08:26 AM

National Science Foundation Grants UHD $1.5 Million to Train STEM Professionals for Teaching Careers

The National Science Foundation Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program has awarded $1.5 million to UHD for "ESPRIT de Corps," a joint effort among the Departments of Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Statistics, and Urban Education that aims to expand the availability of teaching roles for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) professionals.

ESPRIT de Corps will use the Noyce funds to offer fellowships for STEM professionals and post-baccalaureate STEM majors who wish to enter teaching careers by earning both a secondary teaching certification and a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree, with the option of pursuing the UHD professional certificate in dual-credit teaching.

The Noyce grant will allow ESPRIT de Corps to sponsor eight $12,000 STEM teaching fellow scholarships per year for the first four years of the project. Program fellows will continue to receive $10,000 supplemental stipends from ESPRIT de Corps for four years after they complete the program.

The ESPRIT de Corps program aims to:

  • Increase the number of highly qualified science and math teachers in at-risk schools in the greater Houston area,
  • Increase the supply of dual-credit STEM teachers for high-needs schools,
  • Encourage more STEM professionals to enter the teaching profession and
  • Facilitate the transition of STEM professionals into teaching careers.

To meet these goals, ESPRIT de Corps plans to replicate successful aspects of UHD's current Noyce programs, which provide scholarships for undergraduates in natural science and mathematics and statistics. Program faculty also will seek support and expertise from partners in the community.

Fellows will be placed with vetted, high-quality mentors who have experience advising pre-service teachers. In addition, ESPRIT de Corps will provide fellows with ongoing professional development and support during the first four years of their teaching careers.