A Model for Recruitment, Retention, and Induction Support for Math and Science Teachers in High Needs Schools

  • NSF Noyce Award # 1339939
  • First Name Paul
  • Last Name Heideman
  • Email pdheid@wm.edu
  • Discipline Other:: All science and math majors
  • Co-PI(s)

    Meredith Kier, College of William and Mary, mwkier@wm.edu
    Marguerite Mason, College of William and Mary, mmmaso@wm.edu
    Heather MacDonald, College of William and Mary, rhmacd@wm.edu
    Jason Chen, College of William and Mary, jachen@wm.edu

  • Presenters

    Meredith Kier, College of William and Mary, mwkier@wm.edu


The need for highly educated and better prepared teachers has never been greater, especially in the STEM areas (2010, 2010). Both the American public and governing bodies at all levels recognize the critical need to improve the preparation of teachers (2011). However, many talented mathematics and science students lose or never develop an early passion for STEM teaching; they fail to understand the varied rewards, paths, and opportunities to create meaningful change through careers in teaching (Maier and Youngs 2009, 2010). This project discusses how W&M’s recruitment, preparation, and induction model will be refined and expanded while producing 27 new teachers licensed in STEM disciplines and directed toward a career in teaching in high-need schools. Noyce II enhancements include additional strategies for recruiting and mentoring students who otherwise would be lost from secondary STEM teaching, more opportunities for experiences in high-need settings, and induction support.


The project will strengthen W&M STEM teacher preparation by: (a) expanding collaborative engagement among STEM departments, the School of Education, and our new partner, the W&M Office of Community Engagement; (b) developing a new early recruiting and mentoring program to attract strong and diverse students for a teaching career in high-need schools (Maier and Youngs 2009); (c) enhancing the teacher education program with special course offerings in STEM education and in science; (d) expanding experiences for W&M students in high-need schools and settings (Diffily and Perkins 2002, McKinney et al. 2007, Liou and Lawrenz 2010); (e) offering summer internship opportunities for STEM-related professional development in teaching or in research; (f) providing student stipends to cover tuition and fees (Liou and Lawrenz 2010); (g) continuing follow-up mentoring and support for graduates; (h) adding salary support ($3000/year) during the first two years of teaching in a high-need school


Through a partnership-oriented approach that spans across schools and organizations across campus, we have changed the institutional culture of STEM major advising to place a higher value on teaching careers, developing an effective mechanism to steer students interested in teaching to Noyce Steering Committee members.The Steering Committee connects local K-12 systems, including those with high-need schools, with STEM faculty at W&M. As a synergistic activity related to our Noyce grant. The Noyce Management Team involved the Office of Community Engagement and the Career Center, both of which have hosted courses and/or multiple workshops for students related to careers in STEM teaching. The Noyce Phase I project has been a framework to change the culture of STEM teaching recruitment, mentoring, and preparation at W&M. The Noyce Scholars Phase II project includes additional courses and mentoring approaches to increase student success in HNS.


Efforts have shown an increase in Noyce Scholars over time. Research suggests that students who received their student teaching experience in a high needs school committed to a HNS in their first year of teaching. Preservice teachers express a need for more support teaching students with disabilities and English language learners, which lead us to incorporating additional supports. Teacher surveys suggest that induction model is important to to their growth as a first-year teacher but additional mentorship structures will be put in place for their schools.

Broader Impacts

This program presents a model for a strategic teaming structure for recruitment, additional courses that broaden students awareness of teaching in HNS, and induction support. Research has been disseminated through science teacher conferences on how these aspects influence teacher identity in HNS. Dissemination at national conferences in (a) STEM education and (b) STEM disciplines produced collaborations with another institution for data collection, as well as mentoring of other institutions developing Noyce Phase I grant proposals. Presentations include (Heideman et al. 2010, Matkins and T. 2010, Matkins et al. 2011b, a, Macdonald et al. 2012, Goff et al. 2013).

Posted on July 6, 2017