The St. Ambrose University Education Department garnered two significant grants in the past few months that will increase the number of math and science teachers in Iowa and provide current teachers across Iowa with the training, mentoring and financial support to achieve national board certification.
A $449,992, 48-month grant providing scholarships to 11–14 St. Ambrose education majors interested in teaching in the math and sciences area—as well as support for these teachers once they’re in the classroom—is expected to be funded through the National Science Foundation. Known as the Robert Noyce Scholarship Program, this federally funded project is a partnership between St. Ambrose University and the school districts of Davenport, Bettendorf, Muscatine and Moline.
Through the National Science Foundation, the Robert Noyce Scholarship program seeks to encourage talented science, technology, engineering and mathematics majors and professionals to become K-12 mathematics and science teachers. The program provides funds to institutions of higher education to support scholarships, stipends and programs for teacher candidates who commit to teaching in high-need K-12 schools.
Also this fall, the St. Ambrose Master’s of Education in Teaching (MEdT) program received a $750,000, three-year grant from the State of Iowa to provide a statewide training program for teachers seeking their National Board Certification (NBC). By the end of the program, St. Ambrose will have helped prepare nearly 150 Iowa teachers to become nationally certified, with 120 more nearing completion.
The new NBC program builds upon St. Ambrose’s success with the recently introduced Master of Education in Teaching degree. St. Ambrose is the only institution in Iowa awarded this grant, partly due to the fact that the MEdT curriculum already contains a five-course sequence focusing specifically on the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards’ “Five Core Propositions” and Iowa Teaching Standards. These courses provide teachers the skills and resources to prepare and apply for National Board Certification.
The NBC program will support teachers throughout Iowa pursuing their NBC with regionally based mentors who are currently board certified and formal classroom instruction. National board certification requires candidates to demonstrate their teaching practice as measured against high and rigorous standards. The mentors assist each teacher’s personal and professional progress and provide on-site guidance and support.
Teachers who complete the NBC courses may opt to earn St. Ambrose graduate credit that they can later apply toward graduate study at St. Ambrose.