Tuesday, November 20, 2012
UTeach West Georgia recently received a $1.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation’s Robert Noyce Scholarship Program that will assist in enhancing an already successful initiative. The program, aimed at boosting the supply of secondary math and science teachers, is already exceeding expectations, more than doubling the projected number of enrolled students in its first year.
“This grant will help us recruit students into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) teaching and support summer enrichment,” said Dr. Dianne Hoff, project investigator and interim dean of the college of education. “It will also help ensure we can keep top students and produce outstanding teachers.”
UTeach West Georgia started in January 2012 with a projected enrollment of 48 students. Currently 104 students are enrolled, giving the program a 56-student increase in its first year. “The first semester we had to open a third section to accommodate the demand for the UTeach program,” said Hoff.
Students enrolled in the program are awarded scholarships for a two-year period totaling $25,000 each on the condition of teaching in Georgia for 2 years.
UWG is one of only three institutions in the state selected to replicate the UTeach model. The program was specifically created to attract the widest range of bright science and mathematics majors into secondary teacher careers, to prepare them with an advanced field-intensive curriculum, and to promote field retention through induction support and ongoing professional development.
"We are very pleased at this $1.2 M award -- primarily because it will help educate students in the STEM fields and develop teachers in this area of national and state-wide need," said Dr. Beheruz N. Sethna, president of UWG. "It will also help us at UWG to continue and enhance the great work my colleagues already do in the STEM discipline, and, of course, it establishes UWG as one of the major players in STEM education."
"I am very grateful to the National Science Foundation’s Robert Noyce Scholarship Program for the confidence they have expressed in us, and to my great colleagues in the College of Education, the College of Science and Mathematics, and throughout the University who worked on this grant proposal and who make it work in the hearts and minds of our students," said Sethna.
According to the National Math and Science Initiative, it is estimated that the United States will need an additional 280,000 math and science teachers by 2015.
“The future of our country is dependent on the STEM innovation, and this begins with great teachers,” said Hoff. “As a leader in STEM education, UWG is committed to preparing outstanding STEM teachers for the entire state.”
For more information about Uteach West Georgia, visit westga.edu/uteach.