St. Bonaventure University has received a grant to help meet the shortage of secondary STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) teachers graduating from college in New York state.
The National Science Foundation Robert Noyce Grant for $70,675 will allow St. Bonaventure to explore and create pathways for STEM degrees that allow graduates to also complete teacher certification requirements.
“The overall goals of the program are to improve undergraduate STEM education programs at St. Bonaventure and to strengthen the recruitment pipeline in the university’s STEM education programs,” said Dr. Christine Uhl, assistant professor of math and a co-principal investigator on the grant proposal.
Other university faculty involved in the grant application process include Dr. Maureen Cox, associate professor of mathematics, and Dr. Adam Brown, associate professor of elementary education.
Through the Noyce Capacity Building Project, the university intends to develop alternative STEM education pathways by creating four new academic programs that will enable students to obtain a degree in a STEM field while meeting the requirements for secondary teaching certification in four years.
Once the degree pathways have been identified, the university will apply for a full Noyce Grant, which will provide substantial financial aid for students enrolled in these programs.
Dr. Michael Jabot, a 1986 SBU grad and a leading STEM educator in New York state, will be working with St. Bonaventure faculty on the grant.
According to research by New York State United Teachers, the state faces an impending teacher shortage as a large percentage of teachers become eligible to retire and teacher turnover rates rise. The Noyce Capacity Building Project would begin to address this shortage.
Fewer New York college students are choosing education as a career path and compounding the shortage is fewer of the teacher preparation candidates are selecting secondary education or STEM subjects as their concentration.
“Providing fundamental principles in the STEM fields, combined with enthusiasm and passion, are keys to great science and math teachers, and those are certainly hallmarks of our STEM and Education programs,” said Dr. David Hilmey, dean of the School of Arts & Sciences at the university. “They are also instrumental in inspiring students to choose STEM career paths. Our faculty are excited and looking forward to developing the capacity necessary to build these programs.”
Faculty in the university’s School of Arts & Sciences and School of Education are collaborating on the project.
The School of Arts & Sciences, with 16 distinct departments, is the largest and most diverse school on campus.
St. Bonaventure’s School of Education has been named a top 25 innovative teacher education program by the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education and is accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).
About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, we believe in the goodness of every person and in the ability of every person to do extraordinary things. St. Bonaventure University cultivates graduates who are confident and creative communicators, collaborative leaders and team members, and innovative problem solvers who are respectful of themselves, others, and the diverse world around them. Named the #1 regional university value in New York and #2 in the North by U.S. News and World Report, we are establishing pathways to internships, graduate schools and careers in the context of our renowned liberal arts tradition.
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