The National Math and Science Initiative announced that a $22.5 million, five-year grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), one of America's premier medical research organizations, will support the expansion of The University of Texas at Austin's highly successful UTeach program to 10 research universities.
The grant will provide $20 million for expansion into the universities and $1.25 million for the UTeach Institute to further develop curricula and assessment resources.
HHMI committed an additional $1.25 million to offer course-based authentic research experiences to UTeach students through the HHMI Science Education Alliance.
More than 6,200 students are currently enrolled in the UTeach program at 34 universities across the country, including the founding site at The University of Texas at Austin. The HHMI grant has the potential to significantly increase UTeach enrollment during the life of the five-year grant. The 10 universities are expected to produce more than 1,700 math and science teachers during the next decade, increasing the number of UTeach graduates nationally to more than 14,000 math and science teachers by 2022.
"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," said Michael Marder, professor of physics and UTeach co-director at The University of Texas at Austin. "The pool of students pursuing math and science degrees at top U.S. research universities represents one of the very best sources for recruiting and preparing great math and science teachers."
Kimberly Hughes, director of the UTeach Institute, added, "We look forward to the contribution these universities will make to the growing UTeach network of universities building capacity to significantly impact the national shortage of STEM teachers."
UTeach enables students majoring in math, science or computer science to receive both a degree in their major and full teaching certification in four years with no extra time or cost. More than 1,100 graduates have been produced nationally.
The University of Texas at Austin UTeach program, which began in 1997, currently enrolls more than 600 students and has produced 772 graduates, 90 percent of whom have entered the teaching field. UTeach's record of success 80 percent of teachers are still teaching after five years has brought the program national recognition as an effective solution to the disturbing shortage of qualified math and science teachers in the United States.
The UTeach Institute was established at The University of Texas Austin to support replication of the UTeach teacher preparation program at universities across the country and to lead efforts toward continuous improvement of the UTeach program model. The singular goal of this effort is to increase the number of highly qualified science, mathematics and computer science teachers nationwide.
The institute's work is supported through a variety of strategic partnerships and initiatives at the national, state and local levels. The institute partners with the National Math and Science Initiative and the states of Texas, Tennessee, Georgia, Massachusetts, Florida, Maryland and Arkansas to replicate UTeach at universities across the country. A complete list of strategic partners is available at http://uteach-institute.org/about/detail/partners/.