Member InstitutionMember Institution New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University Website

Institution Contacts

Michaela Burkardt
Dr. Stefan Zollner

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Our institution has had difficulty in graduating physics teachers in the recent past. The state of NM offers a broad science field secondary science license. Therefore all science disciplines go through the same program and have a specific concentration (e.g. Physics, Life Sciences, Geologic Sciences, Chemistry). We graduate around 4 total secondary science teachers each year.

The Physics Department would like to change the number of physics teachers qualified to teach physics through a few different pathways. One of these pathways would be membership with PTEC, in order to provide resources, access to other colleagues in Physics Teacher Education, professional development, etc. We believe that PTEC could also help our department to establish an undergraduate Learning Assistant Program such as the one implemented at the University of Colorado.

We were awarded an NSF Noyce Scholarship program that we could use to recruit undergraduate physics majors into the teaching field. We have started hiring some undergraduate learning assistants, with very limited funding. We have made recommendations to the College of Education to change the required physics and math courses for science teachers. For example, we recommend the algebra-based physics course for pre-med students instead of the regular algebra-based physics course. Making such curriculum changes is difficult due to state licensing requirements.