Indiana STEM Teacher Recruitment Fund Grant Proposal

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1 Indiana STEM Teacher Recruitment Fund Grant Proposal

2 Table of Contents I. Strategies to recruit and train new STEM teachers... 4 A. Recruiting activities. B. Training activities C. STEM courses or fields of study for which participants will be trained D. Process to complete licensure or training II. Strategies to employ and retain new STEM teachers in underserved schools or schools encountering shortage of STEM teachers. 8 III. Partnerships, connections, and alignment. 9 A. Connections to STEM learning activities and student achievement B. STEM learning and work academic or instructional outcomes for students C. Connections to Indiana STEM economic growth opportunities D. Alignment with state and federal incentives that might be applicable to STEM teachers IV. Methods to determine and assess cost effectiveness and return on investment. 11 A. Initial grant period (November 1, 2013 through June 30, 2015) B. Long-term implementation.

3 F or over thirty years, teachers, administrators, business leaders and policy makers have expressed concern about the competitiveness of U.S. students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) areas. Although national and state policies have emphasized STEM education, progress has been slow. A major component of increasing STEM achievement among students is raising both the quantity and quality of STEM teachers. The Independent Colleges of Indiana (ICI) is uniquely positioned to coordinate a coalition of independent institutions to work together to increase the number of highly qualified teachers of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in Indiana. ICI proposes the creation of an initiative named STEM Teach which will bring together a group of independent colleges and universities to offer STEM courses and workshops to pre-service and in-service teachers, including dual credit certification training. A pre-service teacher is one who is pursuing a degree who has not yet completed training to be a teacher. An in-service teacher is one who is currently employed as a teacher. ICI is the collective voice for Indiana's 31 independent, nonprofit colleges and universities. Its mission is to pursue excellence and choice in higher education for all students, regardless of family background. ICI's member institutions are the choice of approximately 90,000 students each year. These member institutions enroll 20 percent of all undergraduates, yet award 35 percent of all baccalaureate degrees in the state, including more than 39 percent of the degrees in such high-demand areas as engineering, physics, nursing, the biosciences, and chemistry. To administer STEM Teach, ICI will contract for specific development and implementation services including administrative capacity for the grant activities. The designated contractor will be an established non-profit organization with extensive experience in school transformation in partnership with both Indiana higher education institutions and K-12 school districts. This contractor will support all STEM professional development and implementation customized to individual ICI member institutions and regional teacher training needs; create, organize and facilitate on-going network meetings focused on specific STEM areas with representatives from ICI member institutions; and convene and assist in providing professional development as it is related to STEM training and certification. ICI member institutions will combine efforts to offer specific programs targeted to three tracks of certification: 1) pre-service elementary and secondary teachers; 2) bachelor or master level teachers seeking additional STEM certification; and 3) teachers with bachelor s degrees seeking graduate level courses for dual credit credentialing.

4 I. Strategies to recruit and train new STEM teachers A. Recruiting activities During the planning year, an inventory of Indiana teachers and administrators will be conducted to help determine needs for certain course and program offerings in various areas of the state. Once needs are determined, proposals for programs and offerings to meet these needs will be solicited from ICI member institutions. Proposals will be selected based on a set of criteria determined which will be disseminated to ICI member institutions in a Request for Proposals (RFP). Criteria used to match member institution proposals with regional needs will include the institution s willingness to be flexible in meeting the identified needs, cost effectiveness, innovation and others. From among those proposals submitted, ICI will facilitate connections between institutions to meet teacher, school and regional STEM needs. Once proposals have been selected, offerings will be advertised to teachers, administrators, schools, and school districts, as well as to STEM education professional organizations across the state. Information about the STEM Teach program will also be sent directly to all Indiana superintendents and high school principals. Additionally, the contractor will focus on reaching school administrators and teachers by conducting outreach with its existing partners and networks throughout the state. Participating ICI member institutions will be given appropriate promotional materials to share with their existing stakeholders to increase the number of preservice teachers involved in the program. During this time, the programming schedule will be communicated to K-12 schools and districts as well as to ICI member institutions. In-service and pre-service teachers can apply to participate through a competitive application process. Candidates will be accepted into programs based on the STEM teacher need in their area or at their school as well as available space. Although the process will be competitive, the goal is to offer as many spaces as possible to meet current STEM needs, and teachers working in underserved schools or schools experiencing a shortage of STEM teachers will get first priority. In-service teachers accepted into programs will receive a monetary completion award when they finish their coursework. Participant teachers will be asked to informally commit to three years of additional service in underserved or STEM teacher shortage schools. Pre-service teachers who participate will also receive a completion award and be asked to voluntarily commit to three years of teaching in underserved or shortage schools. Completion awards will be in addition to tuition and book fees provided to participant teachers through the grant. B. Training activities ICI proposes the development of three tracks of programming: 1) pre-service elementary and secondary teachers; 2) teachers with bachelor or master degrees seeking additional STEM certification; and 3) teachers with bachelor degrees seeking graduate level courses for dual credit credentialing.

