Davenport University Scholarships to Train STEM Teachers in GRPS

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — In an effort to help train more teachers, Davenport University and Grand Rapids Public Schools are teaming up to create 75 new annual scholarships.

The goal is to create a pipeline of science, technology, engineering, and math teachers to GRPS, which like other districts across the state and nation, has had a hard to find enough teachers.

“The goal of our program, Urban STEM Education, is to provide students entering primary or secondary school with in-depth knowledge of content in STEM fields,” said Susan Gunn, Dean of the College of Urban Education. “It’s really important that they not only have that knowledge, but that they can apply that knowledge in a culturally appropriate way.”

Recipients of the STEM scholarship will receive up to $12,000 per year toward a bachelor’s degree from Davenport College of Urban Education. The scholarship is renewable each year for four years and can be used to pay for tuition, books, accommodation and more.

The 75 scholarships are supposed to be distributed equally among current students, staff and parents within the GRPS. Recipients may not have attended Davenport in the past year.

“We aim for the engagement of all stakeholders: students, staff and community members, and it’s really a concept of personal development. I’m really excited to see us expand this with our longest-serving partner, Grand Rapids Public Schools, and in the future with other partners as well,” Gunn said.

Davenport says he offers a similar program to 10 districts across the state, but GRPS is the first to get on board.

“Our goal is to provide the entire state with qualified and enthusiastic new teachers who are truly deeply involved in STEM. There is a lot of depth and knowledge in math and science, technology, etc. said Richard Pappas, president of the University of Davenport. “Eventually, we want to be in every school district that wants us.”

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