SJC Joins Independent Colleges of Indiana in Training STEM Teachers

July 25, 2014

The Independent Colleges of Indiana (ICI) has received a $1.5 million grant from the state of Indiana’s STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) Teacher Recruitment Fund. Approved by the 2013 General Assembly, the grant program encourages the recruitment and retention of teachers in STEM fields.

With the grant, Indiana’s 31 independent, nonprofit colleges and universities will collaborate to train more STEM teachers by strengthening STEM preparation for pre-service teachers to become licensed in STEM subjects; expanding STEM graduate course opportunities for teachers to complete licensing requirements in STEM subjects; and organizing course and other training for teachers to become certified to teach STEM dual credit courses.

As an institutional participant of STEM Teach, Saint Joseph’s College will offer a Forensic Entomology course to K-12 teachers, including teachers preparing to be certified to teach dual credit at the high school level. Tuition is waived for participating teachers, who will also receive a $400 completion award for successfully completing the course as well as a stipend for course materials and books. The course will be held during the Fall semester of the 2014-15 academic year.

The Forensic Entomology course covers taxonomy of the carrion insects with extensive time dedicated to identification of the flies. Case analyses, preparation for court, and maintaining the chain of custody are also covered. The course is meant to enhance the understanding and perceptions of this specialized field of forensic science. SJC Professor of Forensic Science and Biology Dr. Neal Haskell, an internationally acclaimed scientist and key expert witness in the 2012 Casey Anthony trial, will teach the course.

More than 115,000 new STEM jobs are projected for Indiana by 2018, with 40 percent requiring post-secondary education leading to an associate’s degree, and 60% requiring a four-year degree. More than 200 Indiana teachers have already registered for Fall 2014 courses and workshops at ICI colleges. 

"Our employers tell us that tomorrow’s workers need more STEM skills, and Indiana’s goal is to identify and encourage quality teachers to broaden our students’ learning experiences,” said Indiana Governor Mike Pence. "Continuing to recruit top educators and expand our students’ options will not only enhance the outstanding work of our teachers, but will also help our students as they make decisions about future career opportunities.”

Named a "character-building college" by the Templeton Foundation, a "Best Midwestern College" by the Princeton Review, and “Best Value” and "Best Midwestern College" by US News & World Report, Saint Joseph's College is a four-year, Catholic college offering 27 majors, 4 group majors, 35 minors, and 9 pre-professional programs, complemented by the nationally acclaimed Core Program. Founded and sponsored by the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, SJC is located in Rensselaer, Indiana, approximately 90 minutes from both Chicago and Indianapolis, on a park-like campus of 180 acres and has an enrollment of nearly 1,200 students.

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