This project aims to serve the national need for highly effective STEM teachers. To do so, it will recruit undergraduate STEM majors to complete STEM degrees and obtain a secondary teacher certification. These STEM undergraduates will receive scholarships and other supports designed to enrich their STEM knowledge, as well as their teaching knowledge and skills. To expand their STEM content knowledge, the Noyce Scholars will have the opportunity to participate in collaborative mentor-scholar projects, summer computational workshops, and a chemometrics course. They will also benefit from faculty mentorships that include opportunities to reflect on their academic and career pursuits. Monthly workshops will include sessions related to interpersonal skill development, such as grit, and cultural and linguistic competence. Such skills are important for effective teaching in high-need school districts. The project expects these undergraduate Noyce Scholars will gain the knowledge, skills, and perspectives needed to help students in Central Louisiana high-need secondary schools learn mathematics and science.

This project at Louisiana State University at Alexandria includes partnerships with seven high-need school districts (Allen, Avoyelles, Concordia, Evangeline, Grant, LaSalle, and Rapides Parish School Districts) and Central Louisiana Technical Community College. There are three specific projects goals. The first is to recruit, prepare, and graduate 21 qualified undergraduate biology, chemistry, and mathematics majors for secondary education certification over the five-year grant period. The second goal is to provide professional support for the long-term success of these STEM educators. The final goal is to place and retain a high percentage (90%) of these Scholars in teaching positions in high-need school districts upon graduation as they complete their teaching service requirement of two years of teaching for each one year of scholarship support. The project is based on a theoretical framing that proposes evidence-based and innovative strategies are needed to ensure the preparation of highly effective STEM teachers for service in high-need schools. The project expects to generate new knowledge about pathways that support Scholar success and strategies to increase interest of STEM undergraduates in pursuing teaching careers in high-need schools. A robust project assessment process, led by an independent evaluator, is intended to identify aspects of the program that are most effective in STEM teacher recruitment, retention, and preparation. The project intends to use results from this evaluation to improve the teacher education program and will disseminate the results locally and nationally via publications and presentations. This Track 1: Scholarships and Stipends Noyce project is supported through the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program. The Noyce program supports talented STEM undergraduate majors and professionals to become effective K-12 STEM teachers and experienced, exemplary k-12 teachers to become STEM master teachers in high-need school districts. It also supports research on the persistence, retention, and effectiveness of K-12 teachers in high-need school districts.

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE)
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Kathleen Bergin
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Louisiana State University at Alexandria
United States
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