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Recruiting Engineering Students into K-12 Teaching

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Type: Article
Author(s): Beth Spencer, Donna Llewellyn, and Marion Usselman
Published: Proceedings of the 2010 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, 2010
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The Georgia Institute of Technology, a Research-Extensive institution located in the center of Atlanta, has a historic mission to create new knowledge and to train students in technological fields. Regulations put forth by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, specifically prohibit Georgia Tech from having a College of Education, so there is no unit on campus with the mission of teaching students about pedagogy, or preparing them for a career in education. Further, there has been a historic institutional paradigm that equates success with placement of Georgia Tech graduates in technical or research positions. However Georgia is in dire need of more well-trained STEM teachers to better prepare students to matriculate into college science and engineering programs, or to enroll in the state&#apos;s technical and community colleges. There is a strategic imperative for Georgia Tech to promote teaching as a valued career goal and to support those STEM majors who wish to pursue a career in teaching in the K-12 arena. As part of a new, campus-wide initiative, supported by the NSF, Georgia Tech has implemented a series of activities to promote careers in K-12 teaching, and has set up the infrastructure to track and evaluate these initiatives. This paper will describe the initiatives implemented so far, the types of road blocks encountered, and the numbers of students entering teaching from various engineering fields. Our goal is to change the perceptions among students, faculty and administrators at Georgia Tech; to promote K-12 teaching as a career option for all students, including entering freshmen; and ultimately to help produce 30-50 high school science and math teachers per year. This would make Georgia Tech one of the largest producers of high school STEM teachers in the state.


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