In response to this growing crisis, the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) began replicating a highly successful teacher training program, UTeach, in 2008. The program, which recruits and trains math and science majors for careers in teaching, is transforming the way universities prepare teachers for the 21st century.
UTeach offers a compact degree plan that allows students to graduate in four years with a degree in their core subject as well as a teaching certification. Early and intensive field teaching experience begins in students’ first semesters and is supplemented by mentoring and guidance from highly experienced master teachers, faculty and public school teachers.
UTeach now has more than 6,000 math and science majors enrolled in the program in 34 universities across the country. Based on current enrollment, UTeach graduates will go on to impact more than 4 million math and science students.
The results speak for themselves: Approximately 90 percent of UTeach graduates go directly into teaching, with a retention rate of 80 percent after five years of teaching (compared to less than 65 percent nationally). The program has received national recognition from the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities (APLU) and the Presidential Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) and is featured as a “best practice” program by Change the Equation, a national clearinghouse for excellence in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education.