Support Services

Elements of the InVEST in STEM program include:

  • Transitional mentoring: For students transferring from VWCC or P&HCC, their community college mentor will ensure that the student is making appropriate progress in their coursework and provide information and guidance during the InVEST in STEM application process. The student also will be assigned a Longwood University mentor. We The student and transitional mentors will meet regularly to discuss any transitional issues that may arise.  
  • Peer mentoring: Current InVEST Scholars will serve as mentors for new InVEST Scholars in the program (as available), which will enhance both students’ feeling of community and connection. The peer mentor can offer guidance, support, and encouragement that will complement that offered by the faculty mentor. This system will allow for a safe space for new InVEST Scholars to share fears, challenges, questions, and opinions with a peer who may understand better than their faculty mentor as they may have similar recent experiences.
  • Summer Bridge program: The InVEST Summer Bridge program will focus on academic advancement, continued development of an academic mindset, cohort building, and identification with a group of students who share a passion for STEM teaching. It will include skill- and cohort-building activities and workshops, panel discussions with practicing teachers, leadership and team-building activities, and exploration of the culture and issues faced by secondary STEM educators.
  • Community of scholars:  A professional community is critical to ensuring that InVEST Scholars are able to persist during their initial teaching years and flourish in their teaching careers. Though nearly half of new teachers leave the teaching profession during the first five years,7 surrounding newly minted teachers with a supportive community of educators with shared goals can improve persistence and efficacy in the classroom.12
  • Professional development:  Professional development increases teacher persistence, specifically for secondary STEM teachers at rural schools.15 The InVEST Induction Program will include key professional-development touchpoints: two in-person professional development summits, two Zoom workshops, and two classroom observations. Each experience will allow time for review and reflection on the secondary mathematics and science edcuation curriculum in regard to the practical aspects of teaching (e.g., curriculum design, classroom management, assessment, project-based learning, etc.).
  • Financial Support:  The InVEST in STEM Program is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation (Award #2243356).  Each scholar will receive financial support up to $20,000 per year (based on FAFSA report).


“This material is based upon work supported by the The National Science Foundation under Grant No. 2243356. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.”