Austin College receives $1.2 million grant

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SHERMAN, Texas (KXII) -- With superintendents at local school districts looking to keep qualified teachers in their classrooms, they teamed up with Austin College to create a grant to benefit both sides.

On Tuesday, Austin College announced the new Noyce grant from the National Science Foundation that gives the school $1.2 million.

"What this grant allows is for us to recruit people to Austin College, train them, and put them back to local schools," Austin College faculty member Sandy Philipose said. "So they seem to really align well with that need that the superintendents had stated a year ago."

This will provide 11 Austin College students scholarship money to those who are studying to be math, science, technology, or engineering teachers in their STEM program.

Students can receive up to $77,000 as early as their junior year and have students in the STEM program teach in the Texoma area instead of teaching elsewhere.

One of the big factors in the grant is how it will help recruit students from local high schools and the college itself to join the STEM program.

"Its purpose is to really encourage talented students in science and math to consider teaching as a career," Philipose said.

Students like Connor Carnes who is a freshman at the college looking to potentially pursue a teaching degree was influenced by the new STEM grant to attend Austin College.

"I'd say that was one reason and growing up with Austin graduates from the local high school was also one of the reasons that influenced me to come," Carnes said.

This also allows the college to help relieve the financial burden of school from their students.

"Financial aid and financial need, it's really important for our students to be able to continue their education," Austin College faculty member Brittany Derebery said. "So this is just one more step in making it easier for them."

With financial relief and a promising teaching future on the rise, Austin College will see more students opening their textbooks to teach future Texoma students.

If you would like to learn more about the STEM program or the new grant at Austin College, you can head on over to their website at austincollege.edu.