Hawkins STEM4All grant recruits males, minorities to career in education
University of Houston-Clear Lake students interested in pursuing a career as a teacher in a STEM-related field can access financial support through the Hawkins-STEM4All grant. The grant, which is embedded in the UHCLTeach program, offers students working toward a math or biology 7-12 certification the opportunity to add an English as a Second Language certification.
Lecturer in Secondary Science and Math Education and UHCLTeach Master Teacher Takisha Bolden Gastile said the STEM4All program will support pre-service, in-service and other educators seeking professional development in STEM literacy and inclusion in multilingual education.
“We’ve received $1.6 million, to be disbursed over four years, to recruit, retain and foster 30 pre-service STEM teachers in multi-lingual education,” Bolden Gastile said. “Our students can receive need-based scholarships for up to two years. One of our goals is to recruit male and minority future teachers to come into the program.”
UHCLTeach is partnering with the Children's Environmental Literacy Foundation to help students incorporate civic science into lesson plans. “Students will have the chance to attend a summer institute, ending in a summit in which they may showcase their lessons and ideas,” she said. “They will also have the opportunity to attend teaching institutes focusing on cultural responsiveness, Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and help prepare them for the ESL certification.”
She said that once students graduate, they can return to UHCL and serve as mentors. “They can give back to the students still in the program, and offer them support as well,” she said. “These would be paid mentorships coming from our alumni; the grant provides funds for this as well.”
UHCLTeach is a secondary math/science certification through the College of Education. Through the program, students who might be considering a major in education can teach in a classroom much earlier in their degree program, instead of toward the end of their coursework. Students take two courses, and if they earn a grade of C or higher, they will be reimbursed for the tuition, whether they choose to continue in education or not.
She said UHCLTeach partners with nearly all independent school districts in the area.
Funding through the HawkinsSTEM4ALL can be accessed now and is available for any student in the UHCLTeach program.