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Why to Consider DragonsTeach Middle Years

Weekly Hot Tip

You might have read earlier about how “ESTM 201,” or “Step 1” of Drexel’s DragonsTeach program, is a good way for STEM majors to see if teaching could be a good fit for them in the future.

But for those students a little more serious about teaching in the School District of Philadelphia upon graduation — specifically, in middle school vs. DragonsTeach’s high school teaching track — there is an additional Drexel program with a new potential incentive for upperclassman.

DragonsTeach Middle Years is a School of Education program focused on allowing Drexel students to maximize their degrees by earning a teaching certification by graduation at no additional cost. This program came about as a way to address the need for knowledgeable local middle school teachers (grades four through eight) who are both well-versed in the pedagogy of their subject as well as experienced and comfortable in the classroom. If you think this could be you some day, here’s what you need to know about DragonsTeach Middle Years:

  • The requirements. The DragonsTeach Middle Years program is open to Drexel students of all years and majors, as long as they can fit in the 37.5 credits of the program curriculum in as elective courses and complete student teaching experiences in local schools. Students can apply after taking ESTM 201, exposing them to teaching risk- and commitment-free. This course also satisfies the service requirement for CIVIC 101 if taken in the same term.
  • The scholarship. Starting this year, there is now a prestigious teaching scholarship available to junior and senior STEM majors going through the DragonsTeach Middle Years program. The Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship awards winners $15,000 annually, up to $30,000 over two years, for committing to teaching in Philadelphia at least two years for each year the scholarship is received. Not a bad deal for a guaranteed job after graduation! And though non-STEM majors are not eligible for the scholarship, they may be eligible for a paid co-op as a part of DragonsTeach Middle Years.
  • What to expect post-grad. Those students who complete the DragonsTeach Middle Years program obtain a dual Pennsylvania teaching certification to teach either English, and Math or Science. These graduates can enjoy the security of knowing that a job is waiting for them after graduation in the school district of Philadelphia. Program coordinators are also working to establish the program as a degree-granting minor program as well as being a certificate program.

If you have any questions about the DragonsTeach Middle Years program or the Noyce scholarship, contact Program Manager Alyson Ragone at For specific questions about Noyce, please reach out to Dr. Sheila Vaidya at