HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) _ A new program at William Carey University could help reduce the shortage of math and science teachers in Mississippi, officials said.

In the past 30 days, the Mississippi Department of Education reports there have been 36 openings for science teachers and 33 math teacher vacancies on the state job board.

The Sun Herald reports (http://bit.ly/1fefLiM) the $296,000 grant from the Robert M. Hearin Foundation to create a Science and Mathematics Alternate Route Teacher — or SMART — program will fund 60 scholarships over three years for new math and science teachers.

The SMART grant would fund scholarships for non-education graduates to become teachers. Students with degrees in math or science fields would submit their undergraduate GPA and scores on the Praxis tests.