Supported Site University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
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In this project the investigators propose a collaborative interdisciplinary model to address the critical need of highly qualified high school physics teachers. The project rests on the premise that, to increase the number of highly qualified teachers, both an increased base of physics majors and a concerted effort to recruiting them to the teaching profession are essential. The goal of the project is to increase the number of physics teachers to 5 per year in steady state. To reach that goal, the proposal involves three key parts: designing a streamlined 5-year degree program for Physics BS and MATi (Master of Art in Teaching with initial licensure); close collaboration with Physics, Engineering, and STEM Education departments to market the program and opportunities to science and engineering students; and enhanced recruiting efforts at both the high school and college levels including traditional recruiting methods and outreach activities. A unique element of the project is the focused recruiting from engineering students, in particular engineering undecided, via individual advising by Physics faculty. Once the students are in the Physics BS/MATi program, they will be surrounded by a supportive environment to be created, including a part-time teacher in residence mentor and financial support.
In terms of broader impacts, the insight and outcomes gained from the project may serve as a helpful model to other institutions which intend to build similar physics teacher programs on how to foster close collaboration with engineering students and departments, even for places where Physics is not within the colleges of engineering.