PRESTIGE Scholars, Spring, 2015: L to R: Kelsey Moore (Chemistry) Chelsea Spearman (Chemistry), Kyle Finnegan (Chemistry), Maira Richards (Physics), Karen Cody (Math), Eriq Hearn (Biology), Hallie Grant (Math), Hannah Wingrove (Chemistry).

Program for Recruiting and Educating STEM Teachers With Integrated Graduate Enrollment (PRESTIGE)

An Innovative Teacher Education Program funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF)

Augusta University proudly hosts a Program for Recruiting and Educating STEM Teachers with Integrated Graduate Enrollment (PRESTIGE). This program is built upon the I-MAT (Integrated Masters of Arts in Teaching), a new, streamlined degree program for obtaining teacher certification in a STEM area. Through integration of graduate level courses in teacher education with undergraduate courses in the major STEM discipline, the I-MAT affords students the opportunity to earn both a BS degree in their major field and a Masters of Arts in Teaching in just five years total starting their junior year.

For details about each I-MAT degree program, click one of the following links:

Students typically apply to enter the I-MAT program near the end of their sophomore year. Students can also apply for a PRESTIGE scholarship, which is currently ~$15,000 per year, and is renewable for the second and third year that it takes to complete the I-MAT program. For each year of funding, PRESTIGE scholars agree to teach two years in a high-needs school.

During the program the scholars will also benefit from having two advisors, one in their STEM area, and Dr. Steven Page in the Teacher Education Department.

To be accepted into the program, a student must:

  • Be a STEM major - Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, or Physics;
  • Have a minimum 2.75 GPA;
  • Have a faculty member complete a recommendation form;
  • Compose a two-page essay
  • Complete an interview with the acceptance committee

To obtain an application packet you must make an appointment to see the PRESTIGE advisor for your STEM area.

Biology - Dr. Cathy Tugmon:, 706-737-1539
Chemistry - Dr. Chad Stephens:, 706-667-4995
Mathematics - Dr. Linda Crawford:, 706-667-4477
Physics - Dr. Andy Hauger:, 706-737-1541

Applications are also available online below

PRESTIGE Application

Spring 2016 Dates:

Information Session (Pizza and drinks served): October 27 - 1p.m. (location TBD)
Application Deadline: November 30
Applicant Interviews: December 4

The following students were recently awarded the PRESTIGE scholarship:
Chris Cutler Chris Cutler
Physics Major
Scholarship Awarded: Spring 2011
Chris Parham Christopher Parham
Physics Major
Scholarship Awarded: Spring 2011
Kelsey Donnelly Kelsey Donnelly
Biology Major
Scholarship Awarded: Fall 2011
Stephen White Stephen White
Biology Major
Scholarship Awarded: Spring 2012
Maira Acosta Maira Acosta
Physics Major
Scholarship Awarded: Fall 2012
Stephen Safford Stephen Safford
Physics Major
Scholarship Awarded: Fall 2012
Harrison Zeigler Harrison Zeigler
Physics Major
Scholarship Awarded: Fall 2012
Karen Cody Karen Cody
Math Major
Scholarship Awarded: Spring 2013
Andrew Mays Andrew Mays
Chemistry Major
Scholarship Awarded: Spring 2013
Alexis Wren Alexis Wren
Chemistry Major
Scholarship Awarded: Spring 2013

To help identify potential PRESTIGE scholarship recipients, Augusta University will offer a Summer Intern Program for selected freshman or sophomore STEM majors to assist middle and high school students in science or math in the selected counties' summer schools. Under the supervision of certified teachers, these interns will gain valuable experience teaching in middle or high school classrooms. This 20-hour internship program includes a stipend.

For more information on the Summer Intern Program, contact Dr. Steven Page at

Summer Internship

PRESTIGE also offers lower classmen who may be interested in teaching the opportunity to serve as a Supplemental Instructor (SI). As an SI, the student will lead a weekly tutorial session for a STEM class at Augusta University under the guidance of the course instructor. The SI program thus serves as a unique, introductory opportunity for students who want to see how they like teaching before applying to the I-MAT program. Students receive a stipend for serving as SI.

For more information about the SI program, contact Dr. Chad Stephens at