The University of Memphis has been awarded a $1.5 million Robert Noyce Teaching Fellowship
grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to recruit, train and support secondary
education math and science teachers for the Memphis City Schools. The award was funded
under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The Volkswagen Group of America
provided matching funds for the grant through a gift to the University of Memphis
to support Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) teaching and learning.
The U of M and Memphis City Schools provided additional matching funds to support
the six-year project.
The goal of the program is to recruit professionals with a bachelor’s degree in math
or science who might not have considered teaching as a career. Twenty fellows will
have their tuition paid to complete the 30-hour master of arts in teaching degree
with licensure in secondary education. Memphis City Schools will fund a part-time
residency program to provide mentoring and classroom experiences while the fellows
complete the degree, which generally takes a full academic year plus two summers.
The aspiring teachers will also have the opportunity to participate in enrichment
opportunities, curriculum development, Saturday children’s camps and professional
“The College of Education is pleased to join the Memphis City Schools in this important
project,” said Dr. Donald Wagner, dean of the U of M College of Education. “Through
our joint efforts, we will be working to increase the number of highly qualified math
and science teachers. Also, our faculty is examining ways to improve the effectiveness
of classroom instruction in math and science.”
Fellows also receive a salary supplement of $10,000 for each of the first four years
of their full-time teaching assignment. They will complete about 160 hours of professional
development during these four years, including leadership training during the third
and fourth years. A long-term goal is for the fellows to become teacher leaders within
the school district to assist other teachers in enhancing their math and science instruction.
This year the University of Memphis, along with 170 other universities, pledged to
the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) to increase its graduation
of mathematics and science teachers. Receipt of the ARRA grant supports this pledge
and helps to address Memphis City Schools’ need for highly qualified secondary math
and science teachers.