First in the state, the widely-acclaimed model will train educators in crucial STEM fields
TOWSON, Md. (May 24, 2012)—With funding from the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, National Math and Science Initiative and Maryland State Department, Towson University will launch Towson UTeach, a program model for the preparation of PreK-12 educators in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM fields.
“Towson is honored to be the first university in Maryland to be approved and funded to prepare teachers using the successful UTeach model,” says Towson University President Maravene Loeschke.
“With a history as the state’s largest producer of educators, Towson is quickly emerging as a national model for teacher preparation programs. This grant will help boost Towson’s role in educating both STEM graduates and highly qualified STEM educators.”
In an effort to increase STEM teachers through Towson UTeach, the University System of Maryland (USM) also pledged annual base funding of $300,000 as a priority request in USM’s FY2014 budget proposal to Governor Martin O’Malley.
The deans and faculty of Towson’s College of Education and Jess and Mildred Fisher College of Science and Mathematics, with support from former State Schools Superintendent Dr. Nancy Grasmick, were instrumental in writing the proposal. Grasmick was recently named a TU presidential scholar, with the mission of guiding the university’s innovation in teacher and leader preparation.
“In order for the United States to be competitive in the future, there is an urgent need for Americans to be engaged in STEM careers,” says Grasmick. “It is imperative that the pipeline of students with the prerequisite skills for these careers begin in PreK-12 schools. Well-prepared teachers are critical to achieving this goal and no program is more effective at this preparation than UTeach.”
The UTeach Institute was established at the University of Texas at Austin in response to what the National Math and Science Initiative calls the “STEM crisis,” referring to the national concern about teacher preparation in STEM fields. The UTeach Institute focuses on improving teacher quality by attracting STEM majors to pursue careers in education. The first UTeach program started in 1997, but today 29 universities across the nation have implemented UTeach models.