Carlow University has received a $1.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation to prepare secondary teachers to teach STEM courses in high-need school districts.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded Carlow
University a nearly $1.2 million grant through the NSF's Robert
Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program for the purpose of preparing
secondary level teachers to teach STEM effectively in high-need
"We are honored that Carlow University was selected for this
competitive grant and confident that it will advance our efforts to
prepare secondary level teachers to teach STEM more effectively,"
said Suzanne K. Mellon, PhD, President, Carlow
University. "STEM education is a significant part of shaping
our region's future workforce, and Carlow has been at the forefront
of the instruction in such efforts."
The project, which is titled "Preparing Secondary STEM Teachers
with Experiential Learning and Computational Thinking Skills for
Effectiveness in High-Need School Districts," has five
- Recruit an increasing number of STEM undergraduates as
Noyce Carlow Scholars (NCS).
- Recruit and enroll an increasing number of STEM
professionals in graduate education programs.
- Retain and graduate the NCS students with a strong commitment
to teaching in high-need schools.
- Support 100 percent of NCS students completing their
secondary certification to secure employment as a teacher in a
- Ensure 96 percent of NCS students will fulfill their
teaching commitment in a high-need school.
To meet the five objectives, Carlow will offer multiple
experiential learning opportunities throughout the program with a
special emphasis on development of computational thinking skills
and best practices to support a diverse student
population. NCS students will gain experience from
activities ranging from peer tutoring to STEM expos, internships,
daylong workshops, and weeklong robotics courses.
"Carlow will recruit 26 students and prepare them to be highly
effective biology, chemistry, and mathematics secondary education
teachers either in the Pittsburgh Public Schools or other high-need
districts," said Keely Baronak, EdD, chair of the Department of
Education at Carlow. "The Carlow secondary education
program in STEM is a five-year post-baccalaureate degree. NCS
students can enter as junior STEM majors and complete three years,
or STEM professionals can enroll at Carlow to complete the MEd in
secondary education leading to initial teaching certification. The
MEd in secondary education was designed as a one-year program with
accelerated eight-week courses taught in a hybrid fashion."
The project will help address high-need teaching shortages in
PPS and other school districts. The program is under the
direction of Baronak, along with Frank Ammer, PhD, chair of the
department of Biology; Nancy E. Jacqmin, PhD, professor,
mathematics; William Kowallis, PhD, associate professor, chemistry,
and Ann Bisignani, MPM, graduate program coordinator.
Carlow University's model for teacher education involves
creating opportunities for students to engage in experiential
learning, developing computational thinking as a pedagogy, and
supporting students with a committed team that includes an advisor,
a mentor and a coach. This team provides wrap-around support
throughout the degree process and into the first few years of their
"Being prepared to teach in high-need classrooms means
preparation and deep understanding of culturally responsive
teaching," said Baronak. 'Our students will be supported
by a team of dual advisors from STEM and education, as well as a
teacher-mentor from PPS, and a coach that the follows the scholar
from enrollment through the first three years of teaching."
This program will receive a university-wide commitment to ensure
its success. Carlow University is a member of - or in partnership
with - several local and regional STEM and educational consortia
including School District/University Collaborative (with PPS),
REMAKE Learning, A+ Schools, and the Carnegie Mellon University
CREATE Lab Satellite Network.
"This NSF-funded project exemplifies the kinds of
inter-disciplinary and cross-departmental collaboration that is
needed to facilitate meaningful innovation in our programs, and new
opportunities for the next generation of Carlow students," said
Matthew Gordley, PhD, Dean of the College of Learning and
Innovation at Carlow. "The fostering of such a fruitful
partnership between education and the STEM disciplines is a key
part of why the College of Learning and Innovation was formed in
the first place. And this kind of creative collaboration with
external partners will continue to be the key for offering a
transformative Carlow education in the years ahead."
For more information about admission to Carlow University and
the Noyce Carlow Scholar Program, please call (412) 578-6059.