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RCCC gets grant from National Science Foundation

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, in partnership with Catawba College, has received a grant from the Robert Noyce Scholarship Program of the National Science Foundation that will provide five years of support for scholarships and internships that help prepare science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) majors for teaching careers. The Rowan-Cabarrus piece of the grant of $329,298 will go toward establishing exploratory internships designed to increase awareness of teaching careers for STEM majors.
Internships must involve both STEM and some form of education. For example, interns may assist science teachers or serve as tour guides at Discovery Place or Catawba’s Center for the Environment.
“It is both an honor and a privilege to be awarded this grant from the National Science Foundation,” said Dr. Carol S. Spalding, president of Rowan-Cabarrus. “The National Science Foundation has clearly seen the tenacity and innovation that our STEM faculty apply in their work every day. I am very proud of Rowan-Cabarrus and our continued commitment to STEM careers.”
The project, “The Exploratory Internship,” provides paid internships for up to 60 freshmen and sophomore students pursuing STEM majors at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College. Student interns will experience teaching and may be recruited to pursue a career in K-12 education. Catawba College’s portion of the project supports 18 STEM majors with $18,000 scholarships in their junior and senior years of college to enroll in a major with a STEM discipline and licensure in teaching.
“This grant will allow us to attract students interested in STEM into a teaching profession,” said Dr. Marcy Corjay, dean of science, biotechnology, mathematics and information technologies at Rowan-Cabarrus. “We need folks on the ground who are excited about STEM and who are therefore effective teachers of STEM. The United States is at a critical state right now as far as being able to produce STEM graduates and teachers.”
The Noyce Program seeks to encourage talented science, technology, engineering and mathematics majors and professionals to become K-12 mathematics and science teachers. The Noyce Scholarship Track provides funds to institutions of higher education to support scholarships, stipends and academic programs for undergraduate STEM majors and post-baccalaureate students holding STEM degrees who earn a teaching credential and commit to teaching in high-need K-12 school districts.
The grant period began Oct. 1 and expires Sept. 30.
“The beauty of the program is that it provides a paid internship for the students, but the company sponsoring the intern also gets compensated,” said Corjay.
For more information about Rowan-Cabarrus and how to apply and register for spring 2013 classes, please call 704-216-7222 or visit www.rccc.edu.

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