Science, Technology, Engineering and Math programs, also called STEM programs, are a hot topic across the country. STEM academies and schools are on the rise to train and educate the next generation of scientists, engineers, mathematicians, technicians. Dennis Vilorio, an economist in the Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections of the Bureau of Labor Statistics wrote, “The future of the economy is in STEM.” James Brown, the executive director of the STEM Education Coalition in Washington, D.C. in referring to STEM also said, “That’s where the jobs of tomorrow will be.” Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) supports that assertion. Employment in occupations related to STEM—science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—is projected to grow to more than 9 million between 2012 and 2022. That’s an increase of about 1 million jobs over 2012 employment levels.
Tennessee is taking this opportunity to assist public school teachers who are seeking an advanced degree in math or science, or a certification to teach math or science. The Tennessee Math & Science Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program provides financial assistance to Tennessee public school teachers who are seeking an advanced degree in a math or a science, or a certification to teach a math or a science. Loan forgiveness requires employment in a Tennessee public school system two years for each year of the loan funding received.
South College is pleased to be a college that is eligible for the Tennessee Math and Science Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program!
In order to receive a Math & Science Teacher Loan, a student must:
- Be a citizen of the United States; and
- Be a resident of Tennessee, as defined by regulations promulgated by the board of regents for the state university and community college system, under the authority of TCA § 49-8-104 where applicable for one (1) year immediately preceding the date of application; and
- Meet the requirements of TCA § 49-4-905(a); and
- Be admitted to and attend an eligible postsecondary institution seeking an advanced degree in math or a science or certification to teach math or a science; and
- Agree to teach math or a science in a Tennessee public school system two (2) academic years for each year funded provided by this program and sign a promissory note that stipulates the cash repayment obligation incurred if the teaching service is not fulfilled; and
- Maintain satisfactory academic progress in the teacher’s program of study with no minimum number of hours required per semester; and
- Complete the program of study within five (5) years beginning with the first term for which the loan was awarded; and
- Not allow a break in enrollment at an eligible postsecondary institution of more than twelve (12) months. If the break in enrollment exceeds twelve (12) months, the borrower enters the grace period followed by repayment.
- A course taken to qualify a student for re-certification shall not be a course taken for receipt of a Math & Science Teacher Loan.
- A borrower who completes the program of study for which a Math & Science Teacher Loan was provided and who subsequently satisfies the terms of the loan in full, either through repayment or cancellation, is not prevented from participating in the Tennessee Math & Science Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program again, in order to gain certification or an advanced degree in a different area of math or science.
According to Teach for America, “By 2018, 8 million STEM jobs will be available in the United States, but the vast majority of U.S. students will be unprepared to fill them.” South College, through the Tennessee Math and Science Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program, can assist in helping you educate tomorrow’s potential STEM leaders.
If you are a tenured public school teacher, you must submit an online application and Promissory Note for a Math & Science Teacher Loan for each academic year to the Corporation.
The application deadline is September 1 for students beginning the academic year in the fall, February 1 for students who begin the academic year in the spring, and May 1 for students who begin the academic year in the summer.