure program aren't as successful as we would like. We plan to start working with the advisors of the student groups we wish to target as a means of trying another angle at getting the word out. We plan to create a poster to hang at strategic locations around campus as well.
  • We also plan to develop a brochure on teaching careers that targets high school students. We will ask teachers in the Tri-state Physics Teachers group to pass them out to students that they feel might have a real interest and talent for high school physics teaching.

Activities

  • We visited the classrooms of the introductory physics courses to generate interest in learning more about a teaching licensure program.
  • We extended the use of our LAs in the physics recitations and lectures hoping that this would help other students in those courses see options in teaching.