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February 4, 2009
By Natalie Savidge
The University of Nevada, Reno has received approval to participate in the federal grant program TEACH, Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education, which helps deliver teachers to high-need fields such as bilingual education and English language acquisition, foreign languages, mathematics, reading specialization, science and special education.
Congress created the program in 2007 through the College Cost Reduction and Access Act, granting up to $4,000 annually to education students who agree to serve at least four years as full-time teachers in subjects where the need is most dire. Eligible students may also teach at public or private elementary or secondary schools serving low-income students.
“The goal of a TEACH grant is to help improve subject areas with the least amount of teachers,” said Sandi Guidry, interim director of the University’s Student Financial Aid and Scholarships office.
University students will receive the first TEACH grants this spring.
“We’re targeting third- and fourth-year and graduate students for this first year’s funding,” Guidry said. “We’re working with the College of Education to identify upper-division students who are interested and eligible.”
To qualify, an applicant must meet certain academic standards as well as complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Applicants may be undergraduate or graduate students, those enrolled in a post-baccalaureate teacher credential program or current teachers.
“The student who comes in to college and says they’re going to be a high school math teacher, and they just know it, this is a great program for them,” Guidry said.
TEACH grant recipients must sign a Service Agreement. In order to keep awards, they are required to serve as a full-time teacher for at least four academic years within eight calendar years of completing the program in which they received the grant. Teachers must instruct in an approved high-need field or qualifying low-income school, otherwise, the grant converts to a unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan.