SUNY Oswego Secures $1.2M to Draw STEM Students, Workers to Teaching

The National Science Foundation has awarded SUNY Oswego a five-year, $1.2 million grant for a scholarship program to help create a pipeline of science, technology, engineering and math teachers for high-needs school districts.

STEM Grant

Discussing the importance of attracting qualified candidates to teach STEM subjects are student worker Vanessa De Los Santos ’16 with co-principals of the National Science Foundation grant, Sofia Windstam, biological sciences (left of De Los Santos) and Jean Hallangan, bottom right, curriculum and instruction. Bottom left, back to camera, is Nichole Karcich Thibado ’03, grant coordinator.

Oswego’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the School of Education worked together on the “Full STEM” grant and will collaborate to launch the science foundation’s Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program at Oswego this spring.

Graduate students in master’s teaching programs at SUNY Oswego would receive scholarships worth $16,000 a year. Undergraduate sophomores and juniors recruited for the program would receive $12,000 to complete their STEM degrees and any foundational coursework they need to prepare for Oswego’s graduate programs in STEM education.

The program’s goal is to produce about 30 new STEM graduates with an interest in teaching, and 30 graduate-level STEM teachers with state certification in adolescence education.

Each undergraduate must commit two years of post-graduate teaching in a high-needs school district for each year of scholarship assistance; the commitment is four years for STEM professionals recruited for an Oswego master’s program in adolescence education.

The program will emphasize retention, including support for new teachers while in the field. Organizers are working on rules for repayment of scholarships as financial aid if students renege on the commitment to teach in high-needs schools.

“You have to have the passion for both the science and education … and truly believe in the social justice that we have a responsibility to education,” Nichole Karcich Thibado ’03, coordinator of the program says.

—Office of Public Affairs

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