College of Education & Human Services


Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program

In partnership with the Department of Mathematics and Philosophy, Maurice G. Kellogg Science Education Center, Arlington and Arlene Seymour Center for Rural Education, and Blackhawk Community College, Western Illinois University offers full scholarships to 24 teacher education students in the STEM disciplines (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). Beginning in 2023 and through 2028, this opportunity has been made possible through a $1.4 million National Science Foundation (NSF) NOYCE STEM Teacher Scholarship Track I grant that has been received in partnership with these entities as well as five local high-needs school districts. Current members of the grant team include: Dr. Robert Mann (PI & Director), Dr. Susan Brooks (Coordinator & CO-PI), Mr. Jacob Winters, M.S. (CO-PI), Dr. Denny Barr (CO-PI), Dr. Jose Pavez (CO-PI), Dr. Kishor Kapale (Senior Personnel) & Dr. Sebastian Szyjka (CO-PI & Webmaster) For more information please contact

What is NOYCE?

The  Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program  is an NSF funded project that  provides funding to institutions of higher education to fund scholarships, stipends, and programmatic support to recruit and prepare STEM majors and professionals to become K-12 teachers. The program seeks to increase the number of K-12 teachers with strong STEM content knowledge who teach in high-need school districts.

Current NOYCE Scholars
  1. Megan Ward (Biology)
  2. Mathew Simpson (Mathematics)
  3. Olivia Luzzader (Biology)
  4. Paige Dykstra (Chemistry)
  5. Cheyenne Duchay (Mathematics)

Noyce Scholarship Students at Western Illinois must meet the following criteria for scholarship funding:

  • Must be classified as a junior or senior
  • Must be enrolled in a STEM discipline and secondary teaching license area 
  • Must have a 2.75 grade point average or higher throughout their time as a Noyce Scholar
  • Must agree to work for a minimum of 2 years in a high-needs school district for each year that the scholarship is accepted

Students in the NOYCE program participate in a wide variety of activities to prepare them to be effective educators, including a seminar on teaching in high-needs districts, STEM teaching workshops, summer research experiences, in-depth mentoring and advising, and test preparation for content exams. Additionally, interested students can participate in the new Learning Assistant program at Black Hawk College, use agreements to facilitate transfers, and receive support from an advisor. Upon graduation, scholarship recipients may also benefit from small grants for equipment, mentoring, conferences, development opportunities and other relevant expenses.

The project leadership will work closely with the WIU Office of Justice Inclusion Diversity and Equity (JIDE) to develop and implement a strategy for the pool of applicants.

What is a high needs school district?

High-needs district includes rural schools that have a high need for STEM teachers as well as districts with high poverty status. The term "a high-need local educational agency" as defined in section 201 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1021) means a local educational agency (school district) that serves an elementary or secondary school located in an area that is characterized by at least one of the following:

  • a high percentage (≥50%) of individuals from families with incomes below the poverty line;
  • a high percentage (≥35%) of secondary school teachers not teaching in the content area in which they were trained to teach; or
  • a high teacher turnover rate (≥15%/yr).
Workshops & Professional Events
  • Rates and Proportions or relationships? Density Workshop [February/March 2023 TBD]
  • Demystifying NGSS- Getting up to Speed on Current Classroom Practices in K-12 Science Education Workshop [January 17, 2023] 
  • Argument-Driven Inquiry Workshop [December 2, 2023]
  • Retention and Success of Teachers and Students via Cultural Relevance in STEM Education [October 20-22, 2023]
  • Illinois Council of Teachers of Mathematics Conference [October 7, 2023]
  • Data Analysis and Decision Making Workshop [September 30, 2023]
NOYCE Project Links & Resources




The Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program, authorized under the National Science Foundation responds to the critical need for K-12 teachers of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) by encouraging talented STEM students and professionals to pursue teaching careers in elementary and secondary schools. This material is based upon the work through the National Science Foundation under Award No. 2243323 (Press release link)