College Awarded $40K Grant to Prepare STEM Teachers
Campus News

Franklin College announced today it has been awarded a $40,000 grant from the Indiana Commission for Higher Education for the 2021 STEM Teacher Recruitment Fund Grant Request. The grant will fund Franklin College’s program: Preparing STEM Teachers as Competent, Caring Decision Makers.

According to the Commission’s website, the grants are awarded to Indiana organizations and colleges to support programs that recruit, prepare, place and retain educators in schools with teacher shortages in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) subject areas. “For Indiana to have a competitive, skilled workforce for the jobs of today and tomorrow, there must be a strong pipeline of students pursuing STEM fields,” said Indiana’s Higher Education Commissioner Teresa Lubbers. “Teachers play a critical role in getting students interested in these fields and preparing them to be successful to pursue them after high school.”

During year one of the two-year grant, Franklin College will use grant funds to support approximately nine pre-service teachers at the college and nine in-service teachers at Franklin Community Schools, explained Amanda Henry, Franklin College education technology specialist.  The following year, it is anticipated that grant funds will support approximately 20 pre-service teachers at the college and 20 in-service teachers at Franklin Community Schools, with the potential of supporting more in the Transition to Teaching Secondary Education Program. After completion of the second year, approximately 60 STEM teachers will be added to Indiana schools, increasing the pool of high-quality STEM teachers in the state.

The funds will be used to enhance current STEM teaching coursework with additional hands-on tools and materials as part of a STEM lending library to be used by educators during coursework and clinical field experiences. As part of its partnerships with Franklin Community Schools, Franklin College will also support teachers in obtaining STEM Essential Teaching Certificates from the National Institute for STEM Education. The STEM Essentials certificate focuses on 12 essential STEM teaching practices, including: scientific argumentation, engineering solutions, technology integration and project-based learning.

The state has invested over $28 million in STEM teacher recruitment and supported over 1,500 new educators in high demand STEM fields since the program’s inception in 2015. Franklin College was notified of its winning proposal in August 2021, and implementation of the program began immediately with the start of the fall semester in senior-level coursework and clinical experiences.

“Along with enhancing the affiliation partnerships with schools in Johnson County, a focus on STEM teaching will allow additional partnerships to develop,” said Cindy Prather, Franklin College director of teacher education. “The Center for Technology Innovation at Franklin College will serve as another way for pre-service teachers to develop STEM teaching skills and potentially recruit new students into STEM teaching. Local industry partners in STEM sectors can be identified and community partnerships formed.”

For more information, please contact the Franklin College Office of Communications at (317) 738-8185.

About the Indiana Commission for Higher Education

Created in 1971 the Indiana Commission for Higher Education plans, coordinates and defines Indiana’s postsecondary education system to align higher learning with the needs of students and the state. The Commission also administers Indiana’s financial aid programs, including the 21st Century Scholars early college promise scholarship, which celebrated 30 years in 202. For more information, visit:

POSTED Sep 24, 2021