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Make a difference as a STEM teacher

Teachers have a unique opportunity to make a difference in the lives of kids. Teaching in a STEM field can allow you to stay connected with the discipline you love while inspiring children to see it as a possible option for their lives and careers.

The ISTEP-Noyce project at Saint Mary’s is designed to increase the number of secondary (grades 5 through 12) STEM teachers from diverse backgrounds committed to teaching in high-need schools through financial support, training, and mentoring.

Whether you’re a current undergraduate student — or have a STEM degree and want to pursue a Master of Arts in Teaching degree  — this program can help fund your education and prepare you to make a difference. 

By accepting the Noyce undergraduate scholarship, you agree to teach for two years for every one year of scholarship support in a high need school, according to a definition set by the National Science Foundation. For graduate students, you agree to teach for two years in a high need district in exchange for the stipend.

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  • Receive generous tuition support throughout your program:
    • Undergrad: Two years of scholarship support to meet unmet financial needs (approximately $18,000 annually)
    • Grad: A stipend of $19,500 to be applied over the course of your studies
  • Earn your master’s degree online while working full-time in as little as two years. Or you can earn it at the Winona Campus attending full-time in as little as one year. Our M.A. in Education program offers both initial MN licensing pathways and classroom teaching experience.
  • Post-graduation mentoring
  • Teach what you love. Math, biology and other biological sciences, chemistry, or physics.


What does it mean to teach in a high-need local educational agency?

The term “high-need local educational agency” is defined by the Higher Education Act of 1965 as a school district that has at least one school in which 50% of students are eligible for free or reduced lunch, 34% or more teachers are not licensed or certified or are teaching out-of-field, or there is a 15% or higher attrition rate for teachers within the last three years.

Noyce Scholar, Evelyn Sanchez wants to show future generations that everyone can learn STEM.

“I want to show my Mexican-American community that we can become STEM educators. I want to see more people like me, standing in front of the classroom.” 

Likewise, Simon Warmkagathje knows education is the way he can make a difference.

Kelsey Philipsek is working toward her M.A. in Teaching degree at Saint Mary’s, where she was recently named a Noyce Scholar.

“My goal is for students to realize that math isn’t a barrier to pursuing something that they want,” she said.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Undergraduates 

    • ISTEP-Noyce Scholars are Secondary Education majors in the fields of Biology, Chemistry, or Mathematics from diverse backgrounds who are currently underrepresented in STEM education. 
    • “Diverse backgrounds” includes: racial/ethnic diversity, gender diversity, first-generation college student status, and those who are Pell-eligible. 
    •  Most of the undergraduate experiences will happen on the Winona Campus. Scholars also will have opportunities to travel to other locations for experiences working with diverse populations.


    • ISTEP-Noyce Scholars are students who have STEM degrees and are pursuing a Master of Arts in Teaching degree to become a secondary education teacher in a STEM related field. Both initial Minnesota licensing pathways and classroom teaching experience are offered through this graduate teaching program.
    • You can earn your master’s degree in as little as one year at the Winona Campus, or in two to three years online while still working full time.

  • Undergraduates and graduates

    • Become a licensed MN Teacher
    • Teach at a high-need school for two years for each year of scholarship or stipend support

  • Applications now being accepted.  Please contact Dr. Jack McClure at 612-728-5216  or email for more application materials.