Early Start Programs
Early Start Science and Math Programs
If you love science and/or math and are considering becoming a teacher you should look into the Early Start Programs at UofL!
The UofL Early Start program allows undergraduates to complete up to nine credit hours of graduate coursework in education concomitant with completion of their disciplinary degrees. These ‘double-counted’ credits also apply toward a Masters of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree program. Qualified undergraduates can earn an undergraduate degree with a major in math, chemistry, physics or biology as well as a Masters in the Art of Teaching in five years. Early Start students can enter the classroom not only with certification, but also with a more desirable MAT degree, and higher compensation, just one year after their baccalaureate.
The financial advantages of the Early Start pathway to a teaching career include entry at a higher salary rank (at JCPS this means $5101 more annually at step 0 with a Master's) and a higher contribution to the employee’s Kentucky Teacher Retirement system account. There are other advantages as well. Teachers in JCPS with Bachelor’s degrees must complete an additional 15 hours of coursework within 5 years of obtaining their Bachelor's degree but teachers with Masters are not required to do so. Having an advanced degree provides greater and faster access to career advancement opportunities such as resource teacher and master teacher positions.
There is substantial financial aid available for aspiring mathematics and science teachers from federal sources. In addition, Stafford Loans can be forgiven up to $17,500 for mathematics and science teachers who meet both the “highly qualified” teacher definition under the No Child Left Behind Act” and meet all of the qualifications of the Federal Student Loan Forgiveness Program. Consequently, students who have Stafford loans should be able to reduce their loan debt if they go into mathematics or science teaching (http://studentaid.ed.gov/PORTALSWebApp/students/english/cancelstaff.jsp?tab=repaying). The most prestigious and generous financial aid for aspiring science and math teachers at U of L is the Noyce Teaching Scholarship program.