San Diego
Science Educators

SDSEA Educator Scholarships

The scholarships described below are available to SDSEA members to help make professional development more affordable. Please download the appropriate application and submit it via e-mail as instructed on the form.
Robert A. Dean Memorial Leadership Development Scholarship

      The late Dr. Robert A. Dean fostered science education leadership in many ways during his career. While Science Coordinator at the San Diego County Office of Education he helped found the Greater San Diego Science Teachers Association (GSDSTA). That organization later became the San Diego Science Educators Association (SDSEA).
     He was also instrumental in the formation of the San Diego Computer Using Educators (SDCUE) and the Southern California Association of Science Supervisors (SCASS). Nationally, he served as President of the National Science Supervisors Association (NSSA) which is now know as the National Science Education Leadership Association (NSELA).
     After the County Office of Education, working with his wife, Melanie Dean, at UCSD, they provided many years of science education summer academies, training hundreds of local teachers in the life, earth and physical sciences.
     Bob also personally mentored many individuals, encouraging them to fulfill their leadership potential in science education.
     In the spirit of Bob's enthusiastic support for quality science leadership, SDSEA offers our Science Leadership Development Scholarship. Download an application for the Robert A. Dean Science Leadership Development Scholarship here:

Vance Mills Conference Attendance Scholarship

     Vance Mills was the Director of the Mathematics and Science Curriculum office for the San Diego Unified School District, during the 1980s and 90s.  In this capacity he promoted professional development of San Diego Unified  teachers by fostering science and math conference attendance to provide motivation and self-selected improvement opportunities. As a recognized leader in math and science education, his provision of funding for conference registration and support for substitute teachers enabled many hundreds of teachers to attend conferences and broaden their knowledge base in both science and mathematics.
     In the spirit of his unequaled support for individualized pedagogical advancement, SDSEA offers our Conference Attendance Scholarship. Download an application for the Vance Mills Conference Attendance Scholarship here:



Policy and Procedures


The purpose of the scholarship fund is to provide financial aid to SDSEA member educators who show a need for funding to advance their professional growth directly related to science education.  Funding will be available in two categories:

1.  Robert A. Dean Memorial Science Leadership Development Scholarship funds of up to $250 will be granted, based on how the activity described will improve science leadership capacity in San Diego County.  A wide variety of possible activities will be considered, however, educational travel, in and of itself, is not considered a valid professional growth activity for the purposes of this grant. Download the Robert A. Dean memorial scholarship application.

2.  Vance Mills Conference Attendance Scholarship funds will be granted to cover registration costs for attending the annual SDSEA conference.  Registration for other recognized conferences will also be considered, up to a $250 limit. Funding will be based on documented need for assistance and timely application, with preference given to new teachers (2 years, or less, classroom experience). Download the Vance Mills conference scholarship application.


The San Diego Science Educators Association will provide Scholarship Funding of up to $2,000 yearly for grants, made available (as funds permit) on or about July 1 each year, by vote of the SDSEA Board of Directors. A sub-committee of the SDSEA Board of Directors will screen applications for both the Robert A. Dean Leadership and Vance Mills Conference Attendance scholarships and recommend suitable recipients to the SDSEA Board for funding. Vance Mills Conference Attendance Scholarship funds will be figured into the local SDSEA conference registration accounting, as appropriate, as gratis registration for up to 10 grant recipients per year.

Publicity, and Application Procedures:

Application procedures for both grant categories will be publicized on the association web site.

SDSEA members may apply for no more than one of each type of scholarship funding per fiscal year. Applications will be considered on a first come first served basis. Once the SDSEA Educator Scholarship Fund has been depleted for the year, no further applications will be accepted.

Conditions of the Educational Scholarship Grant:

As a condition for receiving either category of scholarship, recipients must agree to prepare a report of at least one, and not more than three pages, about the professional growth activity that was undertaken, or what was gained from their conference attendance.  This report should be in a form suitable for posting on the SDSEA web site.  The report should be filed with the SDSEA Secretary at:   within 30 days of the completion of the activity.  Additionally, the recipient of Robert A. Dean Memorial Leadership Development Scholarship will make an oral report at one of the SDSEA Board of Directors meetings (to be arranged through the Secretary) or a presentation at the local conference (at the discretion of the conference program chair). 

rev. 4/11

Contact us: SDSEA President Steve Rodecker; Webmaster Chuck Abel
© 2018 San Diego Science Educators Association
SDSEA is an associated group of the National Science Teachers Association and an affiliate of the California Science Teachers Association.
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