Frequently Asked Questions

Who is selected for the IWU Noyce Program?

The ideal candidate is a future STEM teacher who is a double major in an eligible STEM major (Math, Biology, Physics) and an Educational Studies major who is pursuing a teaching certificate. Further, the ideal candidate is committed to becoming an exemplary educator who will make STEM content relevant and engaging for K-12 students.

If I accept the IWU Noyce Program’s scholarship, how long is the teaching commitment?

For every year you accept the scholarship, you need to teach for 2 years in a high needs school. If you accept the scholarship for 1 year, you have to teach for 2 years in a high needs school. If you accept the scholarship for 2 years, you have to teach for 4 years in a high needs school. If you do not fulfill the teaching requirements, the scholarship becomes a student loan that needs to be repaid to Illinois Wesleyan University. All scholars sign a promissory note which details this financial agreement with the funding agency, the National Science Foundation.

Do I have to teach in a high needs school directly after graduation?

No, you have up to 8 years post-graduation to complete your teaching commitment.

What qualifies as a “high-needs” school?

A high-needs school has specific characteristics. Specifically, the National Science Foundation uses the definition of high-needs school districts found in section 201 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1021). Briefly, a school district qualifies for the IWU Noyce teaching commitment if one or more school in the district meets the following criteria:

  • A high percentage of individuals from families with incomes below the poverty line
  • A high percentage of secondary school teachers who are not teaching in the content area in which they were trained to teach
  • A high teacher turnover rate

*If one school in a district qualifies as high-needs, all the schools in the district qualify for the IWU Noyce teaching commitment according to the National Science Foundation.

The majority of schools and districts in Illinois are classified as high-needs. If you have any questions about what specific schools qualify for the IWU Noyce Program teaching commitment, please contact Dr. Maggie Evans (

If I am an IWU Noyce Intern, do I automatically receive the IWU Noyce Program scholarship my junior and senior year?
No. All students must maintain satisfactory academic standing at IWU, in their STEM major, and in the Teacher Education Program at IWU. These requirements are detailed under the “Admissions Criteria” tab. All Noyce Interns are encouraged to pursue being a Noyce Scholar and receive the scholarship funds but they must satisfy all admissions criteria for the IWU Noyce Program.
If I am a 9th semester student, will the IWU Noyce Program provide additional scholarship funds? Am I eligible for the program?
Students with a double major in STEM and Educational Studies who take a 9th semester to student teach are absolutely eligible for the IWU Noyce Program! The IWU Noyce Program scholarship is a maximum of 2 years so the IWU Noyce Program scholarship will not offer additional funds for a 9th semester if you already received 2 years of funding.