Noyce Scholars at Buffalo State build on their strong background in Science, Technology, Engineering or Math (STEM) as they prepare to enter into a career in math or science teaching. The two areas of greatest shortage in New York State teacher supply are mathematics and science. The Noyce program provides support for both undergraduate and graduate students as described below.
Noyce scholarships support STEM major students transferring into bachelor’s degree science or math teacher preparation programs as either a Junior or Senior. Noyce scholarship recipients may receive a maximum of $15,000 for one year of support. A limited number of candidates may be eligible to receive a maximum of $10,000 for a second year of support as a senior.
Noyce stipends support students who already hold a STEM bachelor’s degree and who enter either a post-baccalaureate or master’s degree teacher certification program. Noyce stipend recipients may be eligible for a one year maximum Noyce stipend of $15,000.
Noyce scholarships and stipends are intended to recruit new science and mathematics teachers by defraying real study costs (tuition, room, board etc.) for individuals transitioning to a STEM teaching career. Noyce scholarship and stipend recipients are required to teach two years in a high-needs district for every year of scholarship or stipend support received. The Teacher Cancellation Low Income Directory link on the right provides access to the list of high-needs districts across the country.
Participants must complete their initial STEM certification program within two years. Scholarship recipients must meet their teaching commitment within eight years of completion of the program. Stipend recipients must meet their teaching commitment within four years of completion of the program. Participants who fail to meet the teaching requirement will be expected to repay the NSF the amount of their Noyce support plus 5 percent (fixed annual interest).
It is estimated that the nation's schools will need to hire 2.2 million teachers, including 240,000 middle and high school mathematics and science teachers, in the next decade due to projected enrollment increases, anticipated retirements, and the attrition of new teachers (National Commission on Mathematics and Science Teaching for the 21st Century, 2000). Furthermore, the demand for certified teachers has increased as student course-taking in high school science and mathematics has increased and as states implement the teacher quality requirements of No Child Left Behind with respect to teacher content knowledge in the assigned field of teaching (CCSSO, 2003).
Research on effective teachers has shown persistent correlations between student performance and teacher quality (Sanders and Rivers, 1996; Jordan, Mendro, and Weerasinghe, 1997). Teachers' content knowledge, particularly in science and mathematics, is an important factor in determining student achievement (Goldhaber and Brewer, 1996, National Research Council, 2000). A large percentage of science and mathematics teachers lack even a minor in their teaching field, with 56 percent of public secondary students receiving instruction in the physical sciences from teachers without a major or minor in the physical sciences and 27 percent of students receiving mathematics instruction in classes taught by teachers lacking a minor in mathematics. Although the problem of out-of-field teaching is widespread, students in high-poverty schools are 77 percent more likely to be taught by an out-of-field teacher than students in low poverty schools (Ingersoll, 1999, 2002). As many as 50 percent of new teachers in urban school districts leave the teaching profession within their first three years, further exacerbating shortages and mis-assignment of teachers. A survey of urban school districts conducted by the Council of the Great City Schools and Recruiting New Teachers, Inc., in 1998-99, indicated that 95 percent of responding urban school districts had an immediate demand for high school science and mathematics teachers. Eighty percent reported a need for middle school science and mathematics teachers (Urban Teacher Collaborative, 2000).
The Robert Noyce Scholarship program, authorized under the National Science Foundation Authorization Act of 2002 (P.L. 107-368), responds to the critical need for K-12 teachers of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics by encouraging talented science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) students and STEM professionals to pursue teaching careers in elementary and secondary schools. The program provides funding to institutions of higher education to provide scholarships, stipends, and programmatic support for STEM majors and STEM professionals to enter and complete teacher credentialing programs. Scholarship recipients are required to complete two years of teaching in a high need school district for each year of scholarship or stipend support. The program seeks to increase the number of K-12 teachers with strong STEM content knowledge.
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