Joan Prival, NSF

JOAN PRIVAL: So, now we're going to go from kind of the upper level EHR kind of view down on the ground, here, to what's actually happening, and to specifically focus on the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program.

Okay, the program was initiated by an act of Congress in 2002, exactly the same time that MSP came into play. We were reauthorized in 2007 under the America Competes Act, same thing for MSP. So we're kind of sisters or cousins. And the point is, of this program, is to encourage talented mathematic, science and engineering undergraduates to pursue teaching careers in K-12 schools. And also to encourage STEM professionals-- these are people who already have STEM degrees-- to pursue a teaching career, in many cases, as a second career, or third or fourth or fifth. And then finally, and this is where you're going to hear a little bit more about this, to prepare master teachers. And this should be very familiar to you folks, because you're already doing something like that.

So we have, in this current solicitation for FY2009, we've got, now, two tracks. The first track we call the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Track. And this is basically the original program that we ran. What we offer through this is, these are grants to colleges and universities. And then, they run a scholarship program which provides at least $10,000 dollars a year for undergraduate STEM majors who are preparing to become K-12 teachers. It provides summer internships, paid internships, to freshmen and sophomores. And these are to entice them into teaching, expose them to early teaching, and working with teachers. And then, it provides stipends of at least $10,000 dollars for one year, for STEM professionals who are seeking to become K-12 teachers.

Now, the new track, which we introduced this year, this is really the first year that we actually think we will have money to fund this track. And so, we introduced it into our solicitation for 2009. This is called the NSF Teaching Fellowships and Master Teaching Fellowships Track. And this was introduced in America Competes Act as part of the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program. What it offers is fellowships for STEM professionals who are receiving teacher certification through a masters degree program. They must enroll in a masters degree program. And then, it also provides fellowships for science and math teachers who are preparing to become master teachers.

Now, to give you a few more details about the scholarship track, we expect that the scholarships or stipends are at least $10,000 dollars a year. But, they are capped by the cost of attendance at that particular institution. So, they could go higher than $10,000 if it costs more than $10,000 a year to attend that institution. The students must graduate with a degree in a STEM discipline. So, they actually are going to complete a full major in the STEM discipline, while also becoming certified to teach. And they must commit. The recipients of the scholarships and stipends must commit to teach for two years in a high-needs school district for each year of scholarship or stipend support that they receive. If they fail to fulfill this teaching commitment, they actually have to repay the scholarship. So, it actually basically reverts to a loan if they fail to complete the program or the teaching commitment.

We have what we call Phase 1 under this track. And this is for new-- folks who haven't been funded previously under the Noyce Program. The awards size is up to $900,000 dollars for up to five years. We do not allow indirect costs on this, because it is largely participant costs that we're covering. But we do allow administrative costs which are limited at 20% of the total budget. Therefore, 80% of the total budget is for direct support for the participants, either through scholarships, stipends, internships or other kinds of direct support to the participants.

We have a Phase 2. It's kind of like the MSP Phase 2. And this is for folks who have been funded previously under the Noyce Scholarship Program. We're very interested in providing them funding to continue to give out scholarships and stipends, but also to conduct longitudinal studies of their earlier cohorts. So, we know the folks are going to be teaching in high-needs school districts. But, for example, it's very interesting to know retention data on these individuals and do they, in fact, stay teaching beyond the teaching commitment. So we're looking at those kinds of studies to come out of our Phase 2 projects. And that award size is $600,000 dollars up to four years. We also provide a smaller grant of $150,000 for people to just continue to have a little bit of money to monitor the recipients, because they are required to make sure that they are fulfilling the teaching commitment.

And now, under the new track, we have the NSF Teaching Fellows. This is for people who have not been teaching previously. And they are at a post-baccalaureate, post-degree period. They may have a bachelors degree in a STEM discipline. It could be a masters degree, it could be a Ph.D. But they are not currently teaching. They haven't taught before. So they're going to be new to the teacher workforce. And they-- We expect them to enroll in a masters degree program that leads to teacher certification.

Then, the NSF Master Teaching Fellows are current teachers, in-service teachers, who are selected to enter a program that will, basically, prepare them to become a master teacher in their district. And both of these types of individuals are-- they still have that requirement to teach in the high-needs school district. That's fundamental to the Noyce Scholarship Program.

The proposals must include a department within an institution of higher ed. that provides an advanced program of study in math and science. There also is the possibility that it would include a two-year institution that would be partnering with a four-year institution, to provide a teacher preparation program. We require that there be at least one high-needs school districts and its public schools in the district. So you can see there are some similarities, in terms of the partnership idea of MSP behind this. And, at least one non-profit organization, that's something that's new to this track. Okay, the fellows will receive a salary supplement of at least $10,000 dollars for each year of their teaching obligation.

