CLEMSON — The National Science Foundation’s Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program has awarded Clemson University’s Master of Arts in Teaching in Middle Grades Education (MAT) program $800,000 for scholarships to prepare and mentor middle school math and science teachers.

Eugene T. Moore School of EducationThe grant will provide 40 scholarships over the next four years to students who major in STEM (science, technology, engineering or math) disciplines as undergraduates and who then come into the Clemson MAT program to certify in math or science teaching for grades 6-8.

This is the third National Science Foundation grant award given to the MAT program in Clemson’s Eugene T. Moore School of Education, according to Lienne Medford, MAT program director, professor of middle grades education and principal investigator of the grant.

The newest grant is a Phase II grant, open to institutions previously funded under the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program. In addition to scholarships, the grant will include funds to provide mentors and professional development for Noyce Scholars and a research component that incorporates a longitudinal study of Noyce Scholars’ teaching careers.

“This study will help to determine if STEM majors, as opposed to related majors, such as business or nursing, produce the most successful math and science teachers,” Medford said. “The study will also determine how many MAT graduates have remained in the classroom and for how long.

“Ultimately, the grant is aimed at providing quality teachers for South Carolina’s schools,” she said. “We are grateful to the National Science Foundation for their commitment to STEM education and the preparation of students across South Carolina and the nation.”

“We are honored to have continuing support from the National Science Foundation,” said George Petersen, founding dean of the Eugene T. Moore School of Education. “The award is evidence of our commitment to systematically improve education, with a particular focus on STEM education, and we are thankful for our partnership and the opportunity to engage this important work.”

Clemson’s MAT in Middle Grades Education program produces approximately 40 initially certified middle school teachers each year in math, science, English and social studies. Located at the University Center in Greenville, the 36-hour program boasts a 100 percent initial hire rate over the last 12 years. For more information on the program and scholarships, contact Medford at lienne@clemson.edu or 864-250-8891. Applicants entering as early as spring 2016 will be eligible for Noyce scholarships.

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Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program
Sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program encourages talented science, technology, engineering and mathematics majors and professionals to become K-12 STEM teachers. The National Science Foundation is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. With a 2015 budget of $7.3 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 48,000 competitive proposals for funding, and makes about 11,000 new funding awards.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1540623. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.