Students planning careers in teaching may find their Austin College education more affordable thanks to a recent $1.2 million National Science Foundation Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship grant that creates the Austin College STEM Education Leadership Scholars (ACSELS) program. Designed to provide financial and programmatic support to recruit and develop strong science, technology, and math teachers who will commit to working in high-needs school districts, the program “will combine the College’s strong STEM focus with the strengths of the Austin Teacher Program to help fill the current need for STEM teachers,” said Dr. Sheila Gutiérrez de Piñeres, Austin College executive vice president for Academic Affairs and special initiatives.
Scholarship recipients must complete a major in a STEM discipline and pursue a Master of Arts in Teaching degree through Austin Teacher Program. They will be eligible to receive up to $12,500 for the junior year, $25,000 for the senior year, and $40,000 for the graduate year, not to exceed demonstrated financial need. Each scholar will commit to two years of math or science teaching in a high-needs school district for each year of scholarship support.
In addition to financial supprt, the ACSELS program includes leadership training, summer internships in a cocurricular educational environment, and one-on-one faculty and teacher mentoring. “Our hope is that area high school and community college students will consider Austin College a financially viable option for a teaching degree,” said Dr. Sandy Philipose ’99, associate professor of education. “We also hope to attract STEM students who may not have considered teaching and expose them to the field of teaching.”
Grant developers were Philipose, Dr. Kelynne Reed, professor of biology, and Dr. Stephanie L. Gould, associate professor of chemistry. The co-principal investigators are Gould; Dr. Andrea Overbay, assistant professor of mathematics; and Dr. Andrew Carr, associate professor of chemistry.
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