About OPTYCs

What is OPTYCs?

TYC faculty face challenges, including isolation (due to small numbers, geographical separation, and high workloads), lack of opportunities for networking and professional development, and a dearth of information students, departments, and programs nationally. OPTYCs aims to mitigate these challenges through our programs.

The Organization for Physics at Two-Year Colleges (OPTYCs) provides professional opportunities for instructors teaching physics-related content in the two-year college (TYC) setting. Whether you teach physics, astronomy, or physical science, OPTYCs is for you! 

Our vision is to create a community of practice for physics at TYCs, to provide guidance and benchmarks for faculty growth and development, and to improve the diversity and participation in the STEM workforce through increased student success.

We offer various programs, from continuing professional development workshops, to year-long Leadership Institutes, to multi-year DEI change programs and New Faculty Development Series. We are revising the TYC Physics Program Guidelines; we are sponsoring a comprehensive survey of TYC physics faculty, students, and institutional programs through the American Institute of Physics' Statistical Research Center; and we are providing mechanisms for mentorship and networking.

OPTYCs is a large collaborative project and its foundation is based on community engagement. We will continually expand our community of leaders, workshop facilitators and participants. We envision a growing number of project directors, more leaders incorporated to the OPTYCs team, and a gradual and healthy change of project leadership over the years. 

Evaluation Reports

How well is OPTYCs reaching our goals? Find out in our annual reports - the analysis is based on your feedback!


As far as we know, the initial idea for the creation of a national overarching TYC organization such as OPTYCs originated decades ago with the influence of the esteemed colleagues Mary Beth Todd Monroe and Curtis J. Hieggelke. During the summer of 2021, approximately 30 TYC physics faculty across the nation volunteered to work on a general sketch of what this organization could look like. A small team wrote a proposal to the NSF, funding was awarded July 1, 2022 and OPTYCs was born. (NSF-DUE-2212807)