Posted November 26, 2007

Temple University receives national grant to launch science and math teacher preparation program

TU Teach grant
Photos by Ryan S. Brandenberg/

Temple University
Truman Bell (left), ExxonMobil’s senior program officer for education and diversity presents a check for $2.4 million to Temple University President Ann Weaver Hart (center) and College of Science and Technology Dean Hai-Lung Dai on behalf of the National Math and Science Initiative to implement a program to improve secondary teacher education in science and math. The program will be a collaborative effort between Temple’s College of Education and College of Science and Technology.

For the United States to continue producing a technologically literate workforce, the public education system must enhance science and mathematics education, especially at the middle and high school levels. To help achieve this goal, Temple University has been awarded a grant of up to $2.4 million by the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) to improve secondary teacher education in science and math.

The grant is one of 12 to be awarded by NMSI ( to implement a program modeled after the UTeach program, a highly successful math and science teacher preparation program at the University of Texas at Austin.

Established in 1997, the UTeach program offers compact degree plans, early teaching experiences, and financial assistance for undergraduate students, as well as a platform for raising the quantity and quality of mathematics, science and computer science teachers in secondary schools.


“This grant represents a challenging and welcome opportunity for us to rethink how we educate math and science teachers collaboratively with our colleagues in the College of Science and Technology,” said C. Kent McGuire, dean of the College of Education. “We are also delighted that our commitment to producing high-quality professionals for math and science teaching, particularly for urban schools and districts, has earned Temple national recognition.”

The Temple program, named TUTeach, will be a collaborative effort between Temple’s colleges of Science and Technology and Education. The effort also will include NMSI, the UTeach Institute ( and private industry, as well as local schools and districts.


Under the TUTeach program, advising, mentoring and financing mechanisms will be set up in Temple’s College of Science and Technology to encourage some of its 3,100 students to follow a special math/science teacher-track curriculum. Those students in this track will take a number of pedagogy courses from the College of Education and upon graduation will be prepared to be certified as math or science teachers at the secondary education level.

From the grant, $1.4 million will be used primarily for student scholarships, hiring of master science teachers (for mentoring and advising CST students), and program administration over the next four years.

TU Teach grant
Temple’s College of Education Dean C. Kent McGuire says the new program, named TUTeach, “represents a challenging and welcome opportunity for us to rethink how we educate math and science teachers.”

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.”