The additional $1 million is a match for fundraising of an endowment for continuing support of this program at Temple.
“This country has a critical shortage of science and math teachers in secondary schools, and until recently, the way of preparing those teachers has focused on pedagogy rather than content preparation,” said Hai-Lung Dai, Laura H. Carnell Professor and dean of Temple’s College of Science and Technology. “One of the urgent needs in education is content-prepared science teachers, so we want to encourage our students in math and sciences to consider secondary teaching as a career. This grant will help us create an initiative modeled after a program that has been successful in achieving that goal.”
According to NMSI, a non-profit organization whose goal is to help the United States maintain its global leadership position in technological innovation, “American students today are underperforming in math and science, and too many math and science teachers do not have the benefit of specific training and support in the math and science subjects they teach. To continue to innovate, the United States must upgrade and accelerate its commitment to improving educational quality.”
ExxonMobil contributed an initial $125 million to NMSI’s efforts, with additional donations coming from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation. NMSI has committed to the hallmarks of the UTeach program becoming the national standard for math and science teacher preparation; its goal is to have training and incentive programs in 150 school districts in 20 states, and UTeach programs running on more than 50 campuses nationwide within the next five years.
“I have been impressed by the tremendous results the UTeach program has had in Texas, and I look forward to the great outcomes that will result from expanding this program across the nation,” said Tom Luce, president and CEO of NMSI.
UTeach certifies more than 70 students every year at the University of Texas at Austin, with more than 90 percent of the UTeach graduates immediately going on to teach in their respective fields, and more than 80 percent continuing four years after starting, compared to only 60 percent nationally.
“As a company that employs 14,000 engineers and scientists, ExxonMobil knows how important it is to provide the best education and training possible for our nation’s young people,” said Rex Tillerson, chair and chief executive officer of ExxonMobil Corporation. “We are proud to be part of this important effort to begin to address the critical shortage of math and science teachers in our schools.”