CSU Receives $1.18 million Grant to Train STEM Teachers

Columbus State University's UTeach program recently received a $1.18 million grant from the National Science Foundation to support 48 scholarships for secondary STEM teachers. The one-year scholarships totaling $15,000 each will be available beginning in the 2019-2020 academic year for a maximum of six students.

"The NSF grant will help financially and professionally support students wishing to teach STEM subjects at the secondary school level," said Michael Dentzau, principal investigator of the grant and assistant professor at CSU. "There is an ever increasing demand and need to provide high quality STEM teachers capable of supporting and developing science and technology literacy in our youth. This is essential to the economics of our region and the vitality of our nation."

Students receiving the scholarship funded by the NSF grant will receive $15,000 per year for their junior and senior years. They will then be required to teach in a high-need school district for two years for every year of funding. Recipients must be U.S. citizens, nationals, or permanent resident aliens and must be enrolled in a STEM field seeking a bachelor's degree. Scholarships are available to those students with a junior or senior standing, a GPA of 3.0 or better, and a program of study that demonstrates they will be able to graduate with a secondary teaching certificate in a STEM field within 2 years of first receiving funding. Scholarships may also be awarded to those seeking certification through a post-baccalaureate route. As part of the grant, internships will also be available to freshman, sophomores, and juniors with awards totaling $500 per semester for a maximum of two semesters.

The grant, which is expected to extend to 2024, is a collaborative venture between the College of Education and Health Professions, the College of Letters and Sciences, and the D. Abbott Turner College of Business. The principal investigator of the grant is Dr. Michael Dentzau. Co-Principal investigators are Dr. Basil Conway, Dr. Kimberly Shaw and Dr. Yesem Peker.

UTeach Columbus is an innovative program that brings together mathematics, science and education faculty at Columbus State University and teaching experts in local schools to prepare CSU students for a STEM career. Upon completion of the program, students earn a CSU bachelor's degree in biology, chemistry, earth and space science, computer science or mathematics and are qualified to teach in a middle school or high school after passing the appropriate state certification examinations. The program allows participating students to acquire a deep understanding of their fields of study; explore STEM teaching as a career; and develop the knowledge, skills and dispositions needed for teaching.