In March 2020, Concordia College was awarded a $1.2 million Robert Noyce Teaching Scholarship grant to implement the Mathematics Teacher-Leaders Honors Program. The goals of this program are to address the critical shortage of mathematics teachers in rural school districts in Minnesota and North Dakota and produce teachers who will be leaders in both their schools and in the field of mathematics education. Concordia will produce 16 highly qualified mathematics teacher-leaders within five years, with degrees in both mathematics and education, who will work in high-need schools. These 16 students will receive scholarships during their junior and senior years.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 "to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense ..." NSF funds research conducted at U.S. colleges and universities.

Robert Noyce (1927-1990) co-founded Fairchild Semiconductor and Intel. He invented the integrated circuit or microchip, which set off the computing revolution that still continues to this day.

  1. Scholars will complete the requirements to major in both mathematics and education.
  2. Scholars will work part-time in the Moorhead Public Schools during their junior and senior years. They will receive a salary for this work.
  3. Scholars will have a weeklong internship at the superintendent's office.
  4. Scholars will be funded to attend national (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, NCTM) and local (Minnesota Council of Teachers of Mathematics, MCTM) mathematics education conferences.
  5. Scholars will attend seminars on statistics education, modeling, robotics, and other important topics. Scholars are required to take CS 125.
  6. Scholars will conduct research on a topic of choice (mathematics and education)
  7. Scholars will conceptualize and implement a Math Day Event at Concordia.
  8. Scholars will receive one-to-one mentorship during their first two years of teaching.
  1. Scholars will receive up to $21,000 in scholarship per year (junior and senior years only) to cover the cost of attendance at Concordia. This is on top of any other scholarships received from Concordia.
  2. Scholars will receive a salary for their internship work at Moorhead Public Schools.
  3. Conferences and travel expenses will be covered.

Students who are passionate, hard-working, and driven to make a difference in their communities should consider this program.

Students do not need to be a declared mathematics or education major when they apply. Once accepted into the program, they must complete the requirements for both majors.

  1. Must be a U.S. citizen, national, or permanent resident
  2. Incoming freshman, freshman, or sophomore student
  3. Double major in mathematics and education
  4. Maintain a mathematics GPA of at least 3.0
  5. Maintain an overall GPA of at least 3.3
  6. Completion of the American Education in a Diverse World course (EDUC 212) including the 30-hour clinical experience with a grade of at least B+
  7. Observation report from cooperating teacher during the American Education in a Diverse World course (EDUC 212)
  8. Participation in surveys and interviews for the research component of this program

In exchange for receiving the scholarship, scholars are obligated to teach in a “high-need” school district for four years within eight years of graduation. If this requirement is not met, the scholarship is converted into a loan. This amount will be prorated based on the amount of teaching years completed (e.g., for two years completed, 50% of tuition scholarship must be repaid).

Scholars are also required to participate in the research component of this project. This entails classroom observation by the mentor and project director, data collection from the principal and school, and interview participation.

NSF requires demographic data on scholars to be submitted regularly.

The term high-need local educational agency as defined in section 201 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1021) means a local educational agency (for example, a school district) that serves an elementary or secondary school located in an area that is characterized by at least one of the following:

  1. A high percentage of individuals from families with incomes below the poverty line;
  2. A high percentage of secondary school teachers not teaching in the content area in which they were trained to teach; or
  3. A high teacher turnover rate.

You may find a list of schools that fall under category 1 from the Teacher Cancellation Low Income Directory.

Contact Dr. Mark Causapin to check if a specific school is in a “high-need” district.

If a scholar decides to withdraw from the program while still at Concordia, the tuition scholarship provided up to that point will be converted into a loan to be repaid in full after graduation.

Scholars (current students in 2020-21 and those entering in Fall 2021) may choose to participate in the Cobber Flex Year and receive up to two consecutive tuition-free semesters of study at Concordia College. Scholars must complete all the components of the Math Teacher-Leader Honors program within two years prior to starting the first Cobber Flex semester together with their cohort. Upon graduation, scholars will move on to the induction phase of the program.

Applicants must submit the following:

  1. Three recommendation letters from qualified references who can speak to the candidate’s potential for success as a teacher and/or the candidate’s sense of mission regarding working in high-need environments
  2. A written statement describing his or her motivation to work in a high-need school and his or her past experiences working in similar types of environments
  3. Additionally, an 85% grade or equivalent in Algebra II, Precalculus, or AP Calculus if applying as an incoming freshman

You can send in your application materials at any point before your junior year.

Contact Dr. Mark Causapin for more information.


Dr. Mark G.A. Causapin

Assistant Professor Mathematics