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The Pacific Noyce STEM Scholars Program will provide scholarships and other services to prepare students to become K-12 teachers in high-need schools.

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Academics

Pacific receives $1.45 million NSF grant to prepare STEM educators for high-need K-12 schools

Apr 8, 2019

A team of Pacific faculty has received a $1.45 million National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to recruit and prepare students majoring in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to become K-12 teachers in high-need schools.

Lydia Fox, professor of geological and environmental sciences and director of undergraduate research, led the team that received the Robert Noyce Teachers Scholarship Program grant.

"The NSF Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program grants are prestigious and highly competitive, and we are proud of Lydia and the team she has assembled," said Provost Maria Pallavicini. "This award highlights Pacific's commitment to support students who will be STEM educators in our communities."  

The Building a Culture of Achievement: Pacific Noyce STEM Scholars Program will provide scholarships to students beginning in their junior year and continuing while they earn a master's in education degree and credential. The program will continue to support the Noyce Scholars during their first years of teaching in high-needs schools in San Joaquin County. The Noyce STEM Scholars Program is intended to help address the acute shortage of STEM teachers in San Joaquin County, particularly at area high schools. The majority of the school districts in the county have been identified as high-needs.  

Over the five years of the grant, Pacific will recruit 20 Noyce Scholars who will take courses at Pacific's Gladys L. Benerd School of Education as they complete their bachelor's degree in a STEM field. Students will also connect with local master STEM teachers at a Noyce seminar. During their junior and senior years, they will do research with Pacific's STEM faculty and will be involved in local community educational outreach.

During their master's year, they will gain supervised student teaching experience in high-needs San Joaquin County schools. Pacific has deep connections with local K-12 teachers, principals and other school administrators and incorporates cultural competencies, observation and student teaching to prepare aspiring STEM teachers for high-needs schools.

Pacific and the Office of STEM at the San Joaquin County Office of Education, in collaboration with partner school districts, will provide Noyce Scholars with on-site mentoring and year-round professional development.  

"We are very excited about UOP's selection as a site for the NSF-funded Noyce Scholars Program," said Kirk Brown, director of STEM programs at the San Joaquin County Office of Education. "In San Joaquin County, it is challenging to recruit and hire quality STEM teachers. This will certainly help that effort, and we are grateful to help in this collaborative project."

The team developed the scholarship program through a partnership with San Joaquin Delta Community College, the San Joaquin County Office of Education STEM Office, and Stockton and Manteca unified school districts. Fox's team includes co-principal investigator Gregory Potter, assistant professor of practice in the Gladys L. Benerd School of Education; Meixun Sinky Zheng, senior instructional designer/faculty developer and assistant professor in the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry; Nancy Elium, Beyond Our Gates Tomorrow Project administrator; and Shoshanna Sofaer of LTG Associates. STEM faculty from the College of the Pacific and the School of Engineering and Computer Science will serve as Noyce Scholars advisers.  

For more information, contact Lydia K. Fox at lkfox@pacific.edu

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