CLEMSON — Recognizing that South Carolina schools are in need of more qualified teachers, Clemson University educators are working to attract teachers from a previously untapped resource: Clemson students in engineering and science majors.

The TigersTeach Noyce Scholarship Initiative will provide $10,000 scholarships to 30 undergraduate or graduate students from the science, technology, engineering or math – or STEM – disciplines to enroll in an undergraduate dual-degree program or enter the Master of Arts in Teaching program.

Funded by a five-year, $1.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program, it is a collaboration between Clemson’s colleges of Health, Education and Human Development; Engineering and Science; and Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences. School districts in Greenville, Anderson, Oconee and Pickens counties are partners in the project.

“This program will allow us to actively recruit well-qualified students who otherwise often leave the STEM disciplines. We anticipate that our program will form the nucleus of a new cadre of teachers who are prepared for tomorrow’s classrooms,” said Michael J. Padilla, associate dean and director of the Eugene T. Moore School of Education.

Padilla is co-director of the TigersTeach initiative with Melanie Cooper, Alumni Distinguished Professor of Chemistry Education.

Students in their first or second year of a STEM major would receive scholarships to enter the dual-degree program in their junior or senior years. They would continue working in their majors, plus earn a degree in STEM education.

Those who are in their junior or senior years would finish those degrees, then enter the teaching in secondary science and mathematics master’s program. They would receive the scholarships during their senior undergraduate year and a stipend from the Noyce program for the year in the Master of Arts in Teaching program.

Students in TigersTeach will learn from veteran scientists and teachers, participate in professional conferences and work with local schools and agencies.