Dallas Noyce Scholars Program

​​​​T​he Dallas Noyce Scholars Program is a partnership between Southern Methodist University (SMU) and the Dallas College School of Education to create a community-focused pathway for mathematics teacher preparation in the Dallas community.

The intent of this program is to allow qualified students with a sincere desire to teach in high-need schools to benefit from an exceptional learning opportunity at SMU with $30,000 in scholarship funding from the National Science Foundation, and possible additional scholarship funding from SMU.

As part of this program, Noyce Scholars will:

  • Complete an associate degree at one of the Dallas College campuses
  • Transfer to SMU for junior and senior years, and complete a double major in both Educational Studies and Mathematics
  • Be certified to teach math at the secondary level, and placed in a high-need Dallas-area school for a minimum of 4 years

Student Interview: Mary Cabanas

Mary Cabanas

Dallas College Student

I was in 5th grade when I emigrated. So, around 9...10 years old. It was a little bit complicated for me to learn the language but I knew that if I was a top student back in Mexico, I could be a top student here too.

And I was not going to let anybody tell me otherwise, since I've been told that my whole life. I like the experience of feeling, firstly lost, and then getting the concept.

My goal was to be able for me to get it in order to teach it to my peers because some of my peers were also struggling and just found myself -- the inner teacher in me to just want to help them out and like, "I know this, I'll help you out." I was trying to find a way for me to continue my education I knew I was scared about getting into debt. I couldn't find a way for me to continue my studies into going to a high school math teacher. So I reached out to Dr. DeHaas, who is the one in charge of the Education Department at Dallas College, and I called him and he was like:

"You're in luck. There's a recent partnership with SMU for future math teachers. You can get a scholarship to go to SMU to study to become a math teacher. It's a whole new program."

That's how I became aware of the program, which really saved my whole studies. During Dallas College, my first year, I took Calculus II and III, which helped me prepare for my mathematics classes that I will be taking here at SMU. And regarding the education, there was a teaching math class, I think it was TECA at Dallas College, I feel like those really helped me prepare for the knowledge I would use at my education class at SMU. I was honestly very scared to expect something.

So, I was like, "Maybe I'll get disappointed." I feel like it was more of a transition of me finding myself comfortable with the environment. I did develop a little bit of the impostor syndrome at the beginning, and I was like:

"What am I doing here? Everybody here is super smart."

But eventually I became aware that I had my own gifts along with my peers. Even though I'm certainly with peers that have amazing backgrounds.

I love the lab. It's my favorite thing. I believe it just gives me a sense of the classroom. I became very familiar with the characters and their personalities and their backgrounds, which helps me become a better instructor for them. I just get to apply whatever I learn in my education classes. Because math is a universal thing. So they can come from any country, and they will know what I'm talking about just by seeing. They're like, "Oh, I know this concept in my language." "I know this concept in my country." And also to teach them that if they're new in this country, they're going to feel lost. I felt lost at the beginning when I was a newcomer. But they will get used to it. They will have friends. And to never be afraid of expressing their own culture. To be always proud of where they came from.

Right now I'm rising to my senior year. I'm hoping to get into the SMU master's program, which just only takes a year. So I'm like, "I'm already going into my senior year, I might as well just take one more year for my master's." And after my master's, I hope to go back to my same school district.

Since I recognize how it is at a school district with very low resources and trying to work with that.

I talk to other students at Dallas College who are maybe interested in it, and they always seem to be amazed at my story because it would be like, "I never see myself coming to SMU." And I'm like, "Honestly? Me neither." But, you know, things just happen. Like, I really needed a resource to study and the Noyce Scholarship offered me the opportunity for me to continue my studies, which I'm very grateful because...It not only opened the door for me to continue my education, but it opened me a whole world of opportunities.


Program Stages

Step 1: Complete the Interest Form

To receive Noyce Scholar-specific advising, and participate in special events and opportunities for potential Noyce Scholars, students must complete the​​​​​​​​​​interest form to provide your contact information, current academic status and a description of your interest and prior experience. Upon receipt of your interest form, we will contact you to answer any program questions and provide initial pathway advice.

Step 2: Follow a Transfer Pathway

After connecting with us, students will follow a customized Dallas Noyce Scholars Pathway that guides them through their remaining courses at Dallas College School in preparation for transfer to SMU. Students will have access to both Dallas College and SMU advising resources to ensure that as many courses will transfer smoothly to SMU. During this time, participants will also be invited to regular community-building events with former Dallas Noyce Scholars and local educators.

Step 3: Apply to Transfer to SMU

As students approach completion of their associate degree at Dallas College, they will apply to transfer to SMU. This will include applying for both SMU academic scholarships (50% tuition reduction from SMU for students with at least a 3.7 GPA) and the award available through the Dallas Noyce Scholars Program (an additional $30,000 from the NSF). Students are selected for the Dallas Noyce Scholars Award based on their commitment to a teaching career and their desire to teach math in a high-need school. The funding sources available to transfer students are expected to cover a significant portion of students’ cost to complete their degree at SMU.

Step 4: Double Major in Educational Studies and Mathematics

Once at SMU, students will continue taking courses toward their Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and their Bachelor of Science in Educational Studies. The dual degree program allows certain classes to count toward both degrees, and includes courses focused on content and pedagogy organized around math content strands. In addition to financial support for your education at SMU, Dallas Noyce Scholars will benefit from:

  • Coursework to help develop familiarity with the Dallas community
  • Field experiences in the specific communities in which they will teach
  • Training in working with students for whom English is not their first language
  • Cohort mentoring and community building with other students in the program

Step 5: Placement in a Dallas-Area Middle or High School

After completing the dual degrees in Educational Studies and Math, Dallas Noyce Scholars will work as student teachers or teacher interns in local ISDs. Teacher interns will serve as the teacher of record under the supervision of SMU faculty. After they complete their student teaching or internships, Dallas Noyce Scholars will be formally certified to teach in a Texas public school, and the program will work to provide placement options within local ISDs. Ideally, we will place program graduates in the newly announced West Dallas STEM School (WDSS) or Pinkston High School, the high school into which the WDSS feeds.

Information Session Dates and Times

March 9, 2022 3:30 p.m. @ SMU or Virtually

Please RSVP using the interest form.

What's Next?

All interested Dallas College students should first complete the interest form, which will allow a Dallas Noyce Scholars program representative to contact you and provide next steps specific to your current academic status.

Dallas College students who are planning to complete their Associate Degree in the current semester should also make plans to apply for transfer to SMU. Scholarship deadlines are April 1 for Fall semesters and Nov. 1 for Spring semesters.

For more information about the Noyce Program or related activities, contact noyce@dcccd.edu.