AUSTIN, TexasThe University of Texas at Austin has received $925,000 from Houston Endowment Inc. for programs relating to children’s literacy, preparation of high school math and science teachers, writing at the undergraduate level and workforce training.
“We are very grateful for Houston Endowment Inc.’s generous gift, which will help to focus the resources and energies of the University on challenges facing education at all levels,” said UT Austin President Larry R. Faulkner.
“The projects funded by this gift support some of my highest priorities for the University, including strengthening of our activities relating to public schools and enhancement of the undergraduate experience,” Faulkner said.
The grant provides $300,000 over two years for the Family Literacy Center in the College of Education’s Texas Center for Reading and Language Arts. The funding will pay for professional development materials and training sessions for family literacy providers across the state.
Also benefiting from the grant will be the College of Natural Sciences, which will receive $300,000 over two years for a program to prepare math and science teachers at the secondary level. Known as UTeach, the program is conducted in partnership with the College of Education and Austin Independent School District.
UTeach addresses a critical shortage of math/science teachers through an innovative program featuring early field experience, paid internships for students and mentoring by practicing teachers.
In addition, the Undergraduate Writing Center (UWC) in the College of Liberal Arts will receive $300,000 over two years to enhance the teaching of writing at UT Austin and in Texas high schools.
The funding will enable the UWC to expand efforts to help UT instructors from all disciplines integrate writing into their undergraduate courses. Additionally, the UWC will sponsor summer writing seminars and an on-line writing laboratory for Texas high school teachers.
Also receiving funding is the IC2 Institute, which will receive $25,000 for EnterTech, a project aimed at providing job skills for unemployed and underemployed individuals.
Houston Endowment Inc., created in 1937 by Houston entrepreneur Jesse H. Jones and his wife, Mary, supports higher education, the arts, health and human services, K-12 education, medical research and facilities and local communities. All totaled, the endowment has given more than $30 million to UT Austin.