Physics Dept at SUNY Geneseo Earns Honors for Teacher Grads

Distiguisned Teaching Professor Kurt Fletcher with students (Image provided)

Distinguished Teaching Professor Kurt Fletcher (left) with physics students (Image provided)

The Department of Physics & Astronomy at SUNY Geneseo was recently awarded a letter of commendation from the American Physical Society (APS) and the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) for its "outstanding contributions to the education of future physics teachers."


As noted in the commendation, Geneseo graduated five highly qualified physics teachers between the 2020–21 and 2022–23 academic years. Graduating more than five physics teachers in three years puts Geneseo in the top 10% of all non-doctoral physics degree-granting US colleges and universities. Geneseo has earned membership in the 5+ Club, the highest award available for teacher preparation from the Physics Teacher Education Coalition (PhysTEC), an NSF-funded joint project of APS and AAPT. Distinguished Teaching Professor Kurt Fletcher heads Geneseo's PhysTEC program, which aims to increase the number of qualified high school physics teachers.


According to the APS and AAPT, the US has a severe shortage of qualified physics teachers. In 2013, the National Task Force on Teacher Education in Physics reported that "the need for qualified teachers is greater now than at any previous time in history." Of the approximately 1,400 new physics teachers who are hired each year in the US, only 35% have a degree in physics or physics education, according to the American Institute of Physics.


"The State University of New York College at Geneseo's excellent physics teacher preparation program and efforts to address this critical shortage are a service to the state of New York," said Young-Kee Kim and Duane Merrel, presidents of APS and AAPT, respectively. "We congratulate State University of New York College at Geneseo for its excellence in physics teacher education and for serving as a national model for STEM teacher preparation."


Monique Patenaude, PhD
Director of Content Strategy & Media Relations
(585) 245-5056