red Supported Site Cal Poly Pomona: Recruitment

Successes

  • The PhysTEC activities increased the visibility of physics teaching as a career to physics majors and students taking introductory physics courses in general. The activities also helped to build a community among physics majors.
  • The Physics LA program has gained increased visibility and reputation in the College of Science and the University.
  • The project website has been established:http://parallax.sci.csupomona.edu/PhysTEC/.
  • Currently, it is being maintained by project PIs and the student assistant. In the near future, it will be maintained as part of the department website
  • Curricular changes have made the physics minor more attractive and increased the number of students who earn it.
  • The total number of physics graduates is increasing, with 20 majors graduating in Spring 2013.
  • An LA appreciation luncheon was held in May 2013 to recognize LAs' work and dedication.
  • Department photographer took pictures of project events for the PhysTEC website.

Challenges

  • Increasing the visibility of physics teaching as a career option among majors and non-majors and getting the students to consider a credential in physics is challenging.
  • Closer collaboration with the College of Education on student recruitment and training is needed.
  • Providing a more efficient curricular pathway to teaching physics could increase student interest. The department's proposal for a BA in Physics that was designed for this purpose was not approved due to budgetary restriction for new program development at CSU.

Sustainability

  • Community building events such as the departmental Fall welcome reception, Winter Research Open house, Spring BBQ picnic, and weekly LA seminars have become regular annual events and been accepted by the faculty and students as part of the department culture.
  • Faculty members acknowledge the value of these events for recruitment and for building physics students community. These events will continue beyond the grant.
  • We have three PIs including the department chair who are great support for the project.
  • · New and junior faculty members are strong supporters; they often refer to LAs as a vital element in their teaching.

Lessons Learned

  • Frequent praising of the LA's work and dedication to their peers is an effective recruitment tool.
  • Social activities increase the PhysTEC and LA program visibility.
  • Continuous one-on-one recruitment efforts by PIs, faculty, and academic advisors seem to be most effective.

Activities

  • Recruiting events were held October 18, 2012 and May 24th, 2013. The program included presentations by PhysTEC PIs, testimonies from current LAs, pizza lunch, and Q&A.
  • Project team e-mailed students (Physics majors, minors, and students in 3rd quarter of intro calculus-based physics class) information on teaching as a career and the PhysTEC program (~1000 students per annum).
  • PIs have visited several PHY 133 (third quarter freshman Physics) classes to announce the events among non majors and engineering students.
  • We have created quarterly flyers to recruit people into teaching and placed them throughout College of Science building. Recruiting flyers were e-mailed to other departments within the College of Science and the College of Education. Many flyers were posted in the Colleges of Science and Education explaining PhysTEC's goals.
  • PhysTEC project progress was shared with Physics and Astronomy faculty at departmental meetings and was well-received.
  • The success of the Physics LA program and it's recognition with the Dean of College of Science and Science Faculty led to support for the Biology Department to launch their own pilot LA program in Fall 2013.
  • The announcements of all PhysTEC events were sent out via e-mail to the PhysTEC Faculty Advisory Panel (FAP), Physics majors, and minors.
  • Physics and Astronomy faculty conducted one-on-one recruiting among Physics majors/minors during undergraduate advising and any social opportunity.
  • PowerPoint slides of the PhysTEC program were shown in the first year experience class to incoming physics majors.
  • A recent CPP graduate who is teaching high school physics was invited to give a talk at LA and Cal Poly Pomona Noyce scholars seminars in January 2013.
  • Dr. Sadaghiani met with local SPS student chapters and discussed recruiting strategies and LA opportunities.
  • The PER faculty gave a talk at the Department of Physics and Astronomy seminar series on becoming a high school physics teacher in Fall 2012.
  • We continued our efforts to increase the number of our majors via SPIN-UP efforts, examples of which include the departmental Fall welcome back reception, Winter research Open House, and Spring BBQ.
  • The Project team distributed information about credential requirements in California, along with scholarship and job opportunities in teaching.
  • Single-subject credential advising is available by PIs. The most current information for the science credential program and Robert Noyce Scholarship opportunities are available at: http://www.csupomona.edu/~noyce/. Required coursework for the Physics Concentration is available athttp://www.csupomona.edu/~cso/programs/single_subject.htmlandhttp://catalog.csupomona.edu/preview_program.php?catoid=5&poid=1086&returnto=797&print .
  • The PhysTEC program is described in the welcome letter that the department chair sends to all incoming freshman Physics majors.
  • The program is also described in all of the hour-long small group orientation sessions led by the department chair in the summer for incoming students (total of 77 participants in summer 2013).