Photo: Emokr (Flickr)
A new group of future Indiana math and science teachers were introduced at a Statehouse ceremony Monday. They are part of a Fellowship program aimed at recruiting those with backgrounds in science, technology, engineering and math of the STEM fields.
The Woodrow Wilson Indiana Teaching Fellowships are offered to both recent college graduates and those making career changes. The recipients are given money to help complete a master’s degree program and commit to teaching three years in a high-need urban or rural Indiana secondary school.
JJ Rode is one of the newest fellows. Rode worked for years as a biologist helping farmers raise fish. When her job was eliminated, she went to teach biology at Ivy Tech Community College. She says getting the opportunity to participate in the fellows program is one of the best things that’s ever happened to her.
“Being able to work in a school where I’m really needed and where my schools at doing a lot with hardly anything will hopefully be useful – that’s what I’m really looking for,” she says.
Governor Daniels says more than 100 fellows are now teaching in Hoosier schools.
“All but one are still teaching and apparently many will continue on well beyond their commitment which shows you something about the way in which this program attracts and then fortifies the enthusiasm of some great people,” Daniels says.
More than half of the 2012 fellows group are college seniors graduating this year. About 38 percent are career changers who finished their undergraduate degrees more than five years ago.