Application deadline nears for UNL fellowship for aspiring math teachers

Professionals interested in securing a fellowship to complete a new University of Nebraska-Lincoln master's degree and teacher certification program geared toward improving mathematics education in Nebraska schools have until Jan. 21 to apply.

Through a National Science Foundation grant-supported program, UNL will award eight fellowships that will cover tuition and fees as well as provide a $20,000 stipend during the 14-month graduate program. Recipients, who will earn a master of arts degree with emphasis in mathematics teaching, also will receive a $10,000 annual stipend in addition to their teacher's salary while they fulfill a four-year commitment to teach mathematics in a "high-need" Nebraska 7-12 school. All together, fellowship recipients will receive more than $74,000 in aid.

"This is an exceptional opportunity not just because of the substantial financial support involved, but because this fellowship stands to propel talented individuals to direct their real-world experiences, passion for mathematics and newly acquired skills toward a fulfilling career that will have a lasting impact on generations of students throughout Nebraska," said Jim Lewis, director of UNL's Center for Science, Mathematics and Computer Education.

Coursework for the new master's program will begin in June. A second group of eight fellowships will be awarded in 2012.

Fellowship applicants must have earned a degree in mathematics, science, engineering or technology by June and must demonstrate outstanding knowledge of mathematics on the nationally recognized Praxis II exams for high school mathematics teachers. Prospective applicants have until Dec. 16 to register for the exams without incurring a late fee.

Details about the Robert Noyce NSF Teaching Fellowship, including applications, complete eligibility information and details about the Praxis II exam schedule are available at

Participation in the master's program isn't limited to fellows. Those who want to complete the program at their own expense have until March 1 to apply.

The fellowship is one of three programs supported by grants from the National Science Foundation's Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship program, which responds to the critical need for K-12 teachers of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. A second program focuses on preparing science teachers and a third will work with exceptional, master's-degree holding mathematics teachers. All three programs include a requirement that recipients teach in "high-need" schools, meaning schools that educate a large percentage of students living in poverty.

Robert Noyce helped found Intel and has been credited with helping invent the integrated circuit, which sparked the personal computer revolution. He cared deeply about ensuring that future generations could meet the high-technological challenges of the 21st century.

The three programs are part of a campuswide commitment to excellence in math and science teacher education led by the colleges of Education and Human Sciences, Arts and Sciences, and Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.