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STEM scholarship alert!

$8,000 a semester? Noyce!

By Lindsey Coulter

March 5, 2019

Noyce Scholarship winners group shotMonday marked the opening of the Noyce Urban Science and Mathematics Teaching Program scholarship. The federal award, specifically for students majoring in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) and pursuing secondary teaching licensure, can provide up to $8,000 per semester to qualifying scholars — but first it needs applicants.

“I don’t think a lot of people know about the scholarship,” said Nicole Cozzi, student-success professional, Center for Advanced STEM Education. “As faculty and staff, and as advocates for education, it’s important for us to talk with students to see if they’ve thought about teaching — and then connect them to the School of Education or CASE to see what kind of supports exist.”

The federal Noyce U-STEM Scholarship supports the recruitment and preparation of STEM majors to teach in high-need schools or districts, which Cozzi notes applies to most Colorado schools. It also provides financial support and professional development to ensure that students are prepared to be successful STEM educators. The five-year grant program aims to fund 66 scholars and at Year Two has engaged just 21 students.

“We can and do want to support more students. For Roadrunners especially, being a student is not the only part of their identity; they’re family members, employees — individuals who are balancing a lot and trying to be successful,” Cozzi said. “We want to offer financial assistance but also a holistic support network, so when they step into their teaching career they don’t feel overwhelmed.”

To that end, the scholarship provides a variety of professional-development opportunities. Cozzi and CASE staff host interview workshops, offer mentoring opportunities with Metropolitan State University of Denver faculty and one-on-one check-ins, and take students to conferences and education-related nonprofits. “We want Noyce Scholars to be tied into the community and to develop that social-justice mindset, which is so helpful when they’re supporting students in the classroom,” Cozzi said.

Cozzi also touts the program as a way to encourage students who may be wavering on their teaching goals to feel more prepared and supported in their future careers and less stressed financially.

“There are some negative perceptions of the teaching profession in general; it’s challenging, but it’s also very rewarding and structured,” she said. “We know that particularly with science and math, there is a large job market, as our students often have job offers before they’ve even graduated, but we want to make sure they are really ready to be teachers.”

Not only does the Noyce U-STEM Scholarship help students rise to the top of the résumé pile, it also connects them to a network of Noyce educators around the country, while ensuring that they enter the workforce with significantly less student debt.

The scholarship is open to students of all levels, providing they are U.S. citizens or permanent residents, have at least a 2.75 grade-point average and have been admitted to the School of Education. The scholarship is now open and closes March 31. To learn more, visit MSU Denver’s Noyce U-STEM website or email Cozzi.

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