R621, Terrel H. Bell Education Scholarship Program

R621-1. Purpose: To provide procedures for administration of the Terrel H. Bell Teaching Education Scholarship Program, ensuring it recruit first-generation students into teaching careers, encourages outstanding students to teach in high needs areas in Utah’s public schools, and to recognize teaching as a critically important career choice for the state of Utah.

R621-2. References

2.1. Utah Code §53B-8-114 (Terrel H. Bell Education Scholarship Program – Scholarship requirements — Rulemaking)

2.2. Utah Code §53E-6-302 (Education Professional Licensure, Licensing Requirements, Teacher preparation programs)

R621-3. Definitions

3.1. “Approved Program” means:

3.1.1. A teacher preparation program that meets the education profession licensure standards described in Section 53E-6-302, and provides enhanced clinical experiences, or prepares an individual to become a speech-language pathologist or another licensed professional providing services in a public school to students with disabilities.

3.1.2. Courses taken at Salt Lake Community College or Snow College that lead students to make reasonable progress to meet institutional criteria for admission into a program in accordance with section 3.1.1. of this policy. 

3.2. “Eligible Institution” means a public or private institution of higher education in Utah that offers an approved program.

3.3. “High Needs Area” means a subject area or field in public education that has a high need for teachers or other employees, determined annually by the Board in consultation with State Board of Education.

3.4. “First -Generation Student” means a student for whom no parent or guardians attained a bachelor’s degree.

3.5. “Full-time Enrollment” means 12 semester hours or such other number of hours as determined by the recipient’s institution. [1]

3.6. “Part-time Enrollment’’ means a minimum of 6 credits in a semester.

3.7. “Average Scholarship Amount” means average USHE undergraduate resident tuition and general student fees for the corresponding academic year.

R621-4  General Award Conditions

4.1. Scholarship Award Under this program, an eligible institution may award a scholarship to an individual for an amount up to the cost of resident tuition, fees, and books for the number of credit hours in which the individual is enrolled each semester.

4.1.1. An eligible private institution may not award a scholarship for an amount that exceeds the average scholarship amount granted by a public institution of higher education.

4.1.2. A recipient may receive a scholarship for up to four consecutive years, or equivalent when considering institution-approved leaves of absence.

4.1.3. Eligible institutions may award scholarships to full-time or part-time enrolled students.

4.2. Application and Award Procedures

4.2.1 An eligible institution shall develop processes for promoting and distributing awards consistent with this policy, and will set application deadlines that accommodate both full-time and part-time students.

4.2.2. Applications must require a student’s declaration to earn a degree in an approved program.            

4.3. Prioritizing Awards. Institution shall prioritize scholarship awards as follows:

4.3.1. First, to first-generation students who intend to work in any area in a Utah public school.

4.3.2. Second, to students who are not first generation students but intend to work in high needs area in a Utah public school.

4.3.3. Third, to students who meet the requirements in Section 5 of this policy.

R621-5. Initial and Continuing Eligibility of Students

5.1. Applicants must declare their intent to earn a degree in an approved program and to teach in a Utah public school after graduation.

5.2. Award recipients must maintain satisfactory academic progress in accordance with their institution’s policies.

5.3. A recipient must make reasonable progress to meet institutional criteria for admission to an approved program. Once admitted to an approved program a recipient must maintain reasonable progress towards completion of an approved program.

5.4. Recipients transferring to another eligible institution will retain an award if they continue to meet criteria established for recipients at the receiving institution.

5.5. After no more than four semesters of full-time, or eight semesters of part-time postsecondary course work, a recipient must apply and be accepted into an approved program at an eligible institution.

5.6. A recipient who has not been accepted into an approved program at an eligible institution may be granted a temporary deferment of an award for up to two years while seeking acceptance into an approved program.

5.7. After providing a recipient notice and an opportunity to respond, an institution may rescind a recipient’s scholarship if the dean of education or the director of financial aid determines the recipient:

5.7.1. is failing to make reasonable progress toward completion of program requirements, or

5.7.2. has demonstrated to a reasonable certainty that he or she does not intend to teach at a public school in Utah after graduation.

5.8. Appeals. Upon request by the student, the institution shall provide an opportunity for the student to appeal a dean or director’s determination to rescind the scholarship to a committee of at least three impartial persons.

5.9. Leaves of Absence. A recipient may seek leave of absence from attending an institution in accordance with applicable deferral policies at a corresponding eligible institution.

R621-6 Transfer of Award Funds

6.1. Recipients may transfer to another eligible institution and retain the scholarship if they meet all requirements of the receiving institution. Transfer students are ultimately responsible for communicating with colleges/schools of education and financial aid offices at receiving institutions well in advance. Transfer students who do not meet application deadlines or demonstrate satisfactory academic progress may have their scholarship rescinded. The receiving institution is responsible to make any adjustments in a recipient’s award.

R621-7 Distribution of Award Funds to Institutions

7.1. The Board will annually distribute available funds to eligible institutions proportionally equal to the total number of teachers who graduated from an eligible institution and were hired by a Utah public school district for the most recent three cohort years available, minus funds for Snow College and Salt Lake Community College allocated at the discretion of the Board.

R621-8 Reporting.

8.1. On or before June 30 each year, eligible institutions shall report to the Board of Regents the following:

8.1.1. Any new or procedures, application materials.

8.1.2. The name and student identification number, first-generation status, and specific enrolled program of all recipients to whom the institution awarded scholarship funds the current academic year.

8.1.3. The scholarship amount each recipient received.

8.1.4. The number of first-generation recipients.

8.2. The Board of Regents may, at any time, request additional documentation or data related to the T.H. Bell Scholarship and may review or formally audit an institution’s compliance with this policy.