Center for Mathematics and Science Education

Frequently Asked Questions

Who Was Robert Noyce? Robert Noyce was one of the very first scientists to work in the Silicon Valley and ran two of the companies that had the greatest impact on the silicon industry: Fairchild Semiconductor and Intel. He also invented the integrated chip, one of the stepping stones along the way to the microprocessors in today’s computers.

What are the requirements of a Scholar? Once you become a Noyce Scholar you will be required to maintain your 2.75 GPA and participate in professional development and support network meetings. Some of these meetings are with our partner university, Sacramento State, and will be held on their campus (transportation provided). In addition, for each year you obtain a scholarship award, you will be required to teach two years in a high school or middle school in a “high needs” district. You will also be required to participate in a research study of scholars that includes questionnaires to fill out online, one while you are participating in Noyce activities; one while you complete your credential program and the last one within one year of completion of your credential.  No individual identities are included in any reports or publications resulting from the research associated with the questionnaires.

**All decisions about qualifying high-need schools for the purpose of Noyce commitment should be vetted through Brandi Aranguren or Jennifer Oloff-Lewis**

Q: What constitutes a “high needs local educational agency?”

A: 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 which is characterized by at least one of the following:

a. a high percentage of individuals from families with incomes below the poverty line;

b. a high percentage of secondary school teachers not teaching in the content area in which they were trained to teach; or

c. a high teacher turnover rate

Q: Can you clarify the term "high percentage" in the statements of high needs LEA for me please? What are the markers (percentages) for the three criteria? Or is this more contextually-driven based on the geographical area?

A: It is contextual. You would consider how the school district compares to state averages (or you could consider national averages if the state average is particularly low). For the poverty indicators, a simple way to check a particular district is by using the Department of Education Teacher Loan Cancellation tool(opens in new window). You can search for an LEA or individual school. If there is at least one school on the list for that district, the Noyce Scholar can teach in any school in that district. If the Scholar had to return to her hometown for hardship reasons (for example illness of a family member) you could consider delaying the teaching obligation of waiving the requirement to teach in a high need district.


Q: Is there a list of "high-need" districts anywhere? Or is there a national database you know of we could consult?

A: We do not maintain a list of high need districts. There might be information about the district on the district's website. Title I eligibility is based on poverty data so any districts that are eligible for Title I funding or have a high percentage of students eligible for free and reduced price meals would qualify. There is also a tool at the Department of Ed website for Teacher Loan Cancellation tool(opens in new window) that allows you to look up schools designated by the U.S. Department of Education as having a "high" concentration of students from low-income families by state. If at least one school in the district is on that list, the whole district would meet the eligibility requirement for the purposes of the Noyce program, so the Noyce Scholars could teach in any school in that district.


Where do I get more information?

Contact either:

Jennifer Oloff-Lewis, Principal Investigator:

Brandi Aranguren, Co-Principal Investigator:

M.E. Matthews, Co-Principal Investigator:

Anne Stephens, Co-Principal Investigator:

Noyce Scholarship Pages