Date of Graduation
College of Education and Human Services
Counseling, Rehabilitation Counseling & Counseling Psychology
Karen E Rambo-Hernandez
Background/Purpose: Mathematics and science achievement of K-12 students in the United States is lagging the achievement of students in other developed countries. A shortage of highly qualified teachers in the areas of science, technology, mathematics, and engineering (STEM) is a contributing factor to lower achievement. One solution is to provide an efficient means for STEM students to earn a teaching certification without adding time to their current four-year degree programs. In 2015, West Virginia University introduced WVUteach, a program designed to encourage students in STEM majors to earn their teaching certifications while they are earning their degrees in their major fields of study. This study evaluated West Virginia University's WVUteach program in the areas of the enrollment of STEM students, the retention of students in the program, and the intention of students to pursue a career in teaching.;Methods/Analysis: WVUteach provided enrollment data for an analysis of trends, and current WVUteach students and Master Teachers participated in a focus group and interviews. The focus group and interviews were analyzed for common themes and insights into research questions about the reasons students give for enrolling in introductory courses and for continuing in or discontinuing WVUteach. Insights into the factors that influence students' decisions to obtain a teaching degree and go on to teaching careers including self-efficacy in STEM teaching were also examined.;Results: The results of a focus group with current WVUteach students and WVUteach Master Teachers provided insight into the recruitment and enrollment trends, student retention, and future intentions of students upon completion of WVUteach.;Discussion: The discovery phase of the program evaluation for WVUteach included insights obtained through a focus group and interviews with key stakeholders. Recommendations for WVUteach included an examination of recruiting processes, an increase in visibility of WVUteach, an examination of trends in enrollment and retention, and an exploration of job placement assistance for students considering teaching careers in West Virginia schools.;Conclusion: This evaluation provided a starting point for a full program evaluation of WVUteach. The data collected from current WVUteach students and WVUteach Master Teachers indicated areas that warranted further investigation. The results of a full program evaluation of WVUteach could be used to help new UTeach programs and programs seeking to provide alternative paths to teacher certification with a model of practices that were effective in the initial years of implementation of the WVUteach program.
Garner, Catherine, "Evaluation of WVUteach: Enrollment, Retention, and Students' Intentions" (2018). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 5650.