Noyce Capacity Building Project

This Capacity Building project at Bellarmine University, supported by the National Science Foundation’s Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program, aims to address the critical shortage of certified STEM teachers in the local public schools by strengthening STEM teacher education pathways in Kentucky by bringing together the key stakeholders to build and strengthen the infrastructure, by forming new partnerships, recruitment pipelines, and retention strategies that will lead to increasing the number of STEM teachers in high-need schools in the targeted STEM fields. 

This project will enable Bellarmine University to develop and implement an Early Entry Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program so that STEM undergraduate students can obtain a teaching certification with one additional year of study after obtaining their undergraduate STEM degree.  We will also develop partnerships with KCTCS community colleges to facilitate transfer of community college students to the University and their successful completion of both a STEM bachelor's degree and a MAT degree. By streamlining the teacher certification program and developing partnerships to increase access to the institution's MAT program, this project has the potential to increase the number of highly-qualified STEM teachers in high-need K-12 STEM classrooms in Kentucky.

This project involves collaborations with Bluegrass Community and Technical College, Jefferson Community and Technical College, Jefferson County Public Schools (29th largest school district in the nation), JCPS’s STEM Academic of Louisville, and the Kentucky Science Center. The project aims to accomplish the following goals: (1) develop an early-start MAT certification for STEM undergraduates; (2) develop a recruitment pipeline and support system throughout Bellarmine University's STEM teacher education program via partnership agreements with the collaborating community colleges and school district; (3) develop a partnership agreement with the school district to hire future STEM teachers produced by a subsequent project; (4) develop a STEM summer camp and internship agreement with the Kentucky Science Center for STEM undergraduates and MAT students; and (5) develop a plan to recruit, prepare, and support new STEM teachers in high-need school districts, thus expanding and diversifying the pool of new STEM teacher candidates.

This project comes at a critical time in Kentucky because of changing student demographics, critical industry needs in STEM, and the state's adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards, which have a strong K-12 STEM curriculum. In addition to benefitting a high-need school district in Kentucky, this project is expected to contribute to national efforts in STEM teacher education and serve as a model for other states with similar needs in STEM education.

Process graphic: recruitment - engagement - preparation - placement - retention
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This capacity building project titled – Strengthening STEM Teacher Education Pathways in Kentucky with Collaborative Partnerships is funded by the National Science Foundation (Grant #1852898). For more information about this project contact – Dr. Akhtar Mahmood ( or Dr. Kristin Cook (