Future STEM Teachers In South Texas F(ST)2


The Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, the Department of Teacher and Bilingual Education, the Department of Mathematics, the Department of Biological and Health Science, the Department of Chemistry, and the Department of Physics and Geosciences at Texas A&M University- Kingsville (TAMUK) propose a Phase I Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program.

This addresses the needs of the South Texas school districts and aims at alleviating the shortage of certified secondary mathematics, technology, and science teachers. Hispanic high school students in South Texas ultimately will be the beneficiaries who will be academically prepared and inspired to embark on careers that involve Computer Science, Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Geosciences, and Physics.

F(ST)2 is a project designed to increase the number of secondary education teachers in the STEM disciplines in high-need schools. The objectives of this project include:
  • To recruit students who are presently majoring in STEM disciplines and help them to become teachers. This includes transfer students from community colleges as well as students who are native to the institution.
  • To make sure students can complete all requirements for their degree in their STEM discipline and a teacher certificate.
  • To develop procedures for tracking students after their degree completion, and establishment of necessary connections and articulation agreements with school districts, and community colleges.
  • To support and retain Noyce Scholars in their teaching position in high-need schools.

These objectives will be achieved by focused recruitment to attract talented STEM students and by giving them professional mentoring experience. The participants will form a special cohort with a sense of unity that will promote high achievement and motivation. The mentoring process and the effectiveness of the new courses will be studied through surveys and student interviews, and the results will be widely disseminated. At TAMUK, a total of 37 students has graduated in the last four years from STEM related baccalaureate with teacher certificate programs for an average of about 9 students per year.

The F(ST)2 program will grant 24 new certified teachers to teach secondary STEM courses through the teacher preparation program. Internships will generate earlier enthusiasm for STEM education while prestigious scholarships will make a career in education more attractive to talented students in the STEM disciplines. We anticipate that this two-stage approach to recruitment and preparation will result in at least 40% increase in the number of STEM teachers graduating each year. More importantly, these participants will be enthusiastic and better prepared for the challenges of STEM education careers, particularly in high-need schools.