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The Influence of Scholarships on the Recruitment of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Majors to Teach in High Needs Settings. Pey-Yan Liou Allison Kirchhoff Frances Lawrenz Christina Madsen. University of Minnesota. Acknowledgement:

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pey yan liou allison kirchhoff frances lawrenz christina madsen
The Influence of Scholarships on the Recruitment of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Majors to Teach in High Needs Settings

Pey-Yan Liou

Allison Kirchhoff

Frances Lawrenz

Christina Madsen

University of Minnesota

Acknowledgement:

This project was funded by National Science Foundation (Grant#REC0514884)

presentation outline
Presentation Outline
  • Introduction
  • Context
    • Noyce Scholarship Program
    • STEM majors’ perceptions of the influence of the scholarship
  • Method
  • Results
  • Discussion
introduction
Introduction
  • Positive relationship between teacher quality in science and math education and student achievement
  • Shortage of qualified teachers in high needs areas
  • Strategies employed by federal and state agencies as well as teacher preparation institutions to recruit and retain qualified teachers:

― alternative certification routes

― financial incentives

*National Defense Education Act (NDEA) of 1958

*27 states have some loan forgiveness or scholarship program(s) for

prospective teachers (Jerald and Boser, 1999)

 Little research on the effects of scholarships, especially for high needs settings

context
Context
  • The National Science Foundation’s Noyce Scholarship Program (NSP) attempts to recruit qualified science and math teachers to high needs settings through financial incentives
    • Scholars commit to two years of teaching in high needs settings for each year of scholarship support
  • Research goal: We are interested in scholars perceptions of the influence of the NSP Scholarship
noyce scholarship programs overview
Noyce Scholarship Programs Overview
  • Generally teacher preparation programs use some screening criteria to select Noyce scholars:
    • GPA (98.5%)
    • personal statement (97%)
    • letters of recommendation (91%)
    • upper level undergraduate status in science or mathematics major (82%)
    • structured interviews (73%)
    • bachelor’s degree in the candidate’s subject area (73%)
    • and previous work experience (69%)
  • Most programs provide opportunities for interactions with children from different cultures such as mentoring or tutoring, coursework relating to diverse cultures, and specific instruction about practicing in high needs schools.
principal investigators perceptions about the influence of the scholarship n 66
Principal Investigators Perceptions about the Influence of the Scholarship(N=66)
    • Principal investigators=faculty in teacher preparation programs responsible for the operation of the NSP at their school
  • Noyce funding greatly increased their ability to recruit a variety of students
  • Noyce funding had a effect on relationships with community, districts, STEM faculty, and industry
survey
Survey
  • Evaluation Scholar Survey administered online during the summer of 2007. http://www2.cehd.umn.edu/EdPsy/NoyceSurvey/NoyceScholar/surveySample.asp
  • Participants were asked to respond to a variety of items regarding their perceptions of and experiences with NSP

(a) project overview

(b) program characteristics and organization

(c) teaching environment and experience

(d) the decision to become a teacher

(e) background and experience

(f) overall experience

sample n 555
Sample (n=555)
  • Scholars had strong content backgrounds and reported taking several mathematics and science classes.

―about 50% of all scholars indicated taking 10 to 20 STEM courses

― majority of scholars specified that they had taken 1 to 8 teaching

methods courses

outcome variable
Outcome Variable

“How influential is the Noyce Scholarship money in your commitment to:”

(a) become a teacher

(b) complete the certification program

(c) take a teaching job

(d) teach in a high needs school

(e) remain teaching in a high needs school for the full term of your commitment

(f) remain teaching in a high needs school beyond the full term of your commitment

The four-point scale:

1) not at all influential, 2) not very influential, 3) somewhat influential and 4) very influential

analyses
Analyses
  • Hierarchical cluster analysis (performed with SPSS 16.0)

― Technique which statistically groups similar items together. Items included in the same cluster are considered more closely related to each other than items in other clusters

  • Confirmatory factor analysis (performed with AMOS 16)

― CFA was then performed to confirm the theories and provide additional data regarding patterns that emerged

conclusion future research
Conclusion & Future Research
  • We found two underlying factors (Underlying constructs) of effects of the NSP:

―(1) scholars’ commitments to teach in high needs settings

―(2) scholars’ commitments to finish their teacher preparation program

  • More data need to be collected to determine whether these teachers actually stay in high needs schools beyond their initial commitments (long-term retention) because it is beyond the NSP’s control
  • Recruitment strategies need to be considered when giving this kind of scholarship
    • Strategies should seek to determine and award those most committed to high needs settings
implications
Implications
  • Recruitment: scholarship application procedures need to be sensitive to recruiting and awarding candidates committed to teaching in high needs settings
      • Those with lower commitment levels may not stay in high needs settings beyond NSP requirements
  • Teacher preparation:provide extensive and positive high needs experiences
    • Scholars who may not be very committed to high needs settings may be positively influenced by such experiences and remain in high needs settings longer
questions
Questions

Thank you!

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