The Noyce project at the University of West Georgia (UWG) in partnership with the Carroll County School System and the Carrollton City Schools provides scholarships to 32 undergraduate students who pursue their professional certification as juniors and seniors and complete their STEM baccalaureate degrees. In addition, the recruitment component of the UWG Noyce project gives merit-based stipends of $150 each to 500 freshman and sophomore students to test-drive STEM teaching by enrolling in an introductory teaching course, participating in course-embedded early field experiences, and earning a B or better in the course. It also supports 50 internships, which enables freshman and sophomore students to work in STEM summer programs with in-service teachers and K-12 students. Finally, the UWG Noyce project affords Noyce Scholars induction workshops and mentoring during their first year of teaching.
The UWG Noyce project employs the UTeach teacher preparation model. Students major in mathematics or a science discipline and earn their teaching credential through specially designed, inquiry-based education courses. The project contributes to new knowledge by exploring two broad questions: 1) What is the impact of student support systems on the teacher preparation experience for Noyce Scholars? and 2) What is the impact of participation as a Noyce Scholar on their teaching and on student learning? In order to answer these questions, long term data about students are collected to assess supports that lead to graduation; pedagogical approaches for preparing STEM teachers; and the impact on P-12 student achievement. Some of the data from this project contribute to UTeach national data bases on STEM teacher preparation methods. Noyce Scholars, therefore, not only participate in research-based preparation for teaching themselves, they also are part of ongoing research that informs teacher preparation across the country.