BSU Offers Two-Year Tuition Scholarships to Address Demand for Math Teachers

Math Foundations Class with Frauenholtz (right). Photo taken prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Math Foundations Class with Frauenholtz (right). Photo taken prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bemidji State University is helping high-need schools in northern Minnesota address a critical shortage of mathematics teachers by offering full, grant-funded scholarships to more than a dozen math education majors.

The initiative is funded by a $1,813,687 grant from the National Science Foundation’s Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program, which provides resources for higher education institutions to recruit and train science, technology, engineering and mathematics teachers for K-12 schools.

The grant funded its first cohort of ten students in Fall 2021 and Bemidji State is now seeking applicants for the Fall 2022 Noyce scholar cohort. Scholarship funds are limited to two years. All students who want to teach math and can complete the math & math education double major in two years are eligible to apply.

Students who are accepted as Noyce Scholars at Bemidji State will receive full-tuition scholarships in addition to a stipend which will offset the cost of books, housing and professional development conferences. In addition to helping students achieve their goals, Dr. Todd Frauenholtz, professor of mathematics, said the scholarship program also benefit both BSU and northern Minnesota’s K-12 schools.

“They have a need for math teachers, and we are interested in getting more teachers out there,” he said.

BSU’s scholars also receive specialized training in teaching diverse K-12 student populations through coursework and other educational opportunities. Some of this training comes through a partnership with Peacemaker Resources, a Bemidji-based non-profit which focuses on building respectful relationships and healthy communities through communication, compassion and connection.

“Peacemaker Resources works with students and teachers across the region,” Dr. Jenna O’Dell, assistant professor of math, said. “They will work with our pre-service teachers and train them how to successfully work with high-need students and support their learning.”

During their time at Bemidji State, Noyce scholars engage in two six-hour workshops with Peacemaker Resources’ social and emotional learning specialists throughout their academic years at Bemidji State.

Additionally, each Noyce Scholar is paired with a local teacher mentor who provides guidance and support, both while scholars earn their degrees at Bemidji State and through the first two years of their professional careers after graduation.

After graduating and receiving a Minnesota teaching license, Noyce Scholars will continue to meet with their BSU faculty advisers and Peacemaker Resources monthly to ensure they have the support they need to succeed.

Applications for the Fall 2022 cohort are due on Feb. 1 at 11:59 p.m. Scholar applicants must be accepted to Bemidji State to submit an application. New students can verify admission status by logging the application portal.

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