California State University, Dominguez Hills has been awarded a third Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to continue its efforts to elevate the caliber of math and science teachers in local middle and high schools.
This new $800,000 grant serves as a second phase of the university’s existing Noyce Scholars Program for undergraduate math and science students interested in teaching, which was funded by the first NSF-Noyce grant in 2008. One other Noyce grant, awarded to the university in 2010, established the CSU Dominguez Hills Master Teacher Fellows, a graduate-level program for current science teachers in Los Angeles Unified School District.
The latest grant will enable the Noyce Scholars Program to continue for the next five years, providing $10,000 scholarships to up to 30 eligible junior or senior level or upper division transfer students majoring in biology, chemistry, mathematics, or physics. Students selected for the program commit to earning their single-subject teaching credential and agree to teach at a high-need school in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) for a minimum of four years.
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In addition to financial support, Noyce Scholars receive personalized academic advising and resources, mentoring by Noyce seniors and graduates and Master Teacher Fellows throughout their undergraduate studies and are placed in paid teacher assistant positions in math or science classrooms in high-need schools. They also receive structured clinical experience in CSUDH’s innovative lab school, which takes place weekends and summers at a local LAUSD middle school.
Since the university received its first NSF-Noyce grant, 51 students have gone through the CSU Dominguez Hills Noyce Scholars program and more than half are already teaching at high-need schools within LAUSD. Of particular note is the program’s success in reducing the time to graduation, with most students doing so within four years, and ensuring the students maintain a strong GPA of 3.0 or above. Most Noyce Scholars graduates continued at the university through its Transition to Teaching or Urban Teacher Residency teacher preparation credential programs.
“This new grant not only allows us to continue to support the pipeline from high school and community college to CSUDH and the pathway for STEM majors to become STEM teachers that we developed with the first NSF-Noyce grant, but it will also allow us to continue to address the acute shortage of highly qualified teachers at high-need schools in our service area and decrease the high teacher turnover rate at these schools,” said Kamal Hamdan, director of the Noyce Scholars Program at CSU Dominguez Hills.