Last modified: Monday, October 10, 2005
Efforts to prepare top-notch math, science teachers get financial boost
IU receives $486,000 National Science Foundation grant
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- The statewide shortage of middle school and high school math and science teachers, particularly in poorer schools, may see some relief as a result of a federal infusion of $486,000 into the Indiana University School of Education's Transition to Teaching (T2T) program on the campus of Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis.
Education and science faculty at IUPUI recently received one of 16 highly competitive Robert Noyce Scholarship grants awarded by the National Science Foundation this year.
"Increasing the number of well-prepared math and science teachers in Indiana is critical for achieving the life science and economic development goals of the state," said Gerardo Gonzalez, University Dean of the IU School of Education.
The NSF grant will fund scholarships worth $8,000 for 50 people who already have degrees in mathematics or science and want to become certified to teach. The recipients must commit to teaching for at least two years in a high-need middle school or high school. A high-need school is considered one in which at least half of the students are eligible for free lunches.
The IUPUI education faculty is noted for its attention to urban education issues. Education majors can receive both a certificate in urban education and a master's degree with an emphasis on urban education. The new teachers will be able to teach in poorer rural areas as well.
"We are very excited about this grant because it will allow us to offer financial assistance to very qualified individuals who are interested in teaching mathematics or science at the secondary level," said Charles Barman, IUPUI professor of science and environmental education.
IUPUI has already begun recruiting Noyce Scholars for its next cohort of Transition to Teaching students, who will begin the one-year program in July. Potential scholarship candidates will need to pass general knowledge and specific content national certification tests in their mathematics or science field before they can be admitted into the program. Barman said IUPUI science faculty will prepare refresher short courses to help applicants.
T2T is a field-based program that allows students to spend five days a week in both a middle school and a high school. Their graduate-level courses meet twice weekly. At the conclusion of the program, the students are certified to teach. The IUPUI T2T program has produced 35 certified science teachers and 10 mathematics teachers since it began in 2001.
Barman can be reached at 317-274-6813 and firstname.lastname@example.org.