5 Track 1: Pre-service Elementary and Secondary Teachers Pre-service elementary and secondary teachers need opportunities to complete specialized STEM education workshops and coursework during their initial teacher education. Elementary education majors greatly benefit from training workshops focused on how to teach STEM at the elementary level, especially when it comes to teaching math and science curriculum effectively. This provides two benefits - elementary pre-service teachers are able to enhance their STEM content knowledge and university teacher education programs have the opportunity to revise and improve their STEM education curriculum. Secondary education majors need opportunities to add a STEM content area to their licenses. Some of these pre-service teachers have access to appropriate coursework at their ICI member institutions, but others do not. Through cooperative efforts coordinated by ICI, member institutions can begin to offer additional STEM options for pre-service teachers. For example, an elementary education major at an institution that does not offer an engineering program could learn how to integrate engineering concepts into their classroom during a summer workshop taught by a faculty member on loan from an institution that offers engineering courses. Likewise, a secondary science education major can add an additional content area in physics by taking coursework offered at a partner institution located near his/her hometown during his/her summer vacation. Track 2: Teachers with Bachelor or Master Degrees Seeking Additional STEM Certification Teachers with a bachelor s degree or master s degree in a specific STEM area may wish to add a second or third content area to their teaching license. For example, a science teacher may wish to add math, or a physics teacher may wish to add environmental science to his/her license. In addition, teachers with a degree in any content area may opt to add a STEM content area to their license to meet the needs of their students. These teachers do not need to earn a second bachelor s or master s degree in a STEM content area. They can learn what they need to teach high school STEM classes solely through undergraduate content courses. These teachers may also have difficulty accessing the STEM courses they need to add a STEM content area to their license. For example, such courses may not be offered frequently enough, may not be offered at local colleges and universities, or may not be offered at times when in-service teachers are available. STEM Teach would provide them with opportunities to take appropriate courses at a nearby campus, or via hybrid or online learning at times more convenient for their schedule. Track 3: Teachers with Bachelor Degrees Seeking Graduate Level Courses for Dual Credit Credentialing Teachers also need graduate level content area coursework in order to teach dual credit courses at the high school level. It has been particularly challenging for teachers to find the time to earn the 18 hours of graduate level STEM coursework required for them to teach dual credit STEM courses. As a result, some colleges have been unable to offer STEM dual credit courses in area high schools, or have had to hire adjunct faculty to teach these courses. Hiring adjunct faculty to

6 teach dual credit STEM courses is costly for the school and is not ideal since adjunct faculty may be unable to adequately serve the needs of high school students. For this reason, current high school STEM teachers need opportunities to take graduate level courses that will qualify them to teach dual credit STEM courses. Like undergraduate STEM course offerings, graduate level offerings may not be offered frequently at nearby colleges or universities at times convenient for in-service teachers. STEM Teach would facilitate a scheduling process conducive to the needs of teachers seeking dual credit certification. The course offerings for teachers wishing to add a content area certification to their license or become qualified to teach dual credit courses, or for pre-service teachers, will be coordinated so that teachers may benefit from courses offered either at a nearby ICI member institution campus, or via hybrid or online programs. Some programs may require some travel, but priority will be given to ICI member institutions that propose more affordable and convenient options for teachers. For example, an institution willing to send a faculty member to teach a course or series of courses at a local campus would be considered more affordable than one willing to host a course or series at their own campus, requiring teachers to travel. In addition, hybrid or online programs, and tuition or fee adjustments lowering the cost for teachers will be considered more cost effective. Ideally, courses and workshops would be hosted at institutions located in different regions of the state to better serve teachers needs.

