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Campus News
Your faculty and staff news since 1965
December 13, 2004
Volume 40, Number 5

Branch campus/state news

Teacher recruitment goal of NSF grant
Science, math majors needed to fill state posts

By Carolyn Gonzales

The UNM College of Arts and Sciences has received $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to support the Robert Noyce Scholarship Program. The grant provides funding to recruit science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) majors into teacher education programs.

Earick“The schools are in need of teachers with an interest and enthusiasm in STEM content areas. The intent is to introduce teaching early on to these students as they are finishing up their majors. Giving them the opportunity to have early classroom experiences will let them know if teaching is a good career choice for them,” said Doug Earick, education outreach coordinator in UNM’s College of Arts and Sciences.

Students will take College of Education credits to become certified teachers, he said.

“The grant offers the opportunity for students in STEM disciplines, as well as graduates, to get licensure with support to help fill a high need area,” said Kathryn Watkins, director of secondary education, UNM College of Education and co-PI.
“We want to reach out to those students who are about to be seniors at the university. Perhaps they aren’t sure about going on to graduate school, say in biology. But maybe they would be interested in teaching biology,”Earick said.

The scholarship would provide up to $10,000 per year for one or two years to students selected for the program. The scholarship would help the student finish a final year in his or her undergraduate program plus provide for a following year of College of Education courses.

In addition to identifying undergraduates in STEM majors, Earick said they are also looking at those who finished a degree and are interested in teaching. “We would follow these students into the classroom for the first year. We’ll be hiring master teachers because we recognize that the first three years of teaching is critical. With greater support for new teachers, we would hope to retain more of these individuals as career educators,” Earick said.

The program does require a two-year teaching commitment, Earick said.

“This is truly an altruistic gesture on the part of the PIs and the university. As PIs, we don’t get a summer salary for our work on the grant and the university isn’t getting any overhead. Our benefit is indirect. It is to help students to become great teachers,”said UNM Biology Professor Diane Marshall, co-PI.

For more information or to apply for the Robert Noyce Scholarship, contact Doug Earick, 266-2070; Diane Marshall, 277-1168; or Kathryn Watkins, 277-8186.