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Education Department Receives $1.1 Million Grant to Partner with Local Schools

Four faculty members at Colorado College have received a National Science Foundation grant for $1,190,012 to support CC's Noyce Scholarship Program. The grant was awarded by NFS's Directorate for Education & Human Resources/Division of Undergraduate Education to Mike Taber, associate professor of education; Manya Whitaker, assistant professor of education; Howard Drossman, professor of environmental science and education; and Tina Valtierra, assistant professor of education.

The Education Department faculty members requested the funds so that they could better strategically partner with two local districts - Colorado Springs School District 11 and Harrison School District 2. The program will increase the number of Colorado College science and mathematics majors who graduate and complete the "9th semester" teacher preparation program or the 5th year Master of Arts in Teaching Program and commit to teaching in under-resourced schools. Both Colorado Springs School District 11 and Harrison School District 2 have a high percentage of ethnic minority students as well as a high percentage of students eligible for free or reduced price lunches. Harrison School District 2, in particular, also has a high teacher turnover rate.

"The NSF funds are, naturally, a wonderful incentive for science and mathematics majors to consider education as a career," said Taber, who is the principal investigator on the grant. "By engaging first-year students and sophomores in community-based science and math learning environments through paid internships, we will build a CC community of undergraduates who then become excited about education. Our aim is to provide an excellent pathway to teaching for these science and math majors through scholarship in their junior, senior, and Master of Arts in Teaching years."

The five-year grant will support 29 Noyce STEM Teaching Scholars. Additionally, it provides semester-long internships in local K-12 settings and summer internships for first-year and sophomore students to work with local school districts to develop their skills both as classroom teachers and as education researchers.

"This award is a great example of our strategic plan in action," said Colorado College President Jill Tiefenthaler. "Mike Taber was the first recipient of an internal grant, now known as the SEGway program, designed to support faculty efforts to secure external funding."

The Education Department also is partnering with Colorado College's Collaborative for Community Engagement to support Noyce STEM Academic Year Internships, in keeping with CC's collaborative nature.

"There are many hands involved in building institutional capacity - thanks to everyone who participated in the effort in bringing these funds to CC," Tiefenthaler said.

Report an issue - Last updated: 12/16/2020