UTeach Dallas Receives $200,000 from Fort Worth Foundation
May 5, 2008
Efforts by The University of Texas at Dallas to graduate more math and science teachers for Texas middle and senior high schools have received a $200,000 gift from the Sid W. Richardson Foundation.
UTeach Dallas, which enrolled its first cohort of students in January, is aimed at drawing more math, science, engineering and computer science majors to the profession of teaching. Students are exposed to the inside of a classroom as early as their freshman year and can complete their major and teacher certification within four years. UTeach Dallas also provides students with financial support and pairs them with a mentor teacher.
“They find out very early if teaching is something that they will enjoy. Whether they continue with the program or not, they are reimbursed for the tuition for that course,” said Bill Neal, a master teacher who administers the new program in the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.
The gift from the Fort Worth foundation will go towards tuition reimbursement, internships, scholarships and instructional resources to prepare students for their field work. In its first semester, 24 students enrolled in UTeach Dallas and have practiced their teaching skills in elementary schools in Garland, Carrollton-Farmers Branch and Richardson school districts.
This is the second gift from the Richardson Foundation to the UTeach Dallas program. In 2007 the foundation awarded $100,000 to UTeach Dallas. In addition, UTeach Dallas is supported with $2.4 million in funding from the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI). The nonprofit organization’s goal is to help the U.S. maintain its global leadership position in technological innovation.
The UTeach program was established in 1997 at The University of Texas at Austin as a better way to introduce undergraduate math and science majors to secondary school teaching. UTeach certifies more than 70 students every year at UT Austin and more than 90 percent of them immediately start teaching in their respective fields. More than 80 percent continue four years after starting, compared with only 60 percent nationally.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry poses with UTeach Dallas students. Also included are ExxonMobil Vice President for Public Affairs Ken Cohen, President and CEO of the National Math and Science Initiative Tom Luce and students Julianne Ayyad, Faith Yeh, Therri Usher, Laura Shagman, Erica Muhammad, Tania Foster, Annie Ackors and Vincent Tran.