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Promoting Opportunities in STEM Teaching scholarship program

Augustana’s Promoting Opportunities in STEM Teaching (POST) scholarship program aims to serve the local, state, and national need to prepare quality teachers in secondary mathematics and science to work in high-needs school districts.

POST prepares undergraduate students who are earning B.A. degrees in mathematics, physics, biology, or chemistry to be successful in supporting the mathematics and science learning of secondary students in high-need schools.

The POST program partners with local school districts (Davenport Community Schools, Moline-Coal Valley School District, Rock Island-Milan District #41, and the United Township District 30), as well as schools in Chicago and Jamaica, in fostering meaningful teacher training sites with diverse, low income students.

Augustana’s POST scholars will receive rigorous learning experiences in their STEM disciplines and they will also be specially prepared to teach middle and high school students in our neediest schools. After graduation, POST scholars will receive extra support in locating a teaching job in a high-needs school district, particularly in our partnering Quad Cities districts.

The program will also connect graduates with professional mentors in their first two years of teaching.

Scholarships

Augustana’s POST program is funded by a grant from the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program, a funding source overseen by the National Science Foundation.

The average POST scholarship award is $20,000 per year for two years to support the cost of attendance for junior and senior year at Augustana College. Specific award amounts per scholar will vary from a minimum of $10,000 per year to a maximum of $30,000 per year. 

Factors that will influence the specific scholarship amount that a POST scholar will receive include demonstrated financial need, and other scholarships and grant funds to which the student has access (such as an Augustana scholarship award, an Illinois MAP grant, a Pell grant, other scholarship awards, etc.).

A scholar’s POST award cannot lead to a student earning scholarship support that exceeds the cost of attendance. “Cost of attendance” includes tuition, room and board, books, and fees.

Requirements

By accepting admission into the POST program, and accepting the POST scholarship funds, POST scholars will have the following commitments:

• Teach in a high-needs school for a minimum of four years after graduating from Augustana College. The definition of a high-needs school is provided at Frequently Asked Questions for Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program.

You can find information about percentages of low income students for all Illinois schools using the Illinois Report Card. Other states have similar databases. Our program encourages students to consider teaching in our partnering Quad Cities school districts, all of which meet the definition of “high-needs schools.”

• Conduct a disciplinary research project with STEM faculty during the summer between junior and senior year. Scholars will receive a stipend for this summer research experience (currently projected to be $3,000 for the summer, subject to change).

• In consultation with Augustana advisors, POST scholars will be required to participate in various professional development experiences that are supplemental to the standard teacher education program at Augustana.

This can include, but is not limited to, taking elective courses such as EDUC-217 (Urban Education), EDUC-262 (International Comparative Education: Jamaica), PHYS-111 (Understanding the Universe), and/or other appropriate courses; attending the annual Beginning Teachers Workshop and Celebration of Learning; participating in professional development experiences provided by our partnering schools, etc.

• Participate in all research and development activities that will be used to evaluate the POST program (e.g., complete surveys, respond to questionnaires, provide requested data, etc.).

• Maintain communication with POST program leaders for at least four years after graduation so that we can track your employment status, ensure that you are receiving mentorship in your job placement, follow-up with additional surveys, etc.

Eligibility

POST is a two-year program that is used to support students' junior and senior years at Augustana.  

Applications are due on April 1 preceding the applicant's junior year. Applicants must hold a major, or plan to declare a major, in one of Augustana's STEM secondary education majors (biology, chemistry, mathematics or physics).

Note that students who are strictly middle school education majors are not eligible.

POST scholars must be U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or hold refugee status in the United States.

How to apply

Applications for scholarships will be due on April 1 of the applicant's sophomore year.

Current Augustana students:

Submit an essay that responds to this prompt: Describe why you are a good fit for the POST program by explaining your interest in teaching in a high needs school in the future. Indicate how the POST program will support you in meeting this goal.

The essay should be emailed as an attachment (PDF or Word format) to Dr. Mike Egan. This essay will serve as your application, and it will also authorize the POST Program leaders to review your academic record at Augustana as we consider your application. You do not need to send a transcript.

Students transferring to Augustana as a junior in 2021-22:

1. Email the essay described above to to Dr. Mike Egan.

2. Send copies of all relevant college transcripts to Dr. Egan. Unofficial transcripts are acceptable for the initial application stage, but official transcripts sent directly to Augustana College from your earlier institution(s) will be required before a final acceptance decision can be made.

Unofficial transcripts can be emailed as PDF attachments to to Dr. Mike Egan, or hard copies can be mailed to Dr. Mike Egan, Augustana College, 639 38th St., Rock Island, Ill., 61201.

For more information, email or call Dr. Mike Egan, 309-794-8965.

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