Grant of $750,000 from National Science Foundation To Support Future Math and Science Teachers
California State University Dominguez Hills has been awarded a $750,000 Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship grant from the National Science Foundation designed to encourage more math and science majors to become middle and high schools teachers. Over the next five years, the grant will award scholarships worth $10,000 to eligible upper division students currently enrolled at CSU Dominguez Hills or transferring from a community college.
“This is wonderful news for our math and science programs, our teacher education program and Dominguez Hills. The Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship program is a very competitive grant, awarded to prestigious universities throughout the nation,” said teacher education professor Kamal Hamdan, who authored the grant. “This grant will help us fully implement our vision toward becoming a leader in training highly qualified math and science teachers for the Los Angeles region, specifically for its highest-need schools.”
The College of Education has had great success through several of its programs in helping local schools meet the need for quality math and science teachers. Those programs, however, have been mostly geared to either liberal studies majors concentrating in math or science, as in the case of Math and Science Teacher Initiative (MSTI) program; or to mid-career math or science professionals and recent graduates in those fields interested in pursing teaching careers, such as through the federal Transition to Teaching (TTT) program.
The Noyce grant adds another component to the compliment of programs at CSU Dominguez Hills in that it is geared to undergraduates, and more importantly, specifically those majoring in math or the sciences.
“We’ve always thought it would be beneficial to work with math and science candidates early on,” Hamdan said. “It’s not always typical to identify a career path to teaching for our math and science majors. With this grant we make a connection early on between the study of science and math and the teaching of science and math.”
Through the NSF Noyce grant, eligible junior and senior-level students majoring in biology, chemistry, math or physics will receive $10,000 stipends each year toward their degree completion. Hamdan said a scholarship of that amount would be a wonderful welcome to many CSU Dominguez Hills student who must work while going to school.
“With this they don’t have to worry about how to pay for college or supporting themselves or their families while in school, and that will allow them to complete their degree in a timely manner,” he said.
As Noyce Scholars, these students will be eligible for further financial support, including Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) grants and Assumption Program of Loans for Education (APLE) loan forgiveness. Further, after completion of their bachelor’s degree, Noyce Scholars can “transition” into the Transition to Teaching program and receive continued financial and academic support while earning their credential.
In addition to the financial support, Noyce Scholars will receive unparalleled academic support, such as personalized advising and monthly seminars with other scholars and experts in the fields of math, science and education. They also will have the opportunity to serve as teaching assistants in L.A. Unified and Lynwood Unified schools.
“We will equip them with ways to look at teaching from different perspectives, so when they step into the classroom they are prepared,” Hamdan said.
The Noyce scholarship will be open to existing CSU Dominguez Hills students as well as incoming upper division transfer students. To be eligible, students must commit to earning their single-subject credential and agree to teach at a high-need school in Los Angeles or Lynwood school district for four years.
For more information about the CSU Dominguez Hills Noyce scholarship, call (310) 243-2080. To learn more about the National Science Foundation Noyce grant program, click here.
For more information about Transition to Teaching programs (TTT), visit www.csudh.edu/coe/ttt2 or call (310) 243-2668; or about the Mathematics and Science Teacher Initiative (MSTI), visit www.csudh.edu/coe/msti or call (310) 243-2080.
- Amy Bentley-Smith