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BW, Ohio STEM scholarships launch math and science teaching careers in one year

The latest Choose Ohio First STEM scholarships, announced by the state Department of Higher Education this week, will support students in a Baldwin Wallace University master's degree program that prepares math and science teachers in just one year, with total program tuition now less than $4,000.

Nicolette KunathThe new BW Choose Ohio First STEM Teaching Scholars Program supports career changers who already have a bachelor's degree in math or science and want to teach in those disciplines.

"This latest round of Choose Ohio First funding - $500,000 over the next five years - provides critical financial support for BW students interested in teaching math or science and meets an urgent state need for qualified teachers," said Dr. Jim McCargar, associate dean of BW's School of Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Computing.

"Given the documented shortage of science and mathematics teachers, these programs represent a powerful means to educate and develop qualified teachers in an accelerated format," added Dr. Michael Smith, dean of BW's College of Education and Health Sciences.

Strong STEM scholar track record, incredible value

BW engineering students work in a thermodynamics and fluid mechanics lab.The new master's degree scholarships build on BW's successful undergraduate STEM Scholars program, which has attracted some 300 students into bachelor's degree programs in a range of science, technology, engineering and math programs since Choose Ohio First was launched in 2008.

The Choose Ohio First graduate scholarships, valued at more than $8,000 each, support eligible Ohio residents seeking a Master of Arts in Education (MAEd) in Science Teaching or Mathematics Teaching in BW's innovative 12-month programs.

The new grants are in addition to $4,000 awards available from BW's share of the just-announced Ohio Teacher Shortage scholarships, and BW is offering an additional $4,000 award to further reduce the cost.

Altogether, the three scholarships reduce the total cost of the $19,980 degree program below $4,000, making the program an incredible value.

Both full-time programs begin in May/June and prepare students to teach by the following summer. Seats are still available for the cohorts starting in May 2022, and interested candidates are encouraged to apply now.

Applied learning and mentorship model

Enrolled students enjoy an immersive experience with a full-year placement in a partner school district with five-days-per-week field experiences in local schools under the guidance of a mentor-teacher.Baldwin Wallace MAEd Science Teaching graduate Kendra Blackburn

Kendra Blackburn '16, MAEd '19, who served her MAEd internship and clinical placement at Berea-Midpark High School, found the field experience invaluable.

"The program allowed me to start taking over classes as soon as I felt comfortable, and I was able to start teaching very early on, just a few weeks into my placement. Because of this, I took on the primary teaching role for much longer than the standard 6-8 weeks that other programs implement," she explains. "This allowed me to develop better rapport with my students, manage my classes efficiently and receive crucial feedback from my mentor over an extended period of time."

Upon graduation, Blackburn landed a job teaching biology at Menlo Park Academy, Ohio's only tuition-free school for gifted children in grades K-8.

BW Choose Ohio First STEM Teaching Scholars will also receive specialized academic and career support through BW's STEM Scholars advisors.

Evolving to meet the need

BW is also moving to make the coursework available online beginning in 2023, further expanding the access to and reach of the program around the state, even in rural Ohio.

Program details can be found at BW MAEd Science Teaching and BW MAEd Mathematics Teaching.

About Choose Ohio First

Choose Ohio First logoThe Choose Ohio First scholarship program began in 2008 in an effort to increase the number of Ohio students enrolling in and successfully completing STEM programs at Ohio's public and independent colleges and universities.

The Ohio Department of Higher Education provides funding to Ohio's colleges and universities to support students in innovative academic programs. Participating universities and colleges award scholarships to students desiring a certificate, associate degree, baccalaureate degree or graduate degree in eligible STEM and STEM education fields.

All scholarship decisions are made by the individual participating colleges and universities. Find out more at BW STEM Scholars.

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