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Increase in NSF stipend provides more support for math and science teaching

Six students enrolled in the College of Education and Human Services’ Alternative Careers in Teaching (act!) program received $13,000 stipends funded by a grant from the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship program.

This National Science Foundation (NSF)-supported program provides funds to act! students with science, technology, engineering, and/or mathematics (STEM) backgrounds transition into careers as much-needed middle and high school mathematics or science teachers in high-needs districts.

To date, a total of $272,000 has been awarded to 18 act! students. This fall, the stipend amount was increased to $13,000 – a 23 percent increase – to help students manage increased educational costs and provide additional support in a slow economy.

“This National Science Foundation grant provides an exceptional opportunity to support adult, non-traditional students in the act! program. It is extremely gratifying to assist these applicants in bringing their unique knowledge and experiences to careers as math or science teachers” said Mike Beeth, Co-Coordinator of the act! program and director of the EXCEL Center for teacher professional development. Stipends can be used for any academic or personal expenses during the time a student is enrolled in the act! program.

“Student teaching is a big challenge to obtaining licensure,” said Kim Poli, a Noyce stipend recipient. “The Noyce stipend is a great help for the financial aspect of student teaching and allowed me to concentrate more on the learning opportunity, which is tremendous but time consuming.”

“I am extremely excited about receiving the stipend and continuing my progress toward becoming a state-certified mathematics teacher,” said Bruce Nyberg, who also received a Noyce stipend. “Without this program, I probably would not be pursuing teaching as a new career.”

Act! is an alternative teacher preparation program between UW Oshkosh and UW colleges in northeastern Wisconsin. Any student enrolled in act! can apply for the Noyce Teacher Stipend. Applications are accepted twice a year on November 1 and April 1. Applicants must hold an advanced degree in a STEM field supported by the National Science Foundation and meet additional requirements.

For information on the act! program visit www.uwosh.edu/act.  Questions regarding eligibility for an ACT!/Noyce Teacher Scholarship stipend should be directed to Michael Beeth, excel@uwosh.edu, (920) 424-3330.

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