Using a Practicum Experience for Selecting SMART (Science and Mathematics Achievement via Research and Teaching) Scholars at Georgia Southern University

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All pre‐education majors at Georgia Southern University complete the Pre‐Professional Block (PPB), a set of three courses and a 51 hour school practicum in which entry level professionalism and written and oral communication are evaluated. A modified version of PPB is a prerequisite for admission to our program and professionalism and writing outcomes are used as screening tools for SMART Scholar selection. In its modified form, SMART Scholars take one PPB class and the practicum. Not only do these students have an opportunity to experience a school setting from “the teacher’s side,” but they also get to interact with middle and high school students on a regular basis.

In addition, SMART Scholars have an opportunity to critically evaluate teaching, the school setting, and their own desire and motivation to become teachers. To date, 46 students have enrolled in the modified PPB course as potential Noyce Scholars. Fourteen have applied for and been accepted to the Noyce Scholarship Program. Among those who did not apply for the scholarship, three of the potential scholars notified us that they would not apply to Noyce because of their practicum experience, two of whom stopped attending their practicum mid‐semester because they were confident that teaching was not the field for them. Of the remaining 32 students, 18 were not finished with the PPB requirement as of the last Noyce application date while the other 14 did not notify the commit‐tee of their application intentions.


NSF Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program Conference


Washington, DC