Program Recruitment and Retention RAC
Who We Are
Key Issues to Consider
Opportunities for Engagement
The U.S. has a significant shortage of well-prepared secondary mathematics teachers, both in terms of quantity (cf. Ingersoll & Perda, 2010; Ingersoll, Merrill, & May, 2012) and quality of instruction (cf. Banilower et al., 2013). This shortage of teachers continues to grow while numbers of students recruited into STEM teacher education continues to shrink. Moreover, the demographics of teachers in the classroom do not match those of the nation’s children; yet, there is significant evidence that students benefit from having teachers of color (D’Amico, Pawlewicz, Earley, & Mcgeehan, 2017). By 2024, students of color are expected to make up 56% of the student population, while the teaching force will remain primarily White (USDOE, 2016).While retaining all prospective teachers is needed to increase the number of well-prepared secondary mathematics teachers, the needs of prospective teachers of color may be greater due to feelings of isolation in programs with primarily white faculty and students, as well greater needs for financial and academic supports due to “residue of institutional racism” (Gist, 2016, p. 933). Therefore, our overarching goals are to: 1) recruit well-qualified candidates into our secondary mathematics teacher education programs; 2) recruit a diverse group of well-qualified candidates into our programs; 3) recruit diverse candidates that more closely align with the demographics of the communities served by our institution; and, 4) retain these candidates through licensure and into the secondary mathematics classroom.
Who We Are
The Program Recruitment and Retention (PR2) RAC is a consortium of 16 universities and their school partners engaged in efforts to develop strategies and approaches for effective recruitment and program retention of secondary mathematics teacher education students, in accordance with the AMTE Standards for Preparing Teachers of Mathematics (2017): “An effective mathematics teacher preparation program attracts, nurtures, and graduates high-quality teachers of mathematics who are representative of diverse communities” (p. 26). The following institutions are leading the work of the RAC: California State University MSTI, California State University EduCorps, University of Hawaii at Hilo and Manoa, Florida International University, and Mississippi State University
Recruitment is often not responsibility of faculty members but rather an additional duty, yet faculty have a vest interest. Since, institutions and programs are not uniform, formulating a framework for successful recruitment becomes very complicated. Each university has their own goals and requirements of recruitment and admission. University level recruiters are interested in student enrollment at the institutional not programmatic level. Further, student body demographics is different at each institution. This student body may not reflect the demographics of the local schools. Therefore, recruiting for diversity in Secondary Mathematics programs must be defined at the local not national or regional level. All of these factors force recruitment to be specific to each institution, further complicating the research of PR2.
Opportunities for Engagement
In initial research, the PR2 RAC has found there is not robust research into how to attract diverse prospective teachers. This necessitates the need for current research to reflect the changes in population demographics and the needs of prospective teachers. Initial research efforts of the RAC indicate that demographics and recruitment are very dependent on the communities and populations served by each institution of higher learning. This highlights the complexity of increasing the diversity of the prospective teachers. The PR2 RAC needs to develop a framework that addresses the overarching issue of prospective teacher recruitment and retention but is also flexible enough to respond to the needs to specific institutions.
In addition, universities continually perfect recruitment strategies to attract more and more students to their institutions. Teacher preparation programs need to capitalize on and learn from these efforts with their own targeted recruitment. It is time for administrators of teacher preparation programs to understand that prospective teacher recruitment needs dedicated recruitment specialists; it cannot be one more responsibility of one or two faculty members. For most teacher preparation faculty, recruitment efforts are “on top of their regular school or university duties” (Dickey 2017). To date, the RAC’s efforts are focused on understanding the needs of our current demographics, investigating methods to attract more diverse prospective teachers, and begin to build a body of knowledge to support targeted recruitment efforts into teacher education. We are launching a Self-Study of Recruitment Activities as well as documenting policies that impede recruitment and retention in Secondary Mathematics Education.
Dickey, E. , Franz, D. P., Hammond, B. O., Fernandez, M. L., McNamara, J., Martinez, J. & Amick, L. (in-press). Recruitment and retention: An overview. In B. Lawler, W. Smith & Martin, G. & Lishka, A. (eds.) Mathematics Teacher Education-Partnership Monograph. Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators (publisher).
McNamra, J., Franz, D. P., & Fernandez, M. (in-press). From MATH to PR2: How we evolved. In B. Lawler, W. Smith & Martin, G. & Lishka, A. (eds.) Mathematics Teacher Education-Partnership Monograph. Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators (publisher).
Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators. (2017). Standards for Preparing Teachers of Mathematics. Available online at amte.net/standards.
Banilower, E. R., Smith, P. S., Weiss, I. R., Malzahn, K. A., Campbell, K. M., & Weis, A. M. (2013). Report of the 2012 National Survey of Science and Mathematics Education. Chapel Hill, NC: Horizon Research.
Brainard, J. (2007, December 21). Texas Offers a Model for Training Math and Science Teachers. Chronicle of Higher Education, 54(17), pA8-A10.
Bryk, A., Gomez, L. M., Grunow, A., & LeMahieu, P. (2015). Learning to improve: How America’s schools can get better at getting better. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press.
D’Amico, D., Pawlewicz, R. J., Earley, P. M., & Mcgeehan, A. P. (2017). Where are all the black teachers? Discrimination in the teacher labor market. Harvard Educational Review, 87(1), 26–49.
Gist, C. D. (2016). Voices of aspiring teachers of color: Unraveling the double bind in teacher education. Urban Education, 52(8), 927–956.
Ingersoll, R. M., & Perda, D. (2010). Is the supply of mathematics and science teachers sufficient? American Educational Research Journal. 43(3), 563–594.
Ingersoll, R., Merrill, L., & May, H. (2012). Retaining teachers: How preparation matters. Educational Leadership, 69(8), 30–34.
J. & Dickey, E. (2015). Secondary Mathematics Teacher Recruitment Campaign Implementation Guide. Washington, DC: Association of Public Land-grant Universities.