Evaluation and Assessment

John Keller, Center for Engineering, Science, and Mathematics Education (CESAME), California Polytechnic State University

The Cal Poly Center for Engineering, Science, and Mathematics Education (CESAME) is actively pursuing efforts to enhance our evaluation and assessment efforts. Described below are two examples.

One of the programs that CESAME runs on behalf of the 22-campus California State University (CSU) system is the STEM Teacher and Researcher Program (STAR). Over the past decade, the STAR Program has provided over 550 paid summer research experiences at national research facilities (NASA, NOAA, NSF, DOE, DOD, USGS) and other university laboratories to over 420 aspiring STEM teachers. In addition to conducted pre- and post-summer evaluations of STAR participants, we have also begun to develop a longitudinal tracking system to investigate the following impacts of the STAR Program: teacher recruitment and retention, classroom practices, K-12 STEM student interest, teacher-leadership, and professional networking among STAR Fellows. We have administered longitudinal surveys during both 2011 and 2015 and are currently creating a database that will allow STAR Fellows to update contact information, career trajectory details, and additional survey items.

STAR is just one of several teacher recruitment and preparation efforts coordinated by CESAME. We also offer several several early field experience opportunities to pre-service teachers and work with partner school districts to provide teacher professional development to cooperating teachers who work with our teacher candidates. Over the past year, we have been developing a database system to document all of the interventions that our undergraduate and credential candidates participate in. We plan to link this database to teacher credentialing and teacher employment data collected by our School of Education to track the impact of these interventions on induction into the teaching career.

Both of the above projects are in their preliminary stages, and we look forward to learning more about other methods, platforms, and approaches that other Centers are taking in addressing the crucial component of evaluation and assessment. Successful tracking of the impact of our Centers is critical to sustaining and expanding Center efforts both locally and across the country.


Center Profile: Center for Engineering, Science, and Mathematics Education - California Polytechnic State University