7 Teachers participating in coursework will earn undergraduate or graduate level credits. In-service teachers attending workshops will earn professional growth points toward the renewal of their teaching licenses. The courses and workshops will be open to teachers working at non-eligible schools and districts (those that are NOT underserved or encountering a STEM shortage), but they will be required to pay the fee/tuition for the workshop or course and will not be eligible for the completion award. C. STEM courses or fields of study for which participants will be trained The courses that will be offered by STEM Teach will be determined by an inventory of Indiana teachers and administrators during the planning year. Information will be gathered about regional needs in STEM areas and this will be matched with proposals from ICI member institutions to offer the necessary courses and/or workshops. ICI has 31 member higher education institutions that offer more than 150 STEM majors, in 28 categories. Aerospace Astronomy Biological Sciences Biomedical Engineering Biophysics Biotechnology Chemistry Civil Engineering Clinical Laboratory Science Communication & Information Management Computer & Information Sciences / Technology Design Engineering Technology Digital/Visual Media/Systems Drafting and Design Technology Engineering Environmental Science/Studies Geosciences Horticulture Laboratory Instrumentation Manufacturing Technology Mathematics Meteorology Natural Science Neuroscience Pharmaceutical Science Physical Science Physics Science D. Process to complete licensure or training ICI member institutions will individually determine what the requirements are for participation in STEM Teach courses. In terms of adding STEM content areas to a teaching license, if a teacher passes the PRAXIS test for that content area, then he/she is considered adequately prepared/trained. As such, member institutions should not only provide coursework that will appropriately prepare teachers to teach the subject but also to pass the PRAXIS II tests. For teachers seeking 18 hours of graduate coursework to teach dual credit courses, institutions should consider their own expectations for adjunct faculty, and offer courses that would adequately prepare an adjunct faculty member to teach university level courses. Pre-service teachers should

8 be able to pass the PRAXIS II in the STEM content area they wish to add to their license. Home institutions for pre-service teachers will be required to transfer credits that count toward graduation for pre-service teachers. For in-service teachers, the institution offering the course or series of courses will own the transcript, and be responsible for facilitating licensure and training documentation. II. Strategies to employ and retain new STEM teachers in underserved schools or schools encountering shortage of STEM teachers The contractor will develop an online portal where teachers and administrators working in underserved schools or schools encountering shortages of STEM teachers will be able to submit their STEM training needs and interests. This portal will allow workshops and courses to be scheduled to meet the specific needs of teachers and schools in various regions of the state. For example, a high school may have three science teachers certified/trained to teach chemistry, but no teacher certified/trained to teach physics. Coursework will be coordinated to meet these needs through onsite, hybrid, and online programming offered by one or more ICI member institutions. Through opportunities to complete needed coursework, one or more of the chemistry teachers at the example high school will have access to courses that will certify/train them to teach physics. Through ongoing data collection, the needs of schools in the different regions of the state will be continually assessed and Indiana s independent colleges will work together through ICI to provide appropriate STEM coursework that will lead to needed STEM certification for teachers. In addition, an inventory of teachers and administrators working in underserved schools or those encountering shortages of STEM teachers will be conducted to determine STEM dual-credit certification needs. It has been challenging for secondary teachers to earn the 18 masters-level credit hours required to teach dual credit courses, especially in STEM subjects, and therefore, there is a shortage of such teachers across the state, particularly in underserved schools and those encountering a shortage of STEM teachers. STEM Teach seeks to provide appropriate STEM coursework for secondary teachers to become certified to teach dual credit courses. Schools of education at ICI member institutions will coordinate undergraduate teacher education programs that offer pre-service elementary and secondary teachers with a variety of opportunities to seek further STEM teaching training prior to graduation. These programs could be offered creatively through summer, hybrid, or online coursework. Further, through the collaborative efforts, pre-service teachers attending institutions that do not offer specific STEM courses would have access to STEM courses offered through other ICI member institutions so that pre-service teachers benefit from this initiative as well as in-service teachers. To encourage all three groups of teachers to continue or commit to service in underserved schools or those encountering a shortage of STEM teachers, a portion of the grant funds will be

