(SANTA ANA, Calif.) Two Santa Ana College (SAC) students have been named the first-ever Noyce Scholars, qualifying them for as much $10,000 in annual scholarships as they transfer to California State University Fullerton (CSUF) to study teaching.
The Noyce Scholarship Program: Transitioning Math Majors into Teaching (TMMT) is funded by the National Science Foundation and is a collaboration between California State University (CSU) system, CSUF, SAC and local school districts. The program creates a bridge for SAC students majoring in mathematics to transfer to CSUF to continue their studies. When students are selected, they become “Noyce Associates” and qualify for $10,000 annual scholarships upon transfer to CSUF.
Former SAC students Serena Hazel and Victoria Martinez are the first Noyce Associates from the program to transfer to CSUF, becoming Noyce Scholars.
In addition to being a Noyce Associate, Martinez was involved in the Math, Engineering, and Science Achievement (MESA) program and Teacher Pathway Partnership programs at SAC. She works as an instructional provider for ENGAGE 360, an after-school program in the Santa Ana Unified School District (SAUSD). After she completes a bachelor’s degree in mathematics at CSUF, Martinez said she hopes to become a high school math teacher in SAUSD and eventually earn a master’s degree.
“When I first became a Noyce Scholar I felt so welcomed in the program,” Hazel said. “I met so many amazing people at both SAC and CSUF, so it made the transfer so much easier. Every year that I’m in the program, it makes me that much more excited for the years to come when I'm finally a teacher.”
Martinez said the program has given her much-needed confidence and support too.
“Being chosen as a Noyce Scholar had me feeling honored, especially because I didn’t think I was capable of much in my early years of college,” Martinez said. “I also felt like I was looked after, before I felt alone in college because none of my family has been to college. So being a Noyce Associate offered me much more guidance than I can get on my own.”
As Noyce Associates, Hazel and Martinez worked closely with SAC faculty during the Spring 2019, Fall 2019 and Spring 2020 semesters. The program is designed to expose them to teaching and tutoring, increase their insights into teaching mathematics, and build a sense of community with future mathematics educators. The program also provides up to $1,500 per semester for these endeavors.
“One of my favorite experiences as a Noyce Associate at SAC was being invited to host one of the panels at the Road to Teaching Conference,” said Hazel. “It was special because I had never presented math outside of a classroom setting, and I’ve never done something like that in front of professionals. Now I’m just looking forward to in-person observations in classrooms, instead of over Zoom.”
“Hazel and Martinez were outstanding and exemplary students while at Santa Ana College,” SAC Interim President Dr. Marilyn Flores said. “We are proud to call them alumni and to watch them in their educational careers on the pathway to becoming future educators.”
Other learning opportunities included participating in math classes at a local middle school, being a student assistant in a SAC math classroom, meeting with SAC Faculty, and participating in joint SAC/CSUF activities. Noyce Associates also have access to counseling and educational planning, transfer planning and application assistance, events, activities, and field trips designed specifically for future teachers through the SAC Center for Teacher Education.
To learn more about the TMMT program, visit sac.edu/tmmt or fullerton.edu/math/resources/tmmt.php.
About Santa Ana College
Santa Ana College (SAC), which turned 100 years old in 2015, serves about 18,000 students each semester at its main campus in Santa Ana. The college prepares students for transfer to four-year institutions, and provides invaluable workforce training and customized training for business and industry. In addition, another 11,000 students are served through the college’s School of Continuing Education located at Centennial Education Center. Ranked as one of the nation’s top two-year colleges awarding associate degrees to Latino and Asian students, the college is also recognized throughout the state for its comprehensive workforce training programs for nurses, firefighters, law enforcement and other medical personnel. SAC is one of two comprehensive colleges under the auspices of the Rancho Santiago Community College District.