The National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) announced this month that UMass Boston is one of five universities selected to join a national network of universities in the expansion of the UTeach STEM teacher preparation program. UMass Boston and the other schools launching UTeach programs will each receive $1.45 million over five years.
The UTeach program recruits college students studying STEM subjects into secondary teaching careers by enabling them to receive both a degree in their major and a teaching certification without additional time or cost, preparing them with a field-intensive curriculum, and promoting retention through induction support and ongoing professional development. Collectively, UTeach programs across the country are expected to produce an estimated 8,300 secondary math and science teachers who will teach a projected 4.8 million students by 2020.
“Teaching is a rewarding, challenging and exciting professional pathway,” said Arthur Eisenkraft, Director of the Center of Science and Math in Context (COSMIC). “By creating highly qualified teachers for our surrounding communities, UMass Boston will be fulfilling and extending its urban mission by expanding our efforts in preparing K-12 students for their future leadership roles in our technological society and economy.”
“This program will enable UMass Boston to enhance its activity in preparing undergraduate students in science, mathematics, and engineering to pursue careers as teachers,” said Andrew Grosovsky, dean of UMass Boston’s College of Science and Mathematics. “CSM is committed to providing a larger and more diverse population of STEM graduates.”
Eisenkraft and Grosovsky were instrumental in bringing the UTeach program to UMass Boston. They are co-principal investigators on the grant, which will be administered jointly by CSM and COSMIC.
The UTeach program was created in 1997 at The University of Texas at Austin to attract bright science and math majors into secondary teaching careers. Created as a collaborative effort between the Colleges of Natural Sciences and Education, the program addresses both the shortage of qualified secondary STEM teachers as well as the quality of those entering the teaching field. The UTeach program is made possible by a $22.5 million grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI).
“NMSI is committed to building a pipeline of skilled students and teachers to meet the nation’s need for a STEM-capable citizenry and workforce,” said Sara Martinez Tucker, CEO of NMSI. “The UTeach expansion initiative is a proven way to ensure teachers are equipped with the STEM content knowledge and instructional expertise needed to be effective in the classroom.”