Program receives gift from Charles and Lynda Shusterman Family Foundation
Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin joined Oklahoma State University President Burns Hargis and representatives from the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) and the UTeach Institute to officially announce the launch of OSUTeach and a $1.4 million grant from NMSI for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) teacher preparation.
“The education of our children must be our top priority,” said Governor Fallin. “In order to build a stronger and better work force in the state it is imperative we emphasize STEM subjects in both our elementary and secondary schools. OSUTeach will go a long way in accomplishing this by focusing on training teachers who are engaged in STEM and they in turn will pass on that passion and enthusiasm for these subjects to their students.”
In addition to the official program announcement today, the university also recognized the Charles and Lynn Shusterman Family Foundation in Tulsa for its $600,000 gift to support the OSUTeach program.
“We are especially thankful to the Shusterman Family Foundation for its gift to support OSUTeach,” said President Hargis. “This program is going to have a significant impact on our students in both the colleges of Education and Arts & Sciences and on common education across Oklahoma.”
Hargis added, “OSU is proud to be the only university in the state to be chosen for this nationally recognized program and grateful we have supporters like the Shusterman Family Foundation willing to step forward and enhance what it will offer our students and faculty.”
The program is a collaboration between OSU’s College of Education and College of Arts Sciences. Core elements of the UTeach program include recruitment and retention incentives, a compact degree program, a strong focus on research-based strategies for teaching and learning math and science, intensive field teaching experience, and personal guidance from master teachers and faculty.
“OSUTeach connects us directly with public school partners, giving OSU students hands-on experience with fine classroom teachers and their students at elementary, middle school and high school levels,” said College of Education Dean Pamela “Sissi” Carroll.
“OSUTeach also represents an investment in Oklahoma State’s future. We will now graduate more teachers specifically trained for increasing engagement with science and mathematics in our schools,” said Bret Danilowicz, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.
In February, NMSI and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute announced that OSU had been selected along with four other universities in the nation and the only Oklahoma institution as an implementation partner for UTeach. UTeach is a highly-successful program created to attract a wide range of bright science and mathematics majors into secondary teaching careers, to prepare them through an advanced field-intensive curriculum, and to promote professional retention through induction support and ongoing professional development.
The UTeach program was first developed at the University of Texas Austin in 1997 and since then has been implemented at 35 universities across the country. By the fall of 2015 it is expected that the UTeach program will be in 45 universities and is expected to produce more than 9,000 new math and science teachers in the United States by 2020 – nearly 10 percent of the national goal of producing 100,000 new STEM teachers by 2021.
OSUTeach will offer degrees in biological science, chemistry, geology (choice of earth/space science or physical science), mathematics and physics beginning fall 2014. Students who participate in the program will receive a degree in a STEM major and full teaching certification without added time or cost. In addition, OSUTeach participants are in K-12 classrooms in their first semester in the program.
For more information on OSUTeach visit the website at http://osuteach.okstate.edu/.