Grant will train science, technology, engineering and math majors
Marquette University has been awarded an $899,514 Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program grant from the National Science Foundation to attract and train 24 highly qualified science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) majors to teach in high-need middle or high schools
The national Noyce Scholarship Program seeks to encourage talented STEM majors and professionals to become K-12 teachers. The grant may prove especially beneficial for engineering students at Marquette, who under the new program can reduce the time it takes to earn both an engineering degree and teaching certification to five years instead of the 6 to 6.5 years currently required to combine the two.
The program will accelerate this process by adapting the cooperative education model that has prepared Marquette engineering majors to enter the professional field into a similar program for students who wish to become teachers. While other institutions also received Noyce funding, this track for engineering majors is unique to Marquette, according to Barbara Silver-Thorn, associate professor of biomedical engineering and director of the Noyce Scholar Program at Marquette
"This is an opportunity to get STEM majors in high-need schools and make their students aware of valuable engineering, science and math career opportunities," said Silver-Thorn.
Recruiting more STEM teachers is becoming an increasingly critical need. According to the National Science Foundation, two-thirds of the nation's K-12 teachers are expected to retire or leave the profession in the next 10 years, so it is estimated that schools will need to hire more than 2 million teachers during that period, including more than 200,000 middle and high school math and science teachers.
The funding, which started June 1, was awarded as a competitive grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, also known as the federal economic stimulus package. Recruitment for the Marquette program will begin in the fall of 2009, with scholarships being awarded between 2010 and 2014.
The program will allocate up to three years of scholarships -- $10,000 for the first year, $12,000 for the second and $14,000 for the third – to provide STEM majors with another incentive to choose teaching. In return, students must work two years in a high-need school following graduation for every year they accept the scholarship.
This new program will include intensive field experiences integrated with classroom instruction through a partnership between Marquette’s College of Engineering and Helen Way Klingler College of Arts and Sciences and the teacher preparation program in Marquette’s College of Education. In addition to these teaching co-operative education experiences, Noyce Scholars will participate in project-based learning activities during summer community outreach programs.
The Noyce Scholar Program also builds off Marquette’s existing partnerships with local schools, including Brown Deer High School, Dominican High School, Messmer High School, Milwaukee High School of the Arts, Rufus King High School, South Milwaukee High School, Fritsche Middle School and South Milwaukee Middle School.
"Our Noyce Scholar’s program represents a timely step in our efforts to meet the vital need for STEM teachers locally and nationally," said College of Education Dean William Henk. "It blends the strengths of three exceptional academic units, using a developmentally appropriate model that moves future educators from the awareness stage to apprenticeship, immersion, and mastery."
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