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December 14, 2009

Media Contact: Beverley Golden
News and Information
The University of Texas at Tyler
903.566.7303 or 903.330.0495 (cell)

UT Tyler Awarded $1.4 Million Grant for UTeach Program

The University of Texas at Tyler has received grants totaling $1.4 million to establish a new UTeach program, President Rodney H. Mabry announced.

“The University of Texas at Tyler has a tradition of graduating teachers who stay in the classroom. UTeach will complement and reinforce the high quality and caliber of our graduating teachers in the science, math and computer science fields,” Mabry said.

UT Tyler will be the 15th campus nationwide to implement the program, which originated at UT Austin in 1997.

The National Math and Science Initiative announced that the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation donated $427,000 to help fund the new program and the Texas Education Agency provided $973,000.

“Demand for the UTeach program continues to grow around the country, and we are seeing immediate results. The fact that enrollment numbers have nearly doubled in one year confirms that more college students will seek careers as math and science teachers if you provide an approach that makes sense.

‘We are confident UT Tyler is going to play an even more significant role in preparing and motivating the math and science teachers that our country desperately needs,” said Tom Luce, CEO of NMSI.

The core elements of the UTeach program include active recruitment and incentives, such as offering the first two courses for free; compact degree program that allows students to graduate in four years with both a degree and a teaching certification; strong focus on acquiring deep content knowledge in math and science, in addition to research-based teaching strategies focusing on teaching and learning math and science; early and intensive field teaching experience, beginning in the UTeach students’ first semester; and personal attention and guidance from highly experience master teachers, faculty and successful public school teachers.

Some 82 percent of the UTeach graduate hires are still teaching after five years, compared with 65 percent nationally. Approximately 45 percent of the UTeach graduates teach in high-needs schools.

Currently, NMSI funds the UTeach program at universities in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Pennsylvania and Texas. It is estimated that the teachers from one graduating class alone in the first cohort of 13 universities will impact more than two million students during the course of their teaching careers.

NMSI is a non-profit organization focused on improving student achievement in math and science across the public school system in the United States. In its first year, NMSI, in partnership with UTeach Institute, enrolled more than 1,100 new math and science majors. That enrollment has nearly doubled to more than 2,100 for fall 2009.

One of the 15 campuses of the UT System, UT Tyler offers excellence in teaching, research, artistic performance and community service. More than 90 undergraduate and graduate degrees are available at UT Tyler, which has an enrollment of more than 6,000 high-ability students at its campuses in Tyler, Longview and Palestine.


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