“I am thrilled to be leading the Noyce Program at the University of Portland,” says Salomone. “First and foremost, the grant allows us to address a critical need for K-12 math, science, and engineering teachers by graduating more teachers who will be prepared and excited to teach STEM subjects in high-needs schools. The grant is a great fit for the University, as our students and faculty are dedicated to social justice through education. Additionally, I am looking forward to the collaboration between the divisions of the University, Saturday Academy, and Portland Public Schools. My hope is that this grant will be a jumping-off point for further outreach from UP to the community.”
The Noyce Foundation in Palo Alto, California was created in 1990 in memory of Dr. Robert N. Noyce, a co-founder of Intel and pioneer in the personal computer revolution in Silicon Valley. Their mission is to improve instruction in math, science, and early literacy in public schools. In keeping with that goal, the University of Portland’s Noyce Scholars and Interns Program will work to increase the number of highly-trained K-12 STEM teachers graduating from its Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program, especially those who teach in high-needs schools.
“High-needs schools,” as defined in the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, are those “within the top quartile of elementary and secondary schools statewide, as ranked by the number of unfilled, available teacher positions; or is located in an area where at least 30 percent of students come from families with incomes below the poverty line; or an area with a high percentage of out-of-field-teachers, high teacher turnover rate, or a high percentage of teachers who are not certified or licensed.”
Noyce interns will be University of Portland STEM undergraduates who will work for eight weeks in summer as teaching assistants in Saturday Academy classes for local students in grades 2-12 and in the AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) Program, which helps prepare students from nearby Roosevelt High School for academic success in high school and college. Noyce Scholars will receive scholarship money during their junior and senior years and for their fifth year as MAT students. Career-changing STEM professionals will receive scholarship money to help pay for their MAT degree tuition. The Noyce program addresses what is seen as a critical need for STEM educators in the Portland Public Schools system and will bolster the STEM teaching community in the Pacific Northwest. A major component of both the Noyce and MAT programs is to train STEM professionals to be reflective teachers dedicated to social justice through education. Noyce scholars will serve two years as teachers in high-needs schools for each year of their scholarship.
The Noyce grant was written to support the strategic plans of the College of Arts and Sciences, the Shiley School of Engineering, and the School of Education, as well as the University’s mission and tenets of teaching and learning, faith and formation, and service and leadership. Among its goals is strengthening ties between the University of Portland and Portland Public Schools (the largest school district in the Pacific Northwest, with a highly diverse student population and over 90 spoken home languages), and to increase the number of highly trained STEM teachers in high-needs schools by 24 over its five-year span. Sharing of information and results with peer institutions is hoped to help them set up similar programs, bolstering the STEM teaching community even further.
The Noyce Scholars and Interns Program will start officially on May 1, 2013 and has an estimated end date of April 30, 2018. Salomone is the program’s principal investigator, and co-principal investigators are Sharon Jones, dean of the Shiley School of Engineering; Patricia Morrell, School of Education; Jacqueline Van Hoomissen, biology department; and Timothy Doughty, engineering. Education professor Hillary Merk and biology professor Amy Beadles-Bohling will serve the team as mentors—Beadles-Bohling will help with the service learning course in biology and Merk will head a new teachers support group for graduates of the MAT program. Laura Goble, director of the University’s Moreau Center for Service and Leadership, will help administer the grant.
For more information contact Salomone at (503) 943-7799 or firstname.lastname@example.org.