Grant will help recruit, train new teachers in STEM disciplines
(STILLWATER, OK – February 4, 2014) - Oklahoma State University today announced a $1.45 million grant from the National Math and Science Initiative to replicate UTeach, a secondary science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) teacher preparation initiative that is addressing the nation’s STEM education crisis by producing qualified math and science teachers across the country.
“It is an honor to be selected as the only UTeach university in our state, allowing us to carry out our land-grant mission by helping transform K-12 STEM education throughout Oklahoma,” said OSU President Burns Hargis. “This new program – OSUTeach -- will build a STEM pipeline that will impact the economic health of the state and regional industries as well as future generations.”
OSU is one of five universities across the country to receive the five-year grant, made possible by a generous contribution from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Beginning in the fall of 2014, the UTeach program will be made available to students at OSU as well as Drexel University, Florida International University, University of Alabama at Birmingham, and University of Maryland, College Park.
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 new math and science teachers in the United States by 2020 – nearly 10 percent of the 100Kin10 national goal of producing 100,000 new STEM teachers by 2021.
“Educating future math and science teachers through a collaborative effort between the College of Education and College of Arts and Sciences provides an innovative model for teacher education,” said Pamela ’Sissi’ Carroll, Dean of the OSU College of Education. “I have seen the impact of the UTeach model in other states, and look forward to the increase in the number of highly qualified secondary math and science teachers in our communities, as well as to the enhanced partnership between the university and public schools,”
The grant is unique in that it offers an opportunity for industry and community partners to make investments in OSUTeach that will benefit countless schools throughout the state and permanently establish and sustain the program with a comprehensive fundraising initiative. OSU will be changing the face of STEM education and the future workforce for STEM-related careers.
“What a wonderful opportunity for Oklahoma State,” said Bret Danilowicz, Dean of the OSU College of Arts and Sciences. “OSUTeach faculty members are eager to educate more science and mathematics teachers who will in turn educate the leaders and workers of tomorrow. We are honored to be chosen for this grant and for the opportunity to partner with the College of Education to implement this tremendous model of teacher education.”
The grant will subsidize core elements of the UTeach program, which 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.
An OSUTeach website has been developed to provide updates and information about the progress of the OSUTeach program.
Universities were selected to participate in the UTeach program through a competitive proposal 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/files/uploads/2014-uteach-rfp.pdf.
“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.”
The UTeach program, first developed in 1997 at the University of Texas Austin, has been implemented at 35 universities across the country with a total enrollment of more than 6,000 students. 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. Since 2008, NMSI has actively worked with the UTeach Institute to expand the program to colleges and universities around the country.