1. Am I an eligible candidate?

You are eligible if you meet the following criteria. You have:

  • an undergraduate degree* in a STEM area (math, science, engineering, or computer science) with a minimum GPA of 2.5
  • high interest in teaching at the secondary level (grades 6-12)
  • commitment to teaching in a high-priority urban setting
  • be a U.S. citizen or national or permanent resident alien

*If you are currently an undergraduate at Vanderbilt University or Fisk University and you are pursuing a major in a STEM area, you may apply to be a Vanderbilt Noyce scholar at the end of your junior year. If accepted, you will start your first year as a Vanderbilt Noyce scholar in your senior year. With summer coursework you can finish with an MEd and licensure in secondary education in one additional year.

2. What does the Vanderbilt Noyce Scholarship offer?

  • Teaching licensure in a secondary (grades 6-12) STEM content area (math/science – biology, physics, earth, chemistry)
  • A generous stipend to help defray costs
3. How much of your tuition does Noyce fund?
Vanderbilt scholarships are allotted to reduce your tuition directly. Noyce provides paid stipends that come monthly. You are welcome (and encouraged) to put as much of that back toward tuition as you can. The value of the Noyce funding is currently around 50% of the value of tuition- but because these are two different funding sources
(NSF and Vanderbilt), it’s not a direct % of tuition.  

4. What are the coursework and licensure requirements of a Vanderbilt Noyce Scholar?

  • All Vanderbilt Noyce scholars will need to complete coursework to meet MEd and/or secondary education licensure requirements. Most of the traditional coursework is included in the first year of the program, yet the specific courses will depend on the Noyce track the scholar is on (either pursuing an MEd and licensure or just licensure). In the second year of the program, Vanderbilt Noyce scholars will be in schools full time but they will still be supported by content-specific methods courses and a monthly urban seminar.
  • edTPA Completion: To receive secondary education licensure, all Noyce scholars will complete the edTPA, the culminating licensure assessment, at the end of their second year in the program.
  • Capstone Completion: For those Noyce scholars who are receiving an MEd, they will complete a research project in the second year of the program.
5. What is edTPA?
Every licensure program has a culminating assessment. edTPA is currently the most common, and you’ll work on it starting in the fall and it will be placed in your teaching placement and its primary focus January-March. You’ll plan a mini unit, record it, and then reflect on what you learned.  

6. What is the teaching commitment?

All Vanderbilt Noyce scholars are expected to teach in high-priority schools for two years for every year of stipend money received. Vanderbilt Noyce scholars will be required to pay back a portion of the scholarship if he or she does not teach in a high needs urban school district.

7. What is a high needs school district?

A high needs school district is defined as a local educational agency (school district) that serves an elementary or secondary school located in an area which is characterized by at least one of the following:

    (A) a high percentage of individuals from families with incomes below the poverty line;
    (B) a high percentage of secondary school teachers not teaching in the content area in which they were trained to teach; or
    (C) a high teacher turnover rate.

The Metropolitan Nashville Public School system qualifies under one or more of these criteria; however, it is the responsibility of each Vanderbilt Noyce scholar to confirm that the hiring district qualifies under these conditions.

8. When we are given a school placement, will we have a mentor teacher?
Yes! This is an important part of the process. In some cases you have multiple and in some cases you have a 1:1 placement.