UTC’s UTeaChattanooga, an innovative program designed to inspire math and science teachers, received a $1.2 million award from the National Science Foundation to provide full scholarships for six juniors and seniors annually during the five-year grant. The UTC program has also received national recognition, the highest it can receive, from the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA).
The Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program encourages talented science, technology, engineering, and mathematics majors to become secondary mathematics and science teachers. Priority is given to applicants who demonstrate academic merit through both cumulative and content-based GPA.
UTeaChattanooga is one of many programs across the country replicating the success of UTeach at the University of Texas at Austin, a program that has significantly increased the number of highly qualified high school mathematics and science teachers. UTeaChattanooga offers certification as a secondary mathematics or science teacher in the four years it takes a student to complete a degree in mathematics or science.
“Our students are preparing lessons and teaching in area classrooms early and often, starting with their first UTeaChattanooga course and throughout the program—in the first course at an elementary school, in the second course in a middle school and in three subsequent courses in high schools. They are taught by experienced high school mathematics and science teachers. And we provide them with two years of support after they complete their programs, in the first two critical years of their teaching careers,” said Dr. Stephen W. Kuhn, co-director of UTeaChattanooga.
UTeaChattanooga students who earn the Noyce scholarship must commit, upon graduation, to teach in a high needs high school. There are no geographic restrictions and the graduate will be required to teach two years for each year of scholarship support.
“The University applied for this competitive grant in spring 2011. We have an appealing program and we had a very strong proposal,” said Dr. Sandy Watson, co-director of UTeaChattanooga.
The Noyce scholarship program will also provide internship opportunities for freshmen and sophomores at three National Labs: Brookhaven in Manhattan, New York; Pacific Northwest in Washington State; Oak Ridge in Tennessee and two local organizations, the Tennessee Aquarium and Upward Bound. Student and faculty stipends will support on-campus summer research for up to 18 freshmen and sophomores in the UTeaChattanooga program each year supporting a total of 80 students across the five-year grant period.
An additional dedicated scholarship will be made available to students in the UTeaChattanooga program with a donation by Movita Steiner, who honored her late husband and established the John T. Steiner, Sr. Endowed Scholarship. Steiner, who was an engineer, “valued education tremendously.” In establishing the scholarship, Movita Steiner appreciated the value of having well-trained mathematicians and scientists teaching in the classroom.
This scholarship will assist UTeaChattanooga students in reducing debt and help them gain a competitive advantage in their future careers. It will be awarded in spring semester.
“UTeaChattanooga students will be different from most high school math and science teachers in the United States because they will have a degree in the content area (mathematics, biology, geology, physics, chemistry, computer science or engineer) and education training,” Watson said.
For more information, please visit the UTeaChattanooga website here.