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Rev. James A. Burns, CSC Post-Doctoral Fellowship Applications Now Accepted

on Monday, 18 January 2016

Position Description and Qualifications

The Notre Dame Center for STEM Education (the Center) is pleased to announce the Rev. James A. Burns, CSC Post-Doctoral Fellowship (Burns Post-Doc) that can begin in either summer or fall 2016. The Burns Post-Doc is part of the new Interdisciplinary Program in Educational Research (IPER:http://iei.nd.edu/programs/interdisciplinary-program-in-educational-research/) at the University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Educational Initiatives (the Institute). The Burns Post-Doc will be part of the larger IPER community of faculty and graduate students focused on addressing important issues through research in education.

The Burns Post-Doc will:

  1. Define and enact a personal research agenda that contributes to the field through unique studies, peer-reviewed journal articles, and/or grant proposals.
  2. Collaborate with the faculty and staff of the Center to contribute to the field through peer-reviewed journal articles, evaluation reports, and/or grant proposals. Opportunities include:
    • Contributing to the longitudinal STEM Teaching Fellows (http://stemeducation.nd.edu/trustey) efficacy study;
    • Investigating comparative trends in STEM education for students in Catholic schools and other sectors;
    • Conducting scale-up randomized trials of STEM-focused curriculum and instruction interventions in partner schools;
    • Collaborating on interdisciplinary research projects between the Center and other members of the IPER community.
  3. Participate in the intellectual life of the IPER community through the seminar and lecture series, presentations, interdisciplinary research, and informal mentoring of graduate students.
  4. Contribute to the broader research and evaluation needs of the Institute, with a special focus on quantitative methods.
  5. Based on the applicant’s background in education and instructional practice, opportunities may be available to teach a course in the Education, Schooling, and Society minor as well as to create and facilitate professional development opportunities within the Trustey Family STEM Teaching Fellows program for K-12 teachers.

Candidates must possess an earned doctorate or the strong prospect of earning this degree by August 1, 2016. The preferred terminal degree is in an area of STEM education or a discipline such as sociology, economics, or psychology, with a focus on educational issues and a background in quantitative methods. Special consideration will be given to those applicants with K-12 teaching experience. Upon successful review of the first year, the post-doctoral fellowship may be extended for a second year through June of 2017.

Application Process

Applicants should submit:

  1. a cover letter that at minimum includes: a) the candidate’s educational research interests; b) a tentative research agenda that might be pursued during the post-doc, with attention to the range of methodologies the applicant is prepared to use; and c) a description of how the candidate seeks to contribute to both the research and broader impact of the Center for STEM Education;
  2. a curriculum vitae;
  3. a writing sample (of journal article or chapter length--no full dissertations);
  4. three letters of recommendation

Information on the Institute for Educational Initiatives and the Center for STEM Education can be found at http://iei.nd.edu and http://stemeducation.nd.edu, respectively. Applicants will be reviewed beginning February 1, 2016 and on a continuing basis until the position is filled.

Questions about the Burns Post-Doc may be directed to Dr. Matt Kloser at . All application materials should be submitted electronically to Heather Legault (). Recommendation letters should be sent directly from the recommender to Heather Legault.

The University of Notre Dame, an international Catholic research university, is an equal opportunity employer.

Grant Bolsters Institute's Program for STEM Teaching in Indiana High Schools

on Thursday, 07 January 2016

A major grant from the Indiana Commission for Higher Education will extend the state’s support for the University of Notre Dame’s innovative development of high school teachers in the STEM disciplines. The $370,972 grant to Notre Dame was announced Jan. 6 for teacher support through the Advanced Placement Training and Incentive Program for Indiana (AP-TIP IN), part of the Notre Dame Center for STEM Education in the Institute for Educational Initiatives.


The AP-TIP IN program, a statewide initiative serving educators and students in participating public high schools, encourages students—including women and minorities—to pursue college-level studies in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), as well as English. Structured collaborations have proven to help students and their teachers sharply increase achievements in College Board Advanced Placement (AP) courses and tests in select subjects.

“AP-TIP IN is pleased to collaborate with the Indiana Commission for Higher Education in implementing its high-quality professional development program and support for AP math, science, and English teachers at 20 Indiana high schools,” said Karen Morris, an Institute for Educational Initiatives fellow who has directed the program since a first cohort of schools piloted it in 2012-2013.

“We look forward to working with AP teachers and supporting them in their classrooms this year,” Morris said.

The 2015-2016 school year is the fourth of five years for which the unique combination of incentives, educator collaboration, and student support has been funded by federal grant money with multi-state oversight established by the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI). This non-profit group of STEM-based corporations, along with other private and public funding sources, developed the AP-based model to help build an American workforce poised for economic strength and technological competitiveness.

Schools in Indiana and elsewhere using this model will need continued funding from a variety of sources after the five-year federal program ends. Last year, the Indiana Commission for Higher Education awarded a $267,000 grant to support AP-TIP IN teacher development, and the Jan. 6 announcement guarantees a second round of this state support.