9 used to pay tuition and book fees as well as provide a completion award for each course when the teacher commits to working in a qualifying school for three years or more following completion of coursework. As outlined in the grant requirements, to qualify as a school encountering a shortage of STEM teachers, a school must: 1. Certify that the school corporation has determined the need to seek an emergency permit for a teacher of a STEM subject or course as designated by 515 IAC or; 2. Have a shortage of teachers of a STEM subject or course as determined by the State Board of Education or the school corporation or; 3. Have no current employee eligible to teach the STEM subject or course. Alternatively, an underserved Indiana school corporation must: 1. Have a complexity index determined by IC greater than the state average or; 2. Must employ a program participant or contract for the services of a program participant to serve predominantly in a Title I school(s). In-service teachers applying to participate in STEM Teach will be asked to verify that their school meets the definition of either school encountering a shortage of STEM teachers or an underserved school in order to be eligible for paid tuition and the completion award. Teachers who serve in schools that do not meet these qualifications can apply to participate in the courses offered at their own expense (or that of their school). III. Partnerships, connections, and alignment A. Connections to STEM learning activities and student achievement The workshop and coursework opportunities coordinated through STEM Teach will positively impact student achievement because students will have appropriately trained STEM teachers. Fewer teachers will be teaching outside their area of expertise or on emergency licenses. Appropriately trained instructors with expertise in STEM subjects will teach students at the elementary and secondary level. Students will also have more access to dual credit STEM courses, allowing them to more effectively prepare for postsecondary education. Further, programs that prepare students for STEM careers will be more robust and widely available across the state, but especially to meet the needs of underserved schools and schools encountering a shortage of STEM teachers. Finally, STEM Teach will have a far-reaching effect on STEM business and industry across Indiana through the creation of a pipeline for qualified workers who were exposed to rigorous and engaging STEM content during K-12 education.

10 B. STEM learning and work academic or instructional outcomes for students At the elementary level, student outcomes will be focused on increasing students exposure to STEM through its incorporation into instructional time. This can be measured by the number of in-service teachers who increase their content knowledge through STEM Teach programs. In years to come, this should also be evident in higher scores on state assessments of math and science. For secondary students, the number of dual credit courses in STEM subjects will increase with the number of teachers who become certified to teach dual credit. Not only will dual credit enrollments increase, but more high school students will be on a curriculum pathway to associates or bachelor degrees in STEM-related careers. C. Connections to Indiana STEM economic growth opportunities STEM education is crucial to economic development in Indiana. A U.S. Department of Labor report stated that while only 5 percent of U.S. workers are employed in STEM fields, those workers are responsible for more than 50 percent of sustained economic expansion. Over the past decade, STEM job growth was three times that of non-stem jobs. In Indiana, the largest STEM fields are biotechnology, engineering, advanced manufacturing and information technology. D. Alignment with state and federal incentives that might be applicable to STEM teachers Efforts will be made to encourage program participants to take advantage of all state and federal incentives that exist for STEM teachers. Pre-service teachers may be eligible for Teacher Loan Forgiveness for Direct Subsidized Loans, Direct Unsubsidized Loans, Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans, and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans if they meet all the program requirements, including five years of service at a qualifying school. Pre-service teachers might also be eligible for Student Teaching Stipends for High Need Fields or Student Teaching Stipends for Minorities. Eligibility for these programs will be determined during the intake process.

11 IV. Methods to determine and assess cost effectiveness and return on investment A. Initial grant period (November 1, 2013 through June 30, 2015) During the initial grant period, the program will be assessed based on cost-per-teacher enrollment and the number of new teachers receiving training through STEM Teach. Per-teacher enrollment (as opposed to per-teacher trained) is being used as the metric because teachers may enroll in more than one course or workshop. This is especially true at the secondary level where a teacher may need a sequence of courses for licensing and/or credentialing purposes. The two-year initial implementation of STEM Teach includes fifty-seven courses, with an anticipated enrollment of 650 and a total cost of $1,571,850. The projected per-teacher enrollment cost is $ B. Long-term implementation. One of the long-term assessments of STEM Teach will be based on the number of dual credit awarded in STEM subjects, any increase in the number of STEM courses offered by schools, and by the total enrollment in those courses. Funding from the Indiana STEM Teacher Recruitment Fund will enable the creation of a vast network of resources designed to allow pre-service and in-service teachers access to STEM training programs in an affordable and convenient manner. Maintaining the STEM Teach infrastructure and ensuring that the positive outcomes continue after the end of the funding period is a priority for ICI. Participating member institutions will be asked to agree to seek additional funding to guarantee long-term sustainability. Institutions can also agree to pay for the honoraria given to professors teaching the STEM courses or offer a tuition discount to participating teachers. It is strongly recommended that K-12 schools provide incentives for teachers to participate, either by continuing the stipends offered through the grant or by covering tuition expenses.

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