Current Projects

CISSTEM partners with university faculty, regional post-secondary institutions, as well as business and community organizations to research and develop innovations in STEM education.

Southeastern Regional Robert Noyce Connections: Convening a Community of Learners Focused on STEM Pre-Service Teacher Education

▼   Project Summary
A cohesive network would greatly benefit Noyce scholars and personnel in the Southeast region to connect, share ideas, and help each other through the inevitable challenges that come with being a STEM educator. The Southeastern Regional Robert Noyce Connections: Convening a Community of Learners Focused on STEM Pre-Service Teacher Education and the associated online community are important first steps to developing this network. Noyce participants who attend will be able to bond and network as they participate in professional development designed to enhanced their abilities to reach students many define as unreachable. The conferences and intervening activities will provide a structure for participants to increase their knowledge, skills, and dispositions, as well as enhance their cultural competence so they continually refine their craft. Most importantly, a great teacher positively impacts the life of a child forever, and the same is true of a weak teacher. The ultimate purpose of this project is to empower all teachers to meet the needs of all students and help them achieve greatness.
▼   Project Goals & Impacts

The primary goals of the Regional Noyce conference are to (a) connect Noyce science and mathematics scholars, teacher fellows, and master teachers across the Southeastern states, (b) strengthen the network of support for Noyce projects and their participants, and (c) enhance the effectiveness of these groups as a collective. Specifically, the Southeastern region includes nine states with approximately 65 projects between them.

The 2016 conference served approximately 200 Noyce affiliates from 37 Noyce projects in the region. The 2017 Southeastern Regional Conference is scheduled for June 22-24, 2017.

▼   Project Leadership

P.I. - Dr. André M. Green, College of Education and Professional Studies

Co-P.I. – Dr. Madhuri Mulekar, College of Arts and Sciences

Co-P.I. – Dr. Andrea Kent, College of Education and Professional Studies

Co-P.I. – Dr. Susan Martin, College of Education and Professional Studies

Co-P.I. – Dr. Ryon McDermott, College of Education and Professional Studies

▼   Fund Source

National Science Foundation, Division of Undergraduate Education, Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program

USA- Pathway to Mathematics

▼   Project Summary
The Pathways to Mathematics (PTM) program emerged to address the shortage of teachers in the South Alabama region in both urban and rural schools. Over the last two decades, shortages of certified teachers in mathematics have plagued schools in Alabama. Rural and high need urban schools have had a difficult time recruiting and retaining highly qualified mathematics teachers. The program trains teachers using the Alternative Master’s program to train second career candidates and those who already had degrees in mathematics or a related field who want to become mathematics teachers. The program has used the alternative master’s approach so that the teachers that graduate have advanced work in mathematics and an advanced certificate.
▼   Project Goals & Impacts

The PTM project has three goals associated with it.  These three goals center on increasing the numbers of mathematics teachers in the South Alabama region.  Each goal is described in greater detail below. 

  1. PTM will prepare a total of up to 25 mathematics teachers (over the five-year period) who will be certified to teach mathematics at the secondary level. PTM seeks to create a steady stream of future alternative master’s degree mathematics education majors, which in turn will increase the number of mathematics teachers available to teach in local school systems.
  2. PTM will enhance middle and high school student achievement by providing certified mathematics teachers in high needs schools that currently lack certified math teachers.
  3. PTM will create a replicable model to provide ongoing mentoring and professional development for novice mathematics teachers that will increase the likelihood that they will be retained and become career teachers.
▼   Project Leadership

P.I. - Dr. André M. Green, College of Education and Professional Studies

Co-P.I. – Dr. Madhuri Mulekar, College of Arts and Sciences

Co-P.I. – Bishop State College

▼   Fund Source

National Science Foundation, Division of Undergraduate Education, Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program

USA- Pathway to Science

▼   Project Summary

The Pathways to Science program (PTS) II program is designed to train new Noyce Scholars as well as follow up on the scholars who were part of the first PTS project. The original PTS I project was designed to help fill the need for math and science teachers in the South Alabama region. The program trains teachers using the Alternative Master’s program to train second career candidates and those who already had degrees in Science related fields that wanted to become teachers. The program has used the alternative master’s approach so that the teachers that graduate have advanced work in science and an advanced certificate.

▼   Project Goals & Impacts

The PTS II project has 5 goals

  1. Prepare a total of up to twelve additional science teachers who are highly qualified to teach chemistry, physics, biology, or general science by having them earn initial certification and a master’s degree in four semesters.

  2. Evaluate the effectiveness of creating a community of learners that provides ongoing mentoring and professional development.

