Cal State Northridge is looking for a few good men and women who have a passion for math or technology and also want to make a difference in the lives of young people.
The university is currently recruiting students for a National Science Foundation Teaching Fellowship Program that provides support and training for college graduates with undergraduate degrees in science, technology, engineering or mathematics who are interested in teaching.
“Our goal is to increase the number of people with teaching credentials who have a background in these areas and who are interested in working in high-need school districts,” said math professor Kellie Michele Evans, who is helping to coordinate the program. “There are people out there who have degrees in engineering, science, technology and math and also love working with kids. This is the perfect opportunity for them.”
The program involves a five-year commitment. The teaching fellows will earn single-subject mathematics teaching credentials and master’s degrees in mathematics education or mathematics and participate in professional development activities while teaching in high-need school districts. The fellows will receive stipends and/or salary supplements of up to $65,000 over the course of the five years.
Evans said the money for the program comes from federal stimulus funds and is designed to increase the caliber of middle and high school math teachers.
“People who have degrees in these fields can often get jobs that pay a lot of money, but don’t necessarily tap into their passions,” Evans said. “There are some people out there who think that if you’re good at science, math, engineering or technology, you shouldn’t ‘waste’ your talents teaching, even if you do love working with kids.
“But those are exactly the type of people you want teaching kids, people who are passionate about their field but also passionate about sharing what they know with young people,” she said. “A teacher like that can really open the door to the world of science and math for young people and get them excited about fields they think may not be open to them ”
Candidates for the teaching fellowship program must already hold an undergraduate degree in science, technology, engineering or mathematics, have passed the California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET) Mathematics Subject Matter Exam, Subtests I-III (or pass it in time to begin the program) and meet the admissions requirements for CSUN’s Single Subject Mathematics Credential Program and CSUN’s master’s degree programs in mathematics or in mathematics education.
Evans said the fellows are expected to earn their teaching credentials during the first year of the program and then will begin teaching while working on their master’s degrees. Throughout the five years, she said, they receive support in the form of professional development opportunities as well as mentoring from veteran teachers and Cal State Northridge faculty.
“We really need qualified teachers in the areas of math and science and we want to give these new teachers all the support we can so that they can succeed,” Evans said.
For more information about the CSUN NSF Teaching Fellowship Program, visit its website at http://www.csun.edu/~kme52026/csunsf.html.