Texas A&M University was awarded a federal grant for more than $1 million Monday to address the ongoing shortage of elementary and middle school teachers in science, technology, engineering and math fields in Texas by the National Science Foundation.

Texas A&M’s math department and its College of Education will enter into a five-year partnership with the Grand Prairie school district and other high-need districts.

The goal, according to the National Science Foundation’s website, is to provide 37 new, certified math teachers for high-need elementary and middle schools in Texas.

The project, which will run through 2024, will have support from the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program. The Noyce Program provides funding to institutions of higher education for scholarships, stipends and support to recruit and prepare undergraduate STEM majors and professionals to become K-12 teachers.

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn of Texas announced the federal grant Monday and credited the administration of President Donald Trump for supporting Texas A&M.

“Our world’s increasing reliance on technology and data means strong STEM-focused minds will continue to be in high demand, and we should give students in these fields every advantage to succeed,” Cornyn said via a statement. 

The project’s abstract states that the program’s work “is particularly important in Texas, where 68.5% or more teachers have no major or certification in mathematics and more than 65% of the school age population are students of color.” 

To broaden its pool of potential participants, A&M will work in collaboration with Blinn College and the University of Houston, along with Houston Community College and Lone Star College, to recruit prospective teachers.

According to the project’s abstract, all Texas A&M Noyce Scholars at the undergraduate level will obtain a bachelor’s degree in mathematics as well as teacher certification upon graduation. Individuals who already have a STEM degree will be supported in a post-baccalaureate year as they complete licensing requirements to become a teacher.

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