So they're in a program. If they're the new teachers, they're in the masters degree program. And they get a stipend while they're in that program. And then they also, then, also have to teach for four years. During the four years of teaching, they are receiving at least $10,000 in additional salary, which I would call it a salary supplement. They also receive a lot of other goodies, professional development and opportunities to be mentored and so on, all the support that you would want for a new teacher. The selection of the fellows is based on their professional achievement, their academic merit, and demonstration of advanced content knowledge in STEM discipline. The program, also this track also requires matching funds. So we haven't done that for many years at NSF, but this is a requirement in the legislation that the institutions must provide matching funds of 50% in terms of their budget. And the matching funds can come from any source, except it cannot be from a federal source. So, it can come from the university, come from the school district, from an industry partner or from the non-profit partner. It can also be in-kind services. So, all of the rules that pertain to cost share apply here.

We actually had a chance to pilot these supplements. And a number of you-- actually 30 MSP projects participated in piloting the salary supplements this summer when we received some funding to do this. And so, we actually had a little meeting, at this meeting, to get some feedback on how that's going. And so, we had a chance to kind of try out that aspect of it, before, actually, launching the full program, which we are doing now.

The NSF Teaching Fellows are going to receive a stipend of at least $10,000 while they're enrolled in the masters degree program. They're committing to teach for four years. And they also receive that salary supplement And here's, again, the Master Teaching Fellows. These are the existing teachers that are going to become master teachers. They have to commit to teach for five years in a high-needs school district. So they're basically in the program for five years. They're receiving professional development that is relevant for a master teacher, for creating a master teacher. And then, they're expected to carry out roles and responsibilities that would be related in their school districts, that would be related to master teacher responsibilities. And they receive that salary supplement of at least $10,000 for each of those five years.

So, the program actually, it's a lot more than a scholarship program, because the projects have to include an involvement of STEM faculty, just as MSP projects do. And it's a collaboration between STEM faculty and education faculty. There must be a strong partnership with the school district, just as for MSP. And, of course, they would have recruitment and selection strategies. We know it's not enough to just announce you have a scholarship.

Remember, the difficulty in getting people into teaching is really the reason for having this program. If it were easy to attract STEM majors into teaching, we wouldn't perhaps need to give them scholarships. So, it's an incentive to go into teaching for a particular group of people. The projects have to have exemplary teacher preparation programs. And this would be demonstrated in their proposal programs that lead to certification or professional development that would be important for master teachers to have.

Support for new teachers is very important in this program, because they are going to be teaching in the most difficult school districts. And we know that new teachers leave in large numbers in their early years. And so, these projects are offering substantial support for them during their induction years. The projects need to have a mechanism for monitoring the recipients, because they need to make sure that they are actually teaching. And we do expect institutional support, in terms of the support from departments. The students are coming out of the STEM departments, because they're STEM majors. And so, we expect that there be some evidence that those departments, in fact, are committed to enabling and encouraging their STEM majors to go into teaching.

And then finally, the evaluation-- and this is, of course, very familiar to you all in MSP. And so, as with all of our NSF programs, we expect an objective evaluation.

The award size for this new track, for the NSF Teaching Fellows and Master Teaching Fellows is up to one and a half million dollars, over five to six years. We do actually allow a six-year duration in this, in anticipating how long it's going to take for some of these folks to go through. Again, there are no indirect costs allowed. We have the matching fund requirement of 50%. And 80% of the budget needs to go for direct support of the participants. We do offer, in this solicitation, planning grants for the TF/MTF track, with the idea that some institutions may need more time to figure out how they're going to come up with the cost share. They may need more time to establish the partnerships that are required to find the non-profit partner and so on. So, they have, basically, a small amount of money for a year of planning. And then they'll be all set to submit a proposal in the next round.

So, where are we now? We've made-- Since 2002, we've made 135 awards. Those awards are projected to produce approximately 4,900 new science and math teachers who would be teaching in high-needs school districts where they're most needed.

And we've included, within this portfolio, we actually have about 240 institutions, because many projects involve more than one college or university, a number of them involved partnering with community colleges. And we're basically touching over 850 school districts in 36 states and D.C. And so, these are the dates that you want to keep in mind. We have optional letters of intent due pretty soon. And then, our deadline is March 10. We are offering proposal writing workshops relevant to Noyce. And there's one this Thursday in Atlanta for any of you who are held over on connecting flights in Atlanta. You can stop in and get lunch and go to the workshop. Then February 5, we're going to be in Denver. And we'll be offering webinars-- I don't have the exact dates, but it's going to be early February for a couple of webinars.