HBU Receives NSF Grant for Interdisciplinary Collaboration

The HBU College of Science and Engineering (COSE) and the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences (COEBS) are pleased to announce the award of a $122,389, one-year grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program. The proposal, entitled, “Developing a Program to Meet the Need for Prepared and Diverse STEM Teachers in Houston (NSF #2050669),” is the first interdisciplinary NSF grant at HBU. The proposal will be led by Dr. Hannah Wingate, Associate Professor and Chair of Biology, and Dr. Angie Durand, Associate Professor of Education.

Dr. Robert Sloan, HBU President, said, “HBU will benefit greatly from this NSF Grant as we prepare local STEM educators. We’re honored to ultimately help develop students for current and future STEM careers. I commend Drs. Wingate and Durand for their leadership in this significant program.”

The capacity-building grant will be used to explore the opportunity to develop a program for STEM teachers to continue from a BS in a STEM major to an MEd program and a position teaching in Houston schools. This is an important proposal on several levels. At the institutional level, it will provide students with an alternative pathway to a rewarding career. On a broader level, it will increase the quality, quantity, and diversity of STEM teachers in the Houston area where there has been a persistent shortage. HBU will also partner with Houston Independent School District (HISD) and the Lone Star College System to maximize the number of students entering the program and the retention of teachers in Houston. HBU will also be partnering with a Noyce-funded team from Texas A&M as part of the funding requirements.

This funding will add to other recent awards in COSE including a $298,102 NSF grant (NSF #1953667) to retain underrepresented students in the STEM pipeline by providing research opportunities at MD Anderson Cancer Center. Additionally, COSE has received funding from the U.S. Department of Education for “Building Successful Students in STEM” (Title V program); it will provide $3 million over five years (#P031S190153). Also, more than $1 million has been given from a private donor for direct scholarships to students in STEM.

COEBS currently receives external funding from Project ADELANTE, a five-year, $2.6 million project funded by the Office of English Language Acquisition in the U.S. Department of Education. Project ADELANTE provides partial tuition scholarships to help pre-service teachers or currently certified teachers to earn bilingual education or ESL Certification. COEBS has also received funds from The Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation, CenterPoint Energy and Texas Education Agency, all to support teacher candidates as they prepare to serve students in the Houston area and beyond.