Teacher working with two students in a classroom
BGSU is the recipient of a National Science Foundation grant that allows recent graduates and STEM professionals the opportunity to become teachers, funding nearly all costs. (BGSU photo)

BGSU offering new scholarship program for STEM professionals looking to become educators

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University receives National Science Foundation grant allowing recent graduates and STEM professionals the opportunity to become teachers, nearly cost-free

By Branden Ferguson

Committed to addressing the ongoing national teacher shortage, Bowling Green State University is offering a new scholarship program aimed at helping individuals with science, technology, engineering and mathematics – or STEM – backgrounds earn their teaching licensure in an accelerated, convenient format.

With support from a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant, the Noyce Teacher Scholarship program at BGSU will provide eight students with a nearly $20,000 stipend each to fund virtually all costs of obtaining their teaching license in an online format. Applications for classes starting in August 2024 are currently being accepted.

Interested individuals should be current STEM professionals ready to share their knowledge and passion with students, mid-career professionals looking for a change or new STEM graduates with a non-education bachelor's degree.

BGSU is one of the largest producers of teacher education graduates in Ohio, and program leaders said funding from the competitive NSF grant will allow the University to further build upon its longstanding legacy as a premier teacher training institution while meeting a critical need.

"BGSU is proud to have the support of the National Science Foundation to help us meet the growing need for science and math teachers in our school systems," said Dr. Angela Falter Thomas, associate professor of education and principal investigator of the grant. "This program perfectly aligns with the University's mission of being a public university for the public good. We are all invested in having effective teachers in all areas of education."

Already equipped with a wealth of knowledge and experience, students selected for the BGSU Noyce Teacher Scholarship program will bring unique perspectives and skills to classrooms.

"One of the best ways to engage students in STEM is to provide them with real-life opportunities," said Dr. Tracy Huziak-Clark, director of the School of Inclusive Teacher Education at BGSU and co-principal investigator of the grant. "If a teacher's background is in water quality, being able to show students the sampling and testing skills that they acquired as a STEM professional will help students further understand the 'why' behind the learning."

Meeting students where they are, the BGSU program will allow teacher candidates to further their education and change career paths while balancing their current lifestyle. In-person activities are limited to experiential school visits – which are required to obtain a teaching license – with support during and after a student's time in the program.

"Flexibility and convenience are built into the program to support our students every step of the way," Huziak-Clark said. "The BGSU Noyce Teacher Scholarship program is an excellent alternative pathway to the education profession and allows us to get new teachers into classrooms at a critical time."

"Every candidate will be paired one-on-one with a BGSU math or science education faculty member to guide them through all of the courses and experiential learning," Thomas added. "Then, during their first year of teaching, they will continue to receive mentoring and support from those same faculty members."

Nationally ranked for its top-tier education programs, BGSU is the only University in the state of Ohio utilizing Mursion. Students in the BGSU Noyce Teacher Scholarship program will further hone their teaching skills on the cutting-edge technology without the need of a physical classroom.

"As an avatar-based program, future teachers will use Mursion to practice their skills with a real and in-the-moment reaction from virtual students," Huziak-Clark said. "We have found that students who practice with Mursion feel an increase in confidence and have seen this translate seamlessly into practice in actual classrooms."

Honoring physicist, inventor and computer industry pioneer Dr. Robert N. Noyce, the NSF program has awarded more than $1.2 billion to teacher-training institutions, scholarship recipients and researchers over the past two decades to bridge the access gap to high-quality STEM teachers. Noyce, the co-inventor of the microchip, was the co-founder of Fairchild Semiconductor and Intel.

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Media Contact | Michael Bratton | mbratto@bgsu.edu | 419-372-6349

Updated: 06/13/2024 12:42PM