Many of UT Dallas’ brightest science and math majors are forgoing more lucrative careers because they are committed to educating the next generation of scientists and engineers. Their passion for teaching should be rewarded with funds for scholarships, internships, and hands-on in public school classroom training. The UTeach Dallas Program relies a great deal upon funding from generous and foresighted donors to provide this support for our students.
Here is sampling of what our endowment supports:
- Introductory teaching classes, including field experience in local classrooms
- Paid internships within educational organizations, $20,000 a semester
- Annual scholarship support, $5000
- Tuition reimbursements to Step 1 & 2 students for exploring the teaching profession, $250 per student on average
- Stipends for participating mentor teachers and student teacher supervising teachers
Donations support areas of the program that cannot be funded with State and Federal dollars. One of the hallmarks of the UTeach program is the emphasis on field experiences. Our students begin to learn about teaching by teaching from the very first course in the program. As they progress, they spend even more time in the field, learning from expert mentor teachers. All of this even before they get to their student teaching semester! UTeach Dallas relies on our endowment to fund these vital experiences, everything from stipends for the mentor teachers who generously provide their classrooms and feedback to our pre-service teachers to equipment and supplies.
The UTeach Dallas program also provides our students with the opportunity to work in an educational setting. Our Internship Program is the largest expense of all our donor-funding programs. In the Internship Program, students are paid a generous stipend to work 5 to 20 hours a week with a non-profit organization in the greater-Dallas area that provides educational services to the community. The internship program supports a variety of positions such as assisting with the development of educational materials, working directly with families and children, providing guided tours at local museums and science centers, and assisting with after-school programs devoted to helping children succeed.
These community-based programs have come to count on UTeach students at sites like the Sci-Tech center, Museum of Nature and Science, local ISD’s, and more. These jobs provide our students with financial assistance and practical education-related experiences, as well as benefiting the local community. Currently each semester UTeach Dallas funds 20-40 internships and we could not do it without the generous support of donors like you. We would love to see that grow to 80-100 internships a semester.
When fully funded, UTeach Dallas will produce up to 50 highly-qualified and innovative math and science teachers annually for local schools. BUT to succeed, these teachers need help from people who believe every Texas student deserves a first-rate teacher. The third critical and donor-funded category is the Induction Program. Texas mandates that Universities provide continuing support to new teachers, but the State provides no funding to meet this obligation. The first five years are the proven critical period in a teacher’s career with approximately half exiting the profession within this time frame.
UTeach Dallas will support all of its graduates who enter the teaching profession. This support includes activities such as professional development, funding to attend professional conferences, and simply providing continuing advice, and support as simple as basic supplies. According to the National School Supply and Equipment Association, a trade association made up of educational product manufacturers, teachers in the U.S. spend just over $350 a year on school supplies and instructional supplies. As part of the UTeach Induction Program, all new graduates receive a box full of supplies to help them get that first classroom ready: index cards, pens, pencils, folders, dry erase markers, colored paper, stacking trays, and more. This may not sound like much, but being able to give our grads these basic supplies helps them get a solid start on the school year.
Field experiences, internships, and induction are only some of the aspects of our program that are donor-funded. And as the program grows, so does demand. To help meet this demand and in order to keep growing, UTeach Dallas has set a goal of building a 2 million dollar endowment for the continued support of the program. This includes a matching grant from the The National Math and Science Initiative, Inc. Note: This matching grant expires in 2012, so it is critical that we raise the necessary funds quickly in order to ensure continues success of this far reaching and impactful program. If you are interested in contributing to our endowment, please contact Dr Mary Urquhart, UTeach Dallas Co-Director.