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School of Education Awarded Grant of Nearly $3 Million from National Science Foundation

Oakland, CA–August 30, 2013 The Mills College School of Education has been awarded a grant of nearly $3 million from the National Science Foundation’s Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program.

With this grant, Mills College will draw on its 45 years of collaboration with the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) to improve student learning opportunities and increase the number of STEM secondary teachers in the OUSD. Currently, the district employs less than 40 such teachers.

The School of Education is partnering with the Departments of Mathematics and Computer Science, Chemistry, Physics, Biology, and Psychology to recruit, prepare, support, and retain 20 new Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) teachers in the OUSD. Through the grant, Mills College, OUSD, and supporting partners, the Lawrence Hall of Science and KQED, will build on the exemplary record of teacher education programs at Mills College to radically expand, stabilize, and reform the secondary STEM teaching force of OUSD.

The project includes curriculum and teacher support that responds to the challenges of teaching in OUSD and other diverse urban environments. In addition, the project will identify target schools within the district, create recruiting materials to attract teacher residents, and implement a mentoring and support program for teacher residents for their first four years as classroom teachers.

Mills College Professor of Education Ruth Cossey serves as the principal investigator of the grant with Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science Barbara Li Santi and School of Education Dean Katherine Schultz as co-principal investigators.

"This is a result of close partnership work with the Oakland Unified School District over the past three years and represents an important milestone,” said Mills College School of Education Dean Katherine Schultz. “Through the program we will maximize the district’s STEM initiatives, plus human resource efforts, and their teacher induction systems to create an infrastructure where this residency model can be implemented.”

Much of the funding will support prospective teachers to teach in OUSD for at least four years. Starting in the fall of 2014 and continuing over the next four years, 20 graduate students in the School of Education will receive scholarships jointly funded by Mills College and the NSF grant.


Last Updated: 9/3/13