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NSF Grant Helps Prepare Students for Teaching Jobs


UCR Students Can Get Help with Tuition and Securing Teaching Jobs

An $887,433 National Science Foundation Grant from the Robert Noyce Scholarships Program lights the way for future teachers.

(June 29, 2009)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) – Preparing exceptional science and mathematics undergraduates for secondary school teaching careers has long been a tradition at UC Riverside. Now, thanks to an $887,433 National Science Foundation Grant from the Robert Noyce Scholarships Program, more than 40 students will receive tuition assistance and, once graduated, guaranteed placement as teachers.

The program involves more than 50 classrooms in six middle and five high schools, supporting one to15 district mentor teachers per year and approximately 2,000 students in the Moreno Valley Unified School District, a low-performing district under the No Child Left Behind Act. Surrounding school districts are also likely to benefit from this award.

“This grant allows us to capitalize on the university’s internal partnership between the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences (CNAS), the Graduate School of Education (GSOE) and the ALPHA Center for Academic Partnerships,” said Pamela Clute, executive director of Academy of Learning through Partnerships for Higher Achievement (ALPHA). “Together we have a mission to find the best students and mentor them through undergraduate and graduate school and into teaching jobs in Moreno Valley.”

Progress will be observed to determine the impact of the program on teacher performance, commitment to serving the district, impact as a student role model, longevity to the profession and ability to assume leadership. The end goal is to establish a model that can be replicated to shape teachers who will best prepare students for the 21st century.

“The training infrastructure and curriculum are already in place at UCR, but we hope to expand upon those elements to create a continuum of teacher preparation and development,” said Brad Hyman, professor of biology and faculty director of the Science Mathematics Initiative within CNAS. “The end result will be more than 40 new secondary mathematics and science teachers who are prepared and motivated educators within our partnership district.”

The Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program seeks to encourage talented science, technology, engineering, and mathematics majors and professionals to become K-12 mathematics and science teachers. The program provides funds to institutions of higher education to support scholarships, stipends, and academic programs for undergraduate science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) majors and post-baccalaureate students holding STEM degrees who commit to teaching in high-need K-12 school districts.

The University of California, Riverside (www.ucr.edu) is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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