by Tunisa Williams | October 29, 2012 9:03 am
The number of students majoring in physics has increased at Augusta State, and university officials are attributing this to the institution’s commitment to strengthening science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education.
According to Tom Crute, chair of ASU’s Department of Chemistry and Physics, ASU has over 134 students enrolled in the physics program this semester. This is almost a 100 student increase since 2006 when there were only 39 majors in the physics program.
“Our faculty work hard at helping our students succeed in their studies, and I also believe ASU’s undergraduate research opportunities help boost student interest in STEM areas,” said Crute.
Crute said the initial rise in the number of physics majors was seen in 2008 when ASU signed an articulation agreement with Georgia Institute of Technology establishing an engineering transfer program between the two institutions.
Although the Savannah campus of Georgia Tech closed in 2011, Tom Colbert, assistant chair of ASU’s Department of Chemistry and Physics, said the number of students completing the pre-engineering program at ASU continues to rise.
“We are seeing more of our upper level physics courses doubling in size, and hopefully we do not see this trend slowing down,” said Colbert. “So, we are thankful to have the support of our faculty as well as the entire university.”
In addition to the physics research efforts, ASU offers several other STEM opportunities including the Program for Recruiting and Educating STEM Teachers with Integrated Graduate Enrollment (PRESTIGE).
PRESTIGE provides a streamlined process for becoming a teacher with certification in a STEM area. It creates an Integrated Master of Arts in Teaching (IMAT) program in partnership with four rural county school districts—Burke, Jefferson, McDuffie, and Warren. The renewable Robert Noyce Scholarship provides $15,000 for the first year, which increases by five percent each additional year of study. PRESTIGE graduates commit to teaching two years in one of the rural counties for each year that the scholarship is received.
Source URL: http://www.asupr.com/asureport/2012/10/asu-sees-increase-in-physics-majors/
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