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ESPRIT de Corps Expanding STEM Professionals Roles in Teaching an NSF Noyce Scholarship Program
All ESPRIT de Corps Noyce Scholars are welcome to enjoy the ESPRIT de Corps Lounge. In the lounge, ESPRIT Scholars can connect with peers, explore STEM resources, connect with the larger STEM community in Houston, and learn more about inquiry learning! Click here to visit the lounge.
ESPRIT de Corps is an NSF/Noyce funded program that offers graduates with a STEM degree and working STEM professionals scholarships to earn mathematics or science teacher certification and a Master's of Teaching (MAT) degree. Students have the added option of earning a UHD Professional Certificate in Dual-Credit Math or Science Teaching which will allow students to teach dual-credit courses in high school and to teach college-level mathematics or science at community colleges and four-year institutions. This is a great opportunity for professionals considering changing careers and considering middle or high school teaching full-time!
The University of Houston-Downtown is the ideal university to house a Noyce Teaching Fellows Program. Our Urban Education department has intentionally designed the teacher certification program to prepare its graduates to thrive as teachers in high-needs urban schools with diverse learners and to cope with standard issues that such schools face. Coursework and field experiences are created to address this goal. Urban Education's record of a 90% retention rate after five years of teaching speaks to their achievements. The attrition rate for teachers who go through private alternative certification routes tend to be higher than teachers receiving certification through a four-year college. Given our record, we feel confident that Noyce Teaching Fellows that complete our program will be successful teachers in high-needs districts.


UHD continues to have the most diverse student population of any liberal arts university in the Western U.S., according to U. S. News & World Report (THECB, 2004). UHD President, Dr. William Flores, is a recognized national leader for such efforts. The Greater Houston Metropolitan Area, presently home to more than 4.5 million people, has experienced one of the largest population increases in the nation during the past decade. The greater Houston area, and the Gulf Coast in general, is at the forefront of a demographic trend in the U.S. The U.S. workforce in 2050 will likely look more like the Gulf Coast region now than any of the other regions studied. (Gulf Coast Workforce Board, Workforce Report Card, 2007). The 2007 Report Card also cites continuing challenges, such as the low representation of minorities in many knowledge jobs in the region. At the same time, many of the region's immigrants, who add greatly to the region's diversity, are employed in the lowest rungs of the economy. The report stresses the urgency of increasing the region's number of highly skilled workers from diverse backgrounds.
 Admitted students will receive: $12,000 fellowships for STEM professionals wishing to become full-time secondary (Grades 7-12) mathematics or science teachers. Secondary teacher certification through a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree. The option to take 18 hours of graduate science or mathematics as part of the MAT degree to be qualified to teach post-high school science or mathematics courses. Quality field experiences by placing fellows with high-quality mentor teachers to ensure smooth transitions into full-time teaching. Ongoing professional development and support during the first four years of full-time teaching in a high-needs public school district. Ongoing collaboration with UHD faculty and teachers from UHD's existing Noyce Mathematics and Science Teacher Scholarship programs. $10,000 in supplemental stipends for each of the first four years of teaching after completing the MAT and passing the relevant state certification exams.