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Press Release for Monday, April 17, 2017

University of North Florida Awarded $1.4M National Science Foundation Grant

Media Contact: Joanna Norris, Director
Department of Public Relations
(904) 620-2102

 The University of North Florida has been awarded a $1.4 million grant from the National Science Foundation’s Robert Noyce Fellowship, which will support the Jacksonville Teacher Residency, a program in UNF’s College of Education and Human Services.

“The NSF awards are highly competitive and prestigious. By being selected to receive this award, the National Science Foundation recognizes the important work that DCPS and UNF are doing together. We are truly partners in the work of improving education by strengthening student and teacher learning,” said Dr. Diane Yendol-Hoppey, COEHS dean.

The Jacksonville Teacher Residency is a teacher preparation program for graduates of science, technology, engineering and math disciplines who want to become math or science teachers in urban secondary schools in Duval County Public Schools. The program prepares AmeriCorps Residents for a teaching career through a yearlong teaching apprenticeship in a Duval County urban school as they complete a Master of Arts in Teaching degree from the University.

The principal investigator is Dr. Wanda Lastrapes, University program director for the Jacksonville Teacher Residency, while the co-principal investigators include Drs. Dale Cassamatta, professor in the Coastal and Marine Biology Flagship Program; KoSze Lee, assistant professor, and Brian Zoellner, assistant professor, both in the Department of Foundations and Secondary Education; and Pali Sen, professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics.

“We’re honored to receive this support for JTR from the prestigious National Science Foundation. This grant will allow us to broaden and deepen our preparation and support of new math and science secondary teachers,” said Lastrapes. “Faculty from the COEHS and College of Arts and Sciences will explore innovative strategies to make STEM relevant and engaging for students in Duval County high-needs urban schools.”

The grant will support 15 members of JTR’s fourth cohort by providing a living stipend during the apprenticeship year; funding collaboration between faculty in UNF’s COEHS and COAS to deepen math and science content and instructional practices; and providing an induction and professional development program to support the new teachers in their first four years of teaching. The Noyce Fellows will receive a $10,000 salary supplement to support their work during the induction program.

During the 2016-17 school year, JTR AmeriCorps Residents served 537 students in Duval County public middle and high schools. 78 percent of students who completed services demonstrated growth of at least one achievement level in math.

JTR is a partnership between UNF and Duval County Public Schools, with support by the Jacksonville Public Education Fund. It was created in 2014 and has prepared 26 secondary math and science teachers for Duval’s urban schools, namely middle and high schools, in the Raines, Ribault and Jackson feeder schools.

The mission of the JTR program is to recruit, prepare and retain a diverse population of highly effective teachers who serve in high needs schools to ensure that Duval County students are college and career ready.

UNF, a nationally ranked university located on an environmentally beautiful campus, offers students who are dedicated to enriching the lives of others the opportunity to build their own futures through a well-rounded education.