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TLU Awarded $1.1 Million National Science Foundation Grant

Texas Lutheran University is the recipient of a $1,163,200 Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Funding will support the project, “Preparing Committed and Culturally Competent STEM Teachers in South Central Texas.” TLU was previously awarded a Robert Noyce Capacity Building grant from the NSF in 2017.

“To once again receive a grant from the prestigious National Science Foundation speaks to the quality of TLU faculty and academics,” TLU President Dr. Stuart Dorsey said. “Our faculty and staff are committed to serving our region and creating academic success. By developing outstanding high school STEM teachers, TLU is meeting one of the most pressing needs of South Central Texas and its students.”

Under the direction of Physics Department Chair Dr. Toni Sauncy, Associate Professor of Math and Computer Science Dr. William Hager, and Education Department Chair Dr. Jeannette Jones, the grant aims to address the nationwide demand for high-quality STEM teachers at the secondary education level in under-served school districts. According to Dr. Sauncy, the program has advanced collaboration between science and education faculty in addressing the critical shortage of teachers in STEM fields across Texas.

According to Dr. Sauncy, the university’s reputable STEM programs and strong emphasis on service and leadership position TLU to make a real difference in the availability of passionate, culturally competent teachers in South Central Texas.

“The project focuses on the intersection of passion for teaching, cultural awareness, and the most effective practices in science and mathematics education,” Dr. Sauncy said. “We will implement best practice techniques for training teachers to identify cultural barriers, recognize and address related issues, and promote inclusion for broad participation in STEM fields. The emphasis on culturally responsive teaching using research-based science and math education will be the hallmark of the program.”

The primary goal of the project is to recruit biology, chemistry, mathematics, and physics majors into high school teaching careers with funding to support at least 20 new teachers through scholarships, mentoring, and specialized training for their transition to the classroom. Undergraduate recipients will receive up to two years of scholarship support to complete a Bachelor of Science degree in their selected discipline, while also completing requirements that prepare them to successfully obtain teaching certification upon graduation. The award begins April 1, 2019 and ends March 31, 2024.

“Texas Lutheran University is leading the charge to elevate Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math readiness in Central Texas high schools,” Congressman Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15) said. “This award from the National Science Foundation is emblematic of the dynamic leadership present at TLU, their determination to elevate high school STEM teachers, and their mission to prepare students for the fastest growing fields. It is an honor to represent this institution and I congratulate TLU for receiving the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship grant.”

About The NSF

The National Science Foundation is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 “to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense...” The NSF is vital because they support basic research and people to create knowledge that transforms the future. This type of support is a primary driver of the U.S. economy, enhances the nation's security, and advances knowledge to sustain global leadership.

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