MC Is Awarded 1.2 Million Dollar Grant

Montgomery College is aiming to prepare a generation of instructors through a new program entitled, MC NEXT STEM, which is funded by a $1.2 million dollar grant from the National Science Foundation.

The grant funds will be used to implement a five-year teaching initiative for courses in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines.

“This program is a wonderful step in the right direction. It will do its job at stimulating success,” said Debra Poese, Director of the School of Education.“Our ultimate goal is to increase the quality and quantity of K-12 teachers in the STEM field here in Moco, and this program does just that.”

The program will introduce undergraduate STEM majors to career opportunities in education, here in Montgomery County, and assist in their transfer to STEM teacher preparation programs at regional four-year institutions.

“Through the initiative we are able to recruit more broadly and set the stage for our recruits to become wonderful professors,” said Poese.

The program seeks to prepare STEM teachers from a diverse ethnic and socioeconomic background in order to accurately represent the students here in Montgomery County.

The uniqueness of this award is that it offers MC students the chance to explore opportunities to teach STEM classes in Montgomery County where there is a high demand for instructors in those specific areas.

Faculty from Montgomery College’s School of Education and STEM disciplines will lead the program as the grant serves for a period of five years.

“The most important thing is leaving a strong foundation to remain intact once the grant money has run out,” said Poese

The award is part of the National Science Foundation’s Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program that was designed to respond to the critical need for K-12 STEM teachers. MC NEXT STEM is the only community college-led Noyce project in the entire state of Maryland.

“Through the grant, we are able to fund new teachers who return to teach in the county with a stipend of $16,000 at the start of their employment,” said Poese.

Montgomery College was awarded the grant by exhibiting excellence in academia.

“MC shows consistent improvement in areas such as population, diversity, major availability, and much more,” said Poese.

Enhancing student achievement in Montgomery County has been the goal for educators for years. The MC NEXT STEM is a step in the right direction regarding overall success.