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Wayne State Offers STEM Grads $30K To Make A Difference In Detroit

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Wayne State University is encouraging college seniors, recent graduates and career changers from science, mathematics or engineering to become teachers in Detroit’s neediest schools.

Funded by a $16.7 million Kellogg Foundation grant and administered by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Woodrow Wilson Michigan Teaching Fellowships will provide stipends of $30,000 to get certified in 14 months and then finish their MAT the following year while doing their first year of teaching.

In exchange, Fellows must commit to teach in a high-need urban or rural secondary school upon completing the program and obtaining a teaching certificate.

The program intends to prepare 240 new math and science teachers to give almost 20,000 Michigan public secondary-school students the high-quality science, technology, engineering and math education they will need to succeed in their future careers.

Wayne State is one of six Michigan universities — including Eastern Michigan University, Grand Valley State University, Michigan State University, The University of Michigan and Western Michigan University — chosen by the Woodrow Wilson Foundation to participate in this program, based on the reputation and resources of its College of Education.

The WKKF-WW Michigan Teaching Fellowship is open to college seniors, recent graduates, retirees, career changers or anyone with a science, technology, engineering or math degree. Interested candidates may choose between two application deadlines: Dec. 1, 2010 and Jan. 12, 2011.

Applicants must be U.S. citizens; attain a bachelor’s degree from an accredited U.S. institution by June 30, 2011; have a major or strong background in science, technology, engineering or math; and have an undergraduate grade-point average of 3.0 or better on a scale of 4.0.

At Wayne State, WKKF-WW Michigan Teaching Fellowship recipients receive a secondary teaching certificate through the MAT program in biology, chemistry, physics, earth/space or mathematics. According to the director of the program at Wayne State, Maria Ferreira, associate professor and coordinator of the science education program, the WKKF-WW Michigan Teaching Fellowship prepares teachers much like medical schools prepare doctors.

From the beginning, Fellows will work in classrooms, learning how to convey complicated scientific or technical ideas to teenagers, many of whom will be from disadvantaged backgrounds. They will test their own classroom skills with a veteran teacher to help them refine what they do. These “clinical” experiences parallel a proven model for educating physicians that is used throughout the nation’s medical schools. Fellows also will attend university seminars that build on classroom work while incorporating ideas from their disciplines.

“Clinically-based programs like the Fellowship are key to improving the quality of teacher education as well as the academic performance of students in urban schools,” said Wayne State University Provost Ronald T. Brown. “This is a great opportunity both for the teachers who make this commitment and the children who will benefit from their hard work.”

The first cohort of Wayne State Fellows will complete teacher certification work in spring 2012 and enter the workforce a few months later. During their first year of teaching they will complete additional course work toward their master’s degree. Teachers are uniquely positioned to make a difference in the lives of children, and the WKKF-WW Michigan Teaching Fellowship presents an opportunity for dedicated individuals to combine a rewarding career with valuable community service.

More information about the WKKF-WW Michigan Teaching Fellowship, criteria for admission and how to apply is available online at www.wwteachingfellowship.org.

(c) 2010, WWJ Newsradio 950. All rights reserved.

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