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$500K Grant to Science, Math Teachers

The Long Beach Unified School District is partnering with Cal State Long Beach on a $500,000 National Science Foundation grant to address a shortage of qualified science and math teachers.  The grant will provide funding to local college students earning their teaching credentials in these fields.

CSULB received the grant for the Robert Noyce Scholarship Program that will provide $15,000 per year to selected students from fall 2009 through 2012.

“The money is to support math, science and engineering majors who commit to teaching in high-needs school districts,” said Laura Henriques, chair of CSULB’s Department of Science Education in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.  The new grant will fund 21 students.

Only one other school district, the Whittier Union High School District, is partnering on the grant.

The Noyce program provides forgivable loans to students for up to three years -- two years of undergraduate education and one year of post-baccalaureate coursework including student teaching.  People who already have a bachelor’s degree can get one year of post-baccalaureate funding while they complete their credential.  Participants also receive mentoring and attend professional development seminars.  In return, they must teach in a high-needs school for two years for every year of funding they receive.

Students can use the grant funds toward college or living expenses.

“Our students tutor five hours a week in our partner schools and then they do their student teaching in the partner school,” Henriques said.  “By the time they get to student teaching, some of them may have been in the school for two years.  They know the kids and the faculty.  They’re a part of that school, so they’re much more likely to be successful in that setting.”

For more information, contact Ignacio Hernandez at (562) 985-8395 or lhernand@csulb.edu.