The Fred S. Klipsch Educators College and the College of Arts and Sciences at Marian University will collaborate on a $1.1 million Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship grant from the National Science Foundation to support a new initiative in central Indiana called "Improving Secondary STEM Teacher Preparation for High-Need Schools Through Diverse Teaching Experiences, Including Simulated Virtual Reality Classrooms." The grant provides scholarships aimed to increase the number of undergraduate students pursuing Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) teaching and prepare them to be highly effective secondary educators in high-need schools over the next five years.
“This scholarship will expand our reach to current students and help diversify the teacher population in high-need schools," says LaTonya Turner, Ph.D., dean of the Educators College. "It is especially critical to recruit and train secondary STEM teachers into highly-skilled, proficient educators, using the best rubrics taught by the most highly-qualified education faculty in the state.”
Marian University will partner with three local school corporations—Decatur Township Schools, Indianapolis Public Schools, and Perry Township Schools—for a multi-faceted initiative that includes:
- Scholarship and stipend program: The Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship, named after the famed American physicist, will provide scholarships to 22 juniors or seniors valued at $15,000 per year, with two years of maximum eligibility. The scholarships are available to students pursuing a dual undergraduate mathematics or science (biology or chemistry) degree and a secondary teaching degree and who are committed to teaching in a high-need school for four years.
- Professional development and preparation: For freshmen and sophomore students pursuing STEM majors, Marian University will help them prepare for future Noyce scholarship eligibility by supporting their passion to teach. This will include offering observation and discussions with highly effective teachers, mentoring by faculty and classroom teachers at the three of our partner school districts, providing professional networking and informal STEM volunteer opportunities, and experiences that include virtual reality teaching simulations.
- Support for new teachers: As new teachers, Marian STEM education alumni will have access to quarterly networking meetings, alumni social networking opportunities, quarterly professional development through scheduled face-to-face or online sessions with College of Arts and Sciences and Educators College representatives, and professional conference support leading to high-quality professional development.
Matt Hollowell, Ph.D., assistant professor of education, spoke about what makes this grant so unique. “The first year of teaching presents challenges that can be difficult to navigate without a comprehensive support system. The Noyce grant will allow Marian faculty to continue to collaborate with our STEM alumni so that they receive the ongoing professional support they need to be highly-effective STEM educators.”
The initiative will begin this fall and Marian University students interested in applying for this scholarship can click here. Students interested in attending Marian University can apply at marian.edu/apply.