learn / 2020
EnCorps STEM Teachers in Los Angeles
EnCorps has been working earnestly since 2007 to recruit the best and brightest science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) professionals to teach in California, providing meaningful opportunities to impact disadvantaged students. We believe all students deserve access to a great STEM teacher, a great STEM education and all the opportunities that those can provide. EnCorps educators are connecting students to real-world math and science career and economic opportunities and transforming public education statewide.
In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?
- Central LA
- East LA
- San Gabriel Valley
- San Fernando Valley
- South LA
- South Bay
- LAUSD (please select only if you have a district-wide partnership or project)
In what stage of innovation is this project?Expand existing program
If you are submitting a collaborative proposal, please describe the specific role of partner organizations in the project.
We are not submitting a collaborative proposal, but we do partner with multiple public schools in Los Angeles. EnCorps has MOUs with the following schools in Los Angeles:
- Alliance Alice M. Baxter College-Ready HS
- Alliance Health Services Academy
- Alliance Marine Innovation & Technology 6-12 Complex
- Alliance Tennenbaum Family Technology HS
- Bright Star Secondary
- Canoga Park HS
- Collegiate Charter HS
- Dymally HS
- Edwin Markham Middle School
- George Washington Carver Middle School
- Hollenbeck Middle School
- John Muir HS
- Jordan HS
- Lennox Math, Science, and Technology Academy
- Lennox Middle School
- STEM Academy of Hollywood
- Synergy Quantum Academy
- Synergy Kinetic Academy
- Stevenson College and Career Preparatory Middle School
- William Workman HS
What is the need you’re responding to?
Enduring STEM achievement, access and opportunity gaps continue to disproportionately limit low-income and minority student opportunities In Los Angeles. Access to quality STEM education can close these gaps, but Los Angeles County has the greatest need statewide for qualified math and science teachers.
The percentage of underprepared teachers is the most significant predictor of low achievement, particularly for students of color, yet districts continue to hire under-credentialed teachers. Underprepared teachers have a 2-3 times higher turnover rate than fully-credentialed teachers, which has a greater disruptive effect on low-income students and students of color, who already lag behind their white and Asian peers in math and science proficiency. The STEM teacher shortage exacerbates this achievement gap, and undermines efforts to prepare a diverse future workforce with career-relevant STEM education.
Why is this project important to the work of your organization?
EnCorps STEM TEachers is the only nonprofit in California recruiting and placing STEM professionals as long-term educators for underrepresented students in high-need schools. Fellows bring years of industry experience and professional maturity to classrooms, and are career role models for disadvantaged students. Our unique program model results in an EnCorps teacher 5+ year retention rate of 89%, compared to the national average of 50%.
Many efforts have been made to increase educational equity, decrease the teacher shortage, and diversify the future STEM workforce, but no other organization tackles all three issues with one cost-effective and long-term solution. With experience in the public education and nonprofit sectors, we continuously refine support strategies to be responsive to the changing demands of teaching and learning. EnCorps’ leadership has the experience, broad knowledge of educational ecosystems, and the commitment to educational equity to achieve our mission.
Approximately how many people will be impacted by this proposal?
- Direct impact
- Indirect impact
Please describe the broader impact of your proposal.
The Fellowship serves middle and high school students, ages 11-18, in Title 1 schools where over 60% of students are low-income, as defined by qualifying for free or reduced-price lunch. 77% of our students are of populations traditionally underrepresented in higher education, 16% are English Language Learners, and only 30% meet or exceed math proficiency standards.
On average, Fellows have been employed 17 years in STEM fields, 68% have a Masters or Ph.D. in a STEM subject, and 48% report as people of color. EnCorps Fellows have experience as engineers, principal research scientists, and data architects,; and have worked in energy, engineering, banking and finance, research, biotech, and pharmaceutical industries.
Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.
We define success by the number of trained and supported STEM teachers and teacher candidates in our pipeline, their student impact and by the efficacy of our educators in the classroom. To measure program successes, we track the number of Fellows: recruited, in each phase of teacher preparation, those who transition into teaching positions, the number of Teachers retained in their positions each year and the number of students that they have taught. Surveys measuring the efficacy of Fellows in the classroom are conducted each semester with students and mentor teachers.
Executive and program staff review program implementation quarterly to assess status against Key Performance Indicators, which are used to revise and evaluate EnCorps’ recruitment strategies, levels of support for Fellows, and professional development opportunities as preparation for full-time teaching. EnCorps’ steady progress towards closing the gap of qualified STEM teachers, and thereby addressing the STEM achievement gap of our state’s most disadvantaged students, is its ultimate indicator of success.
The EnCorps Fellowship has seen consistent success year after year, evidenced by our growing Fellowship numbers, and by the impact Fellows have on their students, as recently reported by their students and Host Teachers: 86% of students experienced an increased level of academic achievement and 88% had a better understanding of real-world connections with math and science due to their EnCorps Guest Teacher.
Which of the learn metrics will your submission impact?
- Proficiency in STEM
Which of LA2050’s resources will be of the most value to you?
- Access to the LA2050 community
- Host public events or gatherings
- Communications support
- Office space for meetings, events, or for staff
- Capacity, including staff