Acclaimed Uteach Program Coming to Maryland
Acclaimed Uteach Program Coming to Maryland
National Math and Science Initiative,
MSDE Choose Towson University for Program
BALTIMORE (May 23, 2012) – Towson University today was named the 30th university to be selected as a site for the widely acclaimed UTeach program, designed to help build the next generation of mathematics and science educators.
The UTeach Institute recommended Towson, a selection confirmed by the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI). The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) has awarded Towson $1.33 million in federal Race to the Top funds, while NMSI, through the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, has added $680,000 in funding to boost the initiative. The University System of Maryland has pledged another $300,000 annually to support the effort aimed at significantly boosting the number of educators in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
“Strengthening STEM education is a high priority for Maryland, and it is woven throughout our Race to the Top program,” said Interim State Superintendent Bernard Sadusky. “Getting UTeach off the ground in our State will supercharge math and science education throughout our schools.”
Fewer than 10 percent of completers in Maryland’s 23 teacher education programs are in the STEM areas of teaching. Towson, the State’s largest producer of teachers, expects to graduate up to 250 new teachers in the STEM disciplines within four years.
“We are deeply grateful for the support of the Maryland State Department of Education and the Dell Foundation through the National Math and Science Initiative for the creation of the state’s first UTeach STEM teacher preparation program,” said Towson University President Dr. Maravene Loeschke. This partnership will enhance both the quality of teacher preparation in STEM areas and the pipeline for students ultimately pursuing STEM careers.”
Deans and faculty of Towson’s Fisher College of Science and Mathematics and the College of Education were instrumental in developing the proposal with the support of Dr. Nancy S. Grasmick, former State Superintendent of Schools. Dr. Grasmick serves at Towson’s Presidential Scholar, focusing on innovating the university’s educator preparation programs.
“There is an urgent need for Americans to be engaged in STEM careers if our nation is to remain competitive with the rest of the world,” Dr. Grasmick said. “The pipeline for these careers must begin in PreK-12 schools. Well-prepared teachers are critical to achieving this goal and no program is more effective at this preparation than UTeach.”
The innovative UTeach program was launched at the University of Texas at Austin in 1997 with a goal of addressing STEM teacher shortages in the state. The program attracted a wide range of science, math and computer science majors into secondary teaching careers, and prepared them for the classroom through advanced field-intensive curriculum. UTeach more than doubled the number of mathematics and science teachers, with 90 percent of its graduates entering middle and high school classrooms, and about 80 percent still teaching after five years.
The UTeach Institute was established in 2006 at the University of Texas at Austin to provide assistance and oversight to universities seeking to replicate the UTeach program. Currently 29 universities nationwide have established UTeach programs including University of California Berkeley, University of California Irvine, University of Colorado, University of Kansas, Louisiana State University, Northern Arizona University, Western Kentucky University, and 22 others. See http://www.uteach-institute.org and http://www.nationalmathandscience.org for more information.
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