Higher Ed Market Headlines
National Math and Science Initiative Reaches Enrollment Milestone of 5,500 Students
National Math and Science Initiative — Saturday, May 26, 2012
UTeach Addressing Critical Need for STEM Teachers with Expansion of Program to 30th University Campus
DALLAS--(via BUSINESS WIRE)--The National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) has announced that its highly acclaimed teacher training program, UTeach, has reached the enrollment milestone of more than 5,500 students and 800 program graduates, creating a new generation of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) teachers for our U.S. public school system.
“The expansion of the program to Maryland underscores that demand for the UTeach program continues to grow around the country. This proves that more college students will seek careers as math and science teachers if you provide an approach that makes sense”
The announcement was made yesterday at a high-profile STEM teacher panel, “America’s Future STEMS on Good Teachers: Are We Ready?,” which NMSI hosted at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Leaders also announced that the UTeach program has expanded the program to its 30th university campus, Towson University, near Baltimore, Md.
The UTeach program encourages college students majoring in math, science, or computer science to pursue careers in teaching and enables them to receive full teaching certification without adding time or cost to their degrees. NMSI, in partnership with the UTeach Institute at The University of Texas at Austin, has implemented the program in college campuses across the U.S. since 2008. Eight hundred college students – and potential future teachers – have graduated from the program, which has seen its enrollment nearly quintuple in just four years. NMSI estimates that the first group of UTeach graduates will have taught more than four million students by the year 2020.
Dr. Nancy Grasmick, the former State Superintendent of Schools for the Maryland State Department of Education and a featured guest at yesterday’s panel discussion, celebrated the decision to bring UTeach to Towson University in Maryland to boost the number of STEM educators in the state. “There is an urgent need for Americans to be engaged in STEM careers if our nation is to remain competitive with the rest of the world,” Grasmick said. “Well-prepared teachers are critical to achieving this goal and no program is more effective at this preparation than UTeach.”
NMSI has been a leader in addressing the nation’s call for a new pipeline of highly qualified STEM teachers through its UTeach program and through partnerships with national organizations such as 100Kin10, which seeks to recruit 100,000 new math and science teachers in the next 10 years. Teacher training for existing STEM teachers nationwide is also a critical component of NMSI’s Advanced Placement Training and Incentive Program (APTIP) and Laying the Foundation program.
“Our nation needs an additional 280,000 math and science teachers by 2015, and the UTeach program is playing a key role in providing those teachers,” said Dr. Mary Ann Rankin, President and CEO of NMSI. “The expansion of the program to Maryland underscores that demand for the UTeach program continues to grow around the country. This proves that more college students will seek careers as math and science teachers if you provide an approach that makes sense,” she added.
Funding for the new program at Towson University was made possible through a $1.33 million grant from the Maryland State Department of Education, which received federal Race to the Top funds. Through the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, NMSI committed an additional $680,000 in funding, and the University System of Maryland pledged another $300,000 annually.
Dr. Carl Wieman, Nobel Prize winner and Associate Director for Science in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, also spoke at the STEM teacher panel, adding: “STEM is vitally important in today’s society and for the future of our country. We need a scientifically literate population that can make wise decisions about the critical issues facing humanity. We have to find ways to have highly effective teachers, and programs such as UTeach really have to become the norm.”
Towson University, the state of Maryland’s largest producer of teachers, expects to graduate up to 250 new teachers in STEM disciplines within four years of the program launching next fall.
Originated at The University of Texas at Austin in 1997, the UTeach program enables students majoring in math, science, or computer science to receive full teaching certification without adding time or cost to their degrees. Ninety-two percent of UTeach graduates from the UT-Austin program become teachers, and 82 percent are still in the classroom after five years. About 45 percent of the UTeach graduates teach in high-need schools.
The core elements of the UTeach program include:
- Active recruitment and incentives, such as offering the first two courses for free.
- A compact degree program that allows students to graduate in four years with both a degree and teaching certification.
- A strong focus on acquiring deep content knowledge in math and science, in addition to research-based teaching strategies focusing on teaching and learning math and science.
- Early and intensive field teaching experience, beginning in the UTeach students’ first semester.
- Personal guidance from experienced master teachers, faculty and public school teachers.
The National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) was launched in 2007 by top leaders in business, education, and science to reverse the troubling decline in American math and science education. NMSI is dedicated to dramatically impacting the U.S. public school system by bringing best practices to education and replicating programs nationally that have documented success in math and science education. These programs include the Advanced Placement Training and Incentive Program to prepare more high school students to succeed in college level courses, as well as the UTeach program to recruit and train more math and science teachers and the Laying the Foundation program to prepare middle school and high school students to succeed in pre-AP and AP classes.
Inaugural funding for NMSI was provided by the Exxon Mobil Corporation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. Expansion of the UTeach program is supported by additional funding from the UTeach Institute, AT&T, Texas Instruments Foundation, the Texas High School Project, the Greater Texas Foundation, the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, the Tennessee Department of Education, Texas Education Agency, the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, and other private contributions. With funding from the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, NMSI is increasing the impact of the program through an alumni network for UTeach graduates.
For more information, visit www.nationalmathandscience.org.
Contact: NMSI, Rena Pederson, Communications Director, 214-665-2523, firstname.lastname@example.org