A study of the strategies used by college faculty members of mathematics departments and secondary teacher education programs for increasing enrollment in secondary mathematics teacher certification programs -- Evelyn Allene Puaa
A critical shortage of secondary mathematics teachers exists in the United States. Retirements of the aging teacher population will cause it to further decrease. This study addressed what college faculty members and administrators of mathematics departments and mathematics education programs were doing to recruit more students who would pursue a degree in mathematics and/or a secondary teaching certificate in mathematics. It was a discovery study that included written questionnaires followed by telephone interviews. Both quantitative data and qualitative data were gathered at each stage. The quantitative data and qualitative data both suggest that recruitment activities were not part of a systemic recruitment plan, but were the effort of individual faculty members. In addition, statistics were not kept regarding the effectiveness of the activities. The activities varied between colleges and, although not many activities were conducted at a single college, a wide variety of activities was conducted by the aggregate. Conducting recruitment activities is not considered scholarly work, yet took up the time that professors needed to conduct required scholarly work. The data also suggest that mathematics departments do not systematically advertise the critical shortage of secondary mathematics teachers and its negative impact on the quality of mathematics education students receive, even though studies have shown that the majority of students who enter teacher preparation programs do so because they want to help others. Included are suggestions for college faculty members and administrators who want to help alleviate the critical shortage by recruiting more mathematics students who might pursue a secondary teaching certificate. Also included are suggestions for further research in this area.
Keywords: teacher shortage; mathematics teacher shortage; secondary mathematics teachers; mathematics teacher certification; college student recruitment; qualified STEM teachers; licensed secondary mathematics teachers; enrollment increase; STEM student recruitment