North Central College awarded $1.45 million grant for future STEM teachers

North Central College is getting some help from the National Science Foundation to help train future STEM teachers.

The five-year $1.45 million grant includes more than $800,000 in scholarships for undergraduates committed to teaching science, technology, engineering or math in high-needs schools throughout the Chicago area.

“Recruiting and retaining diverse teachers has been shown to improve academic outcomes for all students,” said Lindsay Wexler, associate professor of education. “This grant increases our ability to recruit, support and train new Illinois STEM teachers, who will then educate diverse populations of students in local, underserved communities and work proactively toward reducing academic opportunity gaps.

The remaining money will be used to fund the college’s Commitment to Recruit, Education and Assist Teachers in Equity (CREATE) project. The program helps prepare culturally responsive high school teachers in math and the sciences. The CREATE project includes partnerships with Elgin Area School District U-46 and Elgin Community College.

“Projects funded by the NSF are known to not only advance, but to transform the frontiers of knowledge, and I am deeply proud of our faculty for their work to expand opportunities within STEM education,” said Abiódún Gòkè-Pariolá, North Central College’s provost and vice president for academic affairs.

The college has received more than $3 million in grants in the last 2 ½ years from the foundation to support students in the STEM field. The latest grant is the largest the college has received from the foundation.

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