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The National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) has announced that UTeach, an award-winning secondary STEM teacher preparation program created by UT Austin’s Colleges of Education and Natural Sciences, is expanding to five research universities. The expansion was made possible by a $22.5 million grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI).
With the spread of UTeach to these universities and five more in the fall of 2015, the program will be at 45 universities nationwide. It is expected to produce more than 9,000 math and science teachers by 2020.
“By increasing access to the proven UTeach model, we’re helping create a STEM pipeline of highly-skilled teachers,” said Sara Martinez Tucker, CEO of the NMSI.
Beginning in the fall of 2014, the UTeach program will be available to students at Drexel University, Florida International University, Oklahoma State University, University of Alabama at Birmingham and University of Maryland, College Park.
The UTeach science program, which was created in 1997 at The University of Texas Austin, recruits and prepares mathematics, science and computer science students for secondary education careers. The students are able to earn a degree in their major as well as teacher certification without adding time or expense to their four-year degree program.
The UTeach Institute projects that UTeach graduates will have impacted 4.8 million secondary STEM students nationwide by 2020. The Institute, which is a division of the UTeach program, assists other universities with implementation of the program.
“We must take steps toward change to replenish this country’s star teachers, teachers who can move students to explore and love math and science,” said Robert Tjian, HHMI president. “That’s why HHMI is taking this critical step to help expand UTeach, one of the nation’s best training programs aimed at preparing science and math majors to become teachers.”
The NMSI is a non-profit organization launched in 2007 by top business, education and science leaders to transform education in the United States. It is committed to bringing proven programs, like UTeach and NMSI’s College Readiness program, to scale. The HHMI plays a significant role in supporting scientific research and education in the U.S. and, since its creation in 1988, has awarded more than $870 million to 274 colleges and universities to support science education.
“The UTeach program is successful because it combines aggressive recruiting of talented STEM majors, extensive field experience for the future teachers and a streamlined but intensive series of seven professional development courses that focus on teaching STEM subjects,” said Dr. Lawrence D. Abraham, UTeach co-director and a professor in the College of Education’s Department of Kinesiology and Health Education. “These features are resource-intensive and can only be sustained by having committed faculty and staff, the necessary financial support, and a strategic and strong collaboration between the colleges that house STEM content specialists and STEM teaching experts. The generous support of our program sponsors has helped us develop this great program and continues to help dozens of other institutions do the same.”