Montgomery College has received a nearly $1.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation to fund a five-year teaching initiative for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines.

The program, titled MC NEXT STEM, will introduce undergraduate STEM majors to career opportunities in education and aid in their transfer to STEM teacher preparation programs at regional four-year institutions. It will also support STEM professionals as they transition into STEM teaching positions.

“Whether as a new college student or a career-changer, we look forward to preparing even more STEM teachers, from a variety of cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds, to enhance student achievement in Montgomery County,” said Debra Poese, director of Montgomery College’s School of Education and MC NEXT STEM.

More specifically, the award will provide opportunities for Montgomery College students to explore opportunities to teach STEM classes in schools where there is a high teacher turnover rate; a high percentage of teachers not teaching in the content areas in which they were trained to teach; or a high percentage of students from families with incomes below the poverty line.

The alternative teacher preparation program for career changers will provide intensive pre-service training and a teaching internship followed by a year-long residency at a Montgomery County Public School.

The award is part of the National Science Foundation’s Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program that was designed to respond to the critical need for K-12 STEM teachers. MC NEXT STEM is the only community college-led Noyce project in the state of Maryland.

Faculty from Montgomery College’s School of Education and STEM disciplines will lead the program, which builds on an earlier project, Teaching Pathways Opening Doors to STEM. The Teaching Pathways program was also funded through the National Science Foundation Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program.

For further information, contact Professor Debra Poese at debra.poese@montgomerycollege.edu.

Funding for this project is made possible through the National Science Foundation Award Number 1555634.

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