DALLAS, Jan. 4, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) today announced the expansion of the UTeach secondary science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) teacher preparation program to five research universities, made possible by a $22.5 million grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). With the expansion of UTeach to these universities and five more in the fall of 2015, the program will be in 45 universities and is expected to produce more than 9,000 math and science teachers in the United States by 2020.
"The severe shortage of qualified math and science teachers in the United States is undoubtedly contributing to our nation's growing STEM education crisis," said NMSI CEO Sara Martinez Tucker. "By increasing access to the proven UTeach model, we're helping create a STEM pipeline of highly-skilled teachers."
Beginning in the fall of 2014, the UTeach program will be made available to students at Drexel University, Florida International University, Oklahoma State University, University of Alabama at Birmingham and University of Maryland, College Park. Each university will receive $1.45 million to support implementation costs of the program over the five-year grant period.
Since 2008, NMSI has actively partnered with the UTeach Institute to expand UTeach to colleges and universities around the country. Core elements of the program include recruitment and retention incentives, a compact degree program, a strong focus on research-based strategies for teaching and learning math and science, intensive field teaching experience, and personal guidance from master teachers and faculty.
"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 HHMI President Robert Tjian. "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."
HHMI has long been committed to catalyzing change in science education. Since 1988, the Institute has awarded more than $870 million to 274 colleges and universities to support science education. HHMI support has enabled more than 88,000 students nationwide to work in research labs and developed programs that have helped more than 100,000 K-12 teachers learn how to teach science more effectively.
Universities were selected to participate in the UTeach program through a competitive Request For Proposal (RFP) process. Five additional research universities will be awarded UTeach grants in the coming year. Interested schools can learn more about eligibility requirements and apply now by visiting http://www.uteach-institute.org/rfp.
"These universities are home to the world's top scientific minds and education researchers, and they have a significant role to play in preparing future STEM teachers. Indeed, science and mathematics students at U.S. universities are the only plausible source for the numbers of new science and mathematics teachers the U.S. so greatly needs," said Dr. Michael Marder, executive director of the UTeach Science Program at the University of Texas at Austin.
The UTeach program, first developed in 1997 at the University of Texas Austin, has been implemented at 35 universities across the country. The UTeach Institute projects that UTeach program graduates will have impacted 4.8 million secondary STEM students nationwide by 2020. UTeach recruits and prepares students studying mathematics, science, and computer science disciplines to enter careers in secondary education by enabling them to earn both a degree in their major and a teaching certification without adding time or expense to their four-year degree program.
NMSI is committed to bringing proven programs to scale. In addition to UTeach, NMSI's College Readiness program provides content-rich training for both new and experienced math and science teachers to help transform schools into centers of college readiness and engage students to develop strong interests in STEM fields.
About National Math and Science Initiative: NMSI was launched in 2007 by top leaders in business, education, and science to transform education in the United States. NMSI has received national recognition for training 3-12 teachers and improving student performance through the rapid expansion of the NMSI College Readiness program, NMSI Teacher Training program, and UT Austin's UTeach program. For more information, visit www.nms.org.
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SOURCE National Math and Science Initiative