In an effort to address the shortage of effective science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) teachers in rural schools, Fort Hays State University has received a $1.45 million grant from the National Science Foundation’s Robert Noice program. This comes as the Kansas State Department of Education reported that Kansas’ science teacher shortage ranks fifth in the fall of 2023.

To address this challenge, FHSU’s Robert Noice Certified Rural Enhanced STEM Teacher (CREST) Scholarship Program aims to recruit and provide scholarship tuition for 29 STEM students, resulting in 29 STEM teachers for underserved rural areas. The project will work closely with community colleges such as Barton Community College, Colby Community College, Dodge City Community College, Garden City Community College and Seward County Community College to recruit students to FHSU for STEM/secondary education.

Those transferring to FHSU will be eligible for approximately $30,000 in scholarship funds to complete their degrees. Transfer students and those starting their degrees at FHSU are also eligible for scholarships. A key component of the project is the development of a certificate program to prepare STEM teachers to work in rural schools. FHSU is committed to filling the gap in the shortage of STEM teachers in rural areas and providing a quality education for students in these underserved communities.

By Samantha Johnson

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