Publication Date


Date of Final Oral Examination (Defense)


Type of Culminating Activity


Degree Title

Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Instruction


Curriculum, Instruction, and Foundational Studies

Major Advisor

Julianne A. Wenner, Ph.D.

Major Advisor

Jonathan Brendefur, Ph.D.


Keith W. Thiede, Ph.D.


Sara Hagenah, Ph.D.


Idahoans failed to recognize approximately $240M in 2016 when over 3,800 STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) jobs, with a median wage of $30 per hour, went unfilled. This further caused Idaho to lose $14M in state income tax receipts from these unclaimed positions (Idaho Department of Labor, 2016). To mitigate these economic losses, the Idaho STEM Action Center (STEM AC) was created to develop the STEM-skilled workforce that Idaho employers demand. High-quality, STEM-educator professional development (PD) is a critical component in ensuring students are equipped with the skills required to successfully thrive in the workforce and fill industry demands. Because of this imperative need, STEM AC has undertaken the development of tools for selecting high-quality PD via both the Change the Equation (CTEq) and Idaho-specific rubrics. Utilizing a mixed methods approach, STEM AC operated three PD opportunities for fiscal year 2017 involving over 100 Idaho educators. Through extensive data collection and analyses of educator inputs, research revealed the need for modifying PD selection rubrics to further emphasize Idaho STEM educators’ needs by 1) increasing the weighting of ‘relevance’ on the CTQ rubric; 2) adding ‘resources’ to the Idaho-specific rubric; and 3) decreasing the rubrics’ emphases of other specified PD aspects. Overall, the rubrics did select what the majority of participants considered to be high-quality PD; therefore, this study indicates that STEM AC should continue utilizing this process for the future selection of high-quality PD opportunities for Idaho STEM educators. The culmination of this effort will produce a future workforce equipped with the level of STEM competence that moves Idaho to the forefront of economic development and prosperity.