  3. Evaluate the impact of PTS scholars on student achievement and use that data to strengthen the science teacher preparation program.

  4. Evaluate the self-efficacy of graduates by conducting a qualitative analysis of those who have persisted and not persisted as science teachers.

  5. Evaluate the effectiveness of graduates who teach in the MCPSS against graduates of our modified program as well as measure the effectiveness of PTS graduates against non-Noyce graduates in the MCPSS.

▼   Project Leadership

P.I. - Dr. André M. Green, College of Education and Professional Studies

Co-P.I. – Dr. Susan Martin, College of Education and Professional Studies, Leadership & Teacher Education

▼   Fund Source

National Science Foundation, Division of Undergraduate Education, Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program

USA AMSTI- Professional Development Program

▼   Project Summary

CISSTEM, in collaboration with AMSTI-USA and the Mobile and Baldwin County Public School Systems partnered to implement a comprehensive three-year professional development program for middle school math teachers. The professional development model is a hands-on, inquiry-centered, cooperative, and involves authentic assessment just like the AMSTI program itself. The AMSTI-Professional Development Program is designed to emphasize content and process skills through real world applications. Deeper content will be facilitated by the teachers’ participation in Math Circles during the academic year. This PD program is led by professors from the University’s Department of Mathematics and Statistics and facilitated by AMSTI and College of Education and Professional Studies faculty. A second critical component is the summer PD program wherein math teachers will engage in AMSTI training in an authentic context with middle grades children during a three-week program designed to teach best practices and reinforce fidelity to AMSTI pedagogy.

▼   Project Goals & Impacts

The project is designed to:

  1. deepen the content knowledge of participating teachers,

  2. enhance their fidelity to the AMSTI methodology and best instructional practices, and

  3. create a culture of increased learning with respect to the Common Core Standards that will result in increased student achievement in mathematics,

  4. create a replicable, sustainable, and cost effective Professional Development model for teachers that uses scientifically based research, best practices, and identified student needs.

▼   Project Leadership

P.I. - Dr. Andre M. Green, College of Education and Professional Studies

Co-P.I. - Dr. Cornelius Pillen, College of Arts and Sciences

Co-P.I. - Dr. Vasiliy Prokhorov, College of Arts and Sciences

Co-P.I. - Ms. Kelly Byrd, College of Education and Professional Studies

▼   Fund Source

Math & Science Partnership award from the Alabama State Department of Education through the US Department of Education

USA AMSTI Fellows for the Middle School Program

▼   Project Summary

AMSTI-USA Fellows Program for Middle School will develop and assess replicable instructional and professional development strategies that bridge the gap between successful and innovative short-term practice and the long-term institutionalization required to sustain AMSTI in an effective yet economical manner. The proposed program will: (1) strengthen teachers’ knowledge of the AMSTI curriculum by providing them with experiences that will allow them to reach a mastery level; (2) enhance the teaching skills of selected AMSTI teachers (Fellows) by providing an opportunity to help mentor in-service teachers and induct new teachers into the AMSTI teaching methodology through peer coaching; and, (3) develop highly positive dispositions for selected AMSTI trained teachers. The proposed program creates two Teacher Leaders in AMSTI Math and raises the content and pedagogical knowledge of every middle school math teacher in MCPSS who chooses to participate. This program provides a wide spectrum of inquiry-based teaching strategies proven to be effective with children from diverse backgrounds.

▼   Project Goals & Impacts

The goals and outcomes of the AMSTI-USA Fellows Program for Middle School are to:

  1. Involve Mathematics and Education faculty from the University to assist in increasing the pedagogy and content knowledge AMSTI Fellows, AMSTI Specialist, and 51 middle school mathematics teachers in MCPSS as it relates to the new common core standards.

  2. Prepare two teachers over the three-year granting period who will be trained as AMSTI math specialists. These AMSTI-USA Fellows will,  support mathematics teacher development at their home schools and support district led professional development activities in mathematics.

  3. Assist in increasing teachers’ mathematics content knowledge and comfort level with the AMSTI curriculum and the new common core standards in mathematics. As a result, more effective instruction will occur that will in turn increase student achievement in mathematics.

▼   Project Leadership

P.I. - Dr. Andre M. Green, College of Education and Professional Studies

Co-P.I. - Dr. Madhuri Mulekar, College of Arts and Sciences

Co-P.I. - Ms. Kelly Byrd, College of Education and Professional Studies

▼   Fund Source

Math & Science Partnership award from the Alabama State Department of Education through the US Department of Education