This project aims to serve the national need for growing and diversifying the STEM teaching workforce. Specifically, this project will work with local community colleges to promote the entry and success of community college students in CalTeach, the University’s STEM teaching credential program. Within two years after transfer, the community college students will earn a Bachelor of Science degree and single subject teaching credential in mathematics or science. Supporting these students as Noyce Scholars will accelerate the pathway from community college to credentialed STEM teaching. The project will offer cross-enrollment opportunities in lower division CalTeach courses for community college students. It will also provide Noyce scholarships to transfer students in the CalTeach Program and support incoming transfer students through a week-long Summer STEM Research Institute for Future Teachers.
This project at the University of California-Irvine is a collaboration between the Schools of Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences, and Education, working in partnership with four local community colleges: Cerritos, Santa Ana, Mt. San Antonio, and Santiago Canyon. The Santa Ana Unified School District and the Unity Middle College High School and other area districts also serve as partner districts. Despite its diverse population, Southern California has some of the most inequitable and segregated school districts in the nation. The project’s main goals are to enable transfer students to graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree and teaching credential in four years and to prepare and deploy K-12 teachers who reflect and understand the communities in which they teach. This program will support at least 24 pre-service teachers over five years. It has the potential to improve equity and access in Southern California’s school districts, to increase interest of students in STEM students, and place more highly effective teachers into in high-need schools. The project’s broader impacts include scholarships and an accelerated program to support undergraduate transfer students’ pursuit of a teaching credential. In addition, it will place highly trained student teachers in high-need districts and increase the number of high-quality, credentialed teachers from underrepresented backgrounds. Project evaluation by external evaluators will determine whether the project meets its goals and whether the program can serve as a model for other institutions. This Track 1: Scholarships and Stipends project is supported through the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program (Noyce). The Noyce program supports talented STEM undergraduate majors and professionals to become effective K-12 STEM teachers and experienced, exemplary K-12 STEM teachers to become STEM master teachers in high-need school districts. It also supports research on the persistence, retention, and effectiveness of K-12 STEM 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.