Nearly $1 Million Science Foundation grant to boost science, math teacher scholarships
TURLOCK – California State University, Stanislaus has been awarded an $896,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant that will provide major scholarship incentives, starting this fall, for future science and mathematics teachers in the Central Valley and the rest of the state.
CSU Stanislaus plans to award scholarships of up to $30,000 each over the next five years to 34 students who plan to become science and mathematics teachers at “high-need” secondary schools. Those $10,000 annual scholarships that can be awarded during students’ junior, senior, and/or teaching credential years, will come from the main portion of the NSF’s Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship program grant. The Noyce Scholarship program is named in honor of Robert Noyce, co-founder of Intel and co-inventor of the microchip who has established a foundation dedicated to improving public education, particularly K-12 math and science.
Scholarship recipients will, in turn, make a commitment to teach a minimum of two years at a junior high school, middle school, or high school that is classified as “high need.” Those schools typically have a high percentage of students from low-income families, high teacher turnover rates, and a shortage of teachers qualified to teach science and mathematics.
“I extend my deep appreciation to the faculty of the College of Natural Sciences and the College of Education, administrators, staff, and student members who worked collaboratively on this proposal for their dedicated efforts in attaining this prestigious grant,” CSU Stanislaus President Dr. Hamid Shirvani said.
Titled “Teachers from the Valley for the Valley,” the grant is expected to help CSU Stanislaus attract students who can help meet the acute need in the region and the state for 7th through 12th grade science and mathematics teachers. President Shirvani noted that the scholarships will greatly advance the University’s Science, Technology, and Mathematics teacher preparation programs, as part of the CSU system’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) initiative.
“My hope is that the scholarships will encourage more science and math majors to select teaching as a career,” said Dr. Michael T. Stevens, a member of the Biological Sciences faculty who spearheaded the grant application in a team effort. “Qualified science and math teachers can make a big difference in the lives of individual students and can also improve the economic potential of our region.”
Partner school districts and agencies participating in the grant that serves schools in the “high need” classification include the Stanislaus County Office of Education, Stockton Unified School District, Modesto City Schools, Merced City School District, Lodi Unified School District, and the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) Delta Sierra Region VI program.