Campus: CSU Long Beach -- January 14, 2004
Awards $460,000 to Cal State Long Beach for Project Focusing on Math,
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded $460,000 to California
State University, Long Beach for a project that will provide better
prepared mathematics and science teachers to high-need middle schools
and high schools in the Long Beach Unified School District, Whittier
Union High School District and Whittier Union Elementary District.
The funds were awarded through the NSF’s Robert Noyce Scholarship
program, a national program aimed at helping to stem the loss of mathematics
and science teachers in the country’s neediest schools.
In all, the NSF awarded $6.9 million in scholarship/stipend money to
15 universities and colleges across the country, and those funds are
expected to help educate more than 650 new K-12 teachers and help them
transition to the teaching profession.
“We’re in very prestigious company,” said Elizabeth
Ambos, associate vice president for research and external support and
principal investigator for the Robert Noyce Scholarship program at Cal
State Long Beach. “We were one of just 15 grant recipients out
of 64 applicants, and I believe it is testimony to the quality of the
programs we have here at the university that we were able to be competitive.”
Named for the co-founder of Intel Corp and the scientist awarded the
1961 patent for the integrated semiconductor, the Noyce Scholarship
program is providing funds to institutions of higher education to support
scholarships, stipends and programs for students who commit to teaching
mathematics and science in high-need K-12 schools. In return, recipients
must agree to teach in a high-need school district for two years for
each year of scholarship or stipend support.
At Cal State Long Beach, $10,000 stipends will be awarded each year
to 10 students, juniors and seniors only, who are seeking credentials
to teach mathematics and science at the middle school or high school
level. During the four-year grant period, the CSULB program, will have
assisted somewhere between 20 to 30 students (some students will have
an option to go a second year in the program).
“Mathematics and science are two areas where the supply of qualified
teachers is less than the demand,” noted Ambos, who was formerly
an associate dean for CSULB’s College of Natural Sciences and
Mathematics. “There are a lot of teachers who are teaching math
and science, but they don’t have a math or science background.
The Noyce Scholarship program is trying to meet a need for better prepared
math and science teachers on a national level by offering stipends to
individuals who will complete a credential in math and science.”
The Long Beach Unified School District and the Los Angeles County Department
of Education, in particular the Whittier school districts, are partners
in the CSULB program. Each entity has indicated that they have specific
needs in the area of qualified math and science teachers.
“Another aspect of the partnerships that is extremely exciting
is that we will preferentially work with our good community college
partners who have excellent teacher preparation academies, including
Cerritos College and Long Beach City College” Ambos pointed out.
“We have put in the proposal that we will give preference to those
who transfer from those schools and programs.”
Ambos credited a trio of colleagues in the College of Natural Science
and Mathematics and College of Education at CSULB for their leadership
on the proposal to obtain the NSF funding, including Laura Henriques
(science credential advisor), Angelo Segalla (mathematics credential
advisor) and Steve Turley (director of the credentialing office).
She also noted that the CSULB Robert Noyce Scholarship program will
be managed out of the Student Access to Science and Mathematics Center,
under the guidance of associate director Maria Besnard.
“This is really one of those solid bread-and-butter projects that
will make a tremendous difference,” Ambos said. “First,
students will be getting a jumpstart on their careers and won’t
have to worry about going into so much debt. Then, there is the multiplier
effect with the students they are going to teach. Each of the students
selected for the program is going to teach thousands of students in
their professional careers.”