Independent Public Mission Schools

Saint Peter’s University Receives $1.4 Million Grant to Support Attainment of STEM Degrees

Saint Peter’s University today announced that it has been awarded a five-year grant of $1.4 million from the National Science Foundation for the Robert Noyce Teaching Scholarship Program to encourage and prepare future K-12 educators to teach in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

Research shows that students demonstrate improved performance when their teachers majored in the subject being taught in the classroom. Unfortunately, according to the U.S. Department of Education, the United States suffers from a shortage of qualified teachers in math and sciences, particularly in high-need schools. The Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program was designed to respond to this critical need for K-12 teachers of STEM by encouraging talented STEM students and professionals to pursue teaching careers in elementary and secondary schools. Through the program, STEM majors are offered scholarships and stipends to prepare them to become K-12 teachers. The students are then required to complete two years of teaching in a high-need school district for each year of support.

“This grant is a testament to Saint Peter’s leadership in STEM education as it marks the second national grant exceeding a million dollars received by the University this year to support STEM initiatives,” said Eugene J. Cornacchia, Ph.D., president of Saint Peter’s University. “Feeding the STEM pipeline in New Jersey has become critical as the supply for STEM majors is not meeting the demand for STEM employment. Saint Peter’s, a university grounded in the liberal arts, has a very high enrollment of STEM majors that exceeds the national average, and we look forward to having our graduates work as educators to inspire future students to major in the STEM fields.”

The five-year grant was awarded for a project titled, INVEST (Investing through Noyce Vocations to Engage in STEM Teaching: Preparing High Achieving STEM Teachers to Serve High-Need Schools). The project was developed under the co-direction of John E. Hammett III, Ed.D., professor and chairperson of mathematics at Saint Peter’s University; Yosra Badiei, Ph.D., assistant professor of chemistry at Saint Peter’s University; and James Clayton, Ed.D., associate professor of education at Saint Peter’s University. The project establishes the goal to identify, recruit and prepare highly-qualified STEM teacher candidates majoring in biology, chemistry, mathematics and physics. The students will go on to teach in high-need K-12 schools in northern New Jersey.

Scholarship recipients will be selected from Saint Peter’s University as well as Hudson County Community College (HCCC), a partner in the INVEST project. In 2016, Saint Peter’s entered into a dual admission agreement with HCCC for STEM majors and the dual admissions program will serve as a feeder to the Saint Peter’s scholarship program. Additional partners include Marist High School and the school districts of Bayonne, Jersey City, North Bergen and Weehawken.