NMSI Awards $7.25 Million for STEM Teacher Training

The National Math and Science Initiative has announced grants totaling $7.25 million to establish teacher-training programs in secondary school-level science, technology, engineering, and mathematics at five research universities.

Five-year grants of $1.45 million each were awarded to establish UTeach programs at George Washington, Louisiana Tech, and West Virginia universities, the University of Massachusetts, Boston, and the University of Nevada, Reno. Established in 1997 at the University of Texas at Austin, UTeach aims to attract and prepare high-performing undergraduate students majoring in STEM disciplines for careers as secondary school teachers.

Beginning in 2015, the five institutions will use their grants to help students interested in math and science earn both a degree in their major and a secondary teaching certification without adding time or cost to their four-year degree program. The key elements of the program include collaboration across colleges, student recruitment and support, compact and flexible degree plans, a focus on research-based teaching and learning strategies, early and intensive field teaching experiences, and personal guidance from master teachers and faculty.

Earlier this year, NMSI announced the first five universities — Drexel, Florida International, and Oklahoma State universities, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and the University of Maryland, College Park — to create UTeach programs as part of an expansion initiative. In 2013, NMSI received a $22.5 million grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute for the initiative.

"This is truly a comprehensive effort across many disciplines," said WVU provost Joyce McConnell. "It will require tremendous focus to recruit, prepare, develop, and support the most highly qualified teachers, but that effort will yield not only more science and math teachers, but more teachers who will remain in those fields and contribute to the success of school-aged students."