Three years of AP test-score results from this model of training and incentives have shown significant gains in the college credits earned at participating Indiana high schools. In the latest school year data, more than 2,500 students achieved a score of 3, 4, or 5 on nearly 3,500 College Board AP® math, science, and English tests, thereby becoming eligible for college credits for those courses. Over three years, more than 12,000 students took nearly 18,750 AP tests; about 4,900 of those students earned 7,600 credit-eligible scores.

AP-TIP IN will use the additional funding to sustain its extensive, year-round professional development for Indiana educators, including a distinctive set of conferences and other collaborations. Training programs engage educators to improve the test results of an increasingly diverse pool of students, and incentives multiply pursuits geared toward college and career success.

The new $370,972 grant to Notre Dame is among 13 grants totaling more than $9 million announced by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education to support STEM-related educators. Indiana created a STEM Teacher Recruitment Fund in 2013 to identify organizations and programs as grant recipients.

“These grants are amplifying efforts to recruit and retain educators in a field that’s rapidly changing the jobs of tomorrow in the Hoosier state,” Governor Mike Pence said of the $9.6 million investment in educators with STEM-related skills. ”When it comes to ensuring our young people are on a pathway to success in the workforce or in post-secondary studies, a STEM curriculum is critical. I applaud and congratulate these grant recipients for their efforts in seeing that Indiana is filling teaching positions in this critical, high-need area.”

Contact: Bill Schmitt, Institute for Educational Initiatives, 574-631-3893 and

Originally published by Bill Schmitt at iei.nd.edu on January 7, 2016.

Grant from Innovate Foundation Boosts STEM Teaching Fellows Initiative

Written by William Schmitt on Tuesday, 17 November 2015

The Notre Dame Center for STEM Education has received a $100,000 grant from Innovate Foundation in support of the center’s Trustey Family STEM Teaching Fellows program.

matthew kloser“Partnering with Innovate Foundation is such a privilege,” said Dr. Matthew Kloser, director of the center. “The gift will allow us to expand our professional development offerings with the Trustey Family STEM Teaching Fellows and create new opportunities for engaging schools that serve the most in need in the Bay Area and beyond.”

The Trustey Family STEM Teaching Fellows initiative, launched last year at Notre Dame with generous gifts from the Trustey and Sweeney families, is a unique, competitive, and formative program to increase student interest and learning in the disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). 

This two-and-a-half-year, collaborative program of professional development, conducted by the Notre Dame Center for STEM Education, supports a mix of early career and veteran STEM teachers for students from a variety of backgrounds.

Based in Palo Alto, CA, Innovate Foundation is a family foundation that supports educational entrepreneurs who are improving student outcomes in low-income communities through innovative education models.

More Indiana STEM Students Earn College- and Career-Readiness through AP-TIP IN

Written by William Schmitt on Tuesday, 13 October 2015

The Advanced Placement Training and Incentive Program for Indiana (AP-TIP IN), administered by Notre Dame’s Institute for Educational Initiatives since 2012, issued its annual report showing major gains in college- and career-readiness in STEM-related studies among students in Indiana’s 30 public high schools that participated in the program as of last spring.

One excerpt from the success stories among students and teachers that emerged from the results of College Board Advanced Placement® tests in math, science, and English (MSE) at the end of the 2014-2015 school year reflects a major area of improvement:

During the three years the program has been implemented, minorities and women students have experienced great gains. Minority students, particularly African American and Hispanic student students, increased the number of college-level scores for math, science, and English AP exams by 99%. Counting only math and science, which are highlighted as STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) disciplines prized by leading employers, this same group more than doubled the numbers of test-takers scoring 3, 4, or 5 (eligible for college credit). To date, success on AP math and science exams for African American and Hispanic students increased by an average of 191%.

ap tip in

A news update page at the Institute’s website includes the remainder of this announcement from the Oct. 6 event, along with graphs showing statewide shrinkage in the STEM achievement gap among many women and minority students, plus archived video from the event courtesy of Kokomo High School. Representatives from participating schools and from the Institute gathered to celebrate the increased readiness for tomorrow’s high-tech Indiana workforce, and they also named an AP-TIP IN School of the Year and Teachers of the Year for the targeted science, math, and English disciplines.

AP-TIP IN, currently funded as a five-year program with support from federal grant money and key backing from the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) in several states, is soliciting funds to help schools across Indiana join future cohorts of participants. Students and their teachers benefit from the innovative mix of training and incentives for successful test outcomes, and their entire schools can benefit from the higher level of STEM motivation and skills overall.

For more information: Bill Schmitt, Institute for Educational Initiatives, 574-631-3893 /

# # #

News media in Kokomo, IN, where Kokomo High School received 2015 School of the Year honors, reported on the program in The Kokomo Herald  and The Kokomo Tribune.

The Inside Indiana Business website reported not only on the value of AP-TIP IN for increasing AP exam scores, but also on a new federal grant recently given to the program to support its distinctive professional development activities for teachers in the participating schools. The website story includes an audio podcast with a brief interview with Karen Morris, Notre Dame’s program director for AP-TIPIN.

Originally published by Bill Schmitt at iei.nd.edu on October 08, 2015.

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