College of Education & Human Services


Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program

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. The NOYCE program at Western Illinois University has a secondary education focus.


As part of the NOYCE grant at WIU, we are offering significant scholarships to juniors majoring in STEM fields and seeking a teaching license. NOYCE scholars can earn a maximum of $8000 per semester for up to 5 semesters with scholarships totaling nearly $40,000 for the duration of their program. Scholarship money can cover tuition, fees, room and board, books as well as other college related costs. 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. Jose Pavez (CO-PI), Dr. Kishor Kapale (Senior Personnel) & Dr. Sebastian Szyjka (CO-PI & Webmaster). Click on one of the boxes above or below to learn more about the NOYCE project at Western Illinois University. 

Applications for the fall 2024 scholarships is opened until July 1, 2024. For more information please contact

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 (≥20%) 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)
  • has a high teacher turnover rate or a high percentage of teachers with emergency, provisional, or temporary certification of licensure
  • a demonstrated need for STEM teachers

Current NOYCE Scholars

Megan Ward Biology Lewiston, Illinois August 2023  
Matthew Simpson Mathematics Monee, Illinois August 2023  
Olivia Luzzadder Biology Flora, Illinois August 2023  
Paige Dykstra Chemistry Fulton, Illinois January 2024  
Cheyenne Duchay Mathematics Rock Falls, Illinois January 2024  
Marie Nelson Biology Bolingbrook, Illinois August 2024  
Andrew Hauser Biology Aurora, Illinois August 2024  

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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