University awarded $500,000 math and science teaching grant

Valparaiso University has received a $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to increase the number of graduates in the science and math teaching disciplines, with the goal of enhancing the quality of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education in Northwest Indiana and nationwide.

“This grant will help Valpo develop the next generation of teachers in mathematics and science who will be nurturing the future scientists and engineers in our country,” said Valparaiso University President Mark A. Heckler. “We greatly appreciate the National Science Foundation’s support. This investment in mathematics and science teacher training is an investment in making our region and nation more competitive on the world stage.”

The five-year project, entitled “Mathematics and Science Education Enrollment and Development (MSEED) Program,” will be led by three Valpo professors, Gary Morris, Delphina Hopkins-Gillispie, and Robert Clark.

Morris, associate dean of arts & sciences, said the program will recruit a diverse population of 75 students who have a specific interest in pursuing a career teaching mathematics and/or science.

“The MSEED Program addresses America’s growing need for students trained in math and science fields by graduating students in four years who earn both a Bachelor of Science in a STEM field and teacher licensure,” said Clark, assistant professor of chemistry.

Key objectives of Valpo’s MSEED program include:
• Involvement of MSEED students in research and curriculum development.
• Preparation of high-quality math and science teachers with a proven ability to positively influence student learning.
• Graduation of all MSEED students with a Bachelor of Science in a STEM field and teaching licensure in four years.
• Development and implementation of new assessment instruments that explore the impact of engagement in research on the quality of high school teaching.

“The support we received from school districts throughout Northwest Indiana demonstrates the recognized need for math and science teachers,” said Hopkins-Gillispie, assistant professor of education. “With extensive mentoring from Valpo’s faculty, hands-on experiences year-round, a well-defined core curriculum, and a dual degree, MSEED graduates should be very competitive candidates in the job market.”

For more information about the MSEED program, please send your inquiries to