The UTeach Institute at the University of Texas, in partnership with the University of North Texas, Louisiana State, and the University of Houston, has been awarded a $4.6 million Department of Education (DOE) Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) grant. UNT's Teach North Texas program (an interdisciplinary partnership between the College of Science and College of Education) will use the award to expand their science and mathematics teacher preparation initiatives and increase the number of computer science teachers in schools while also studying the role that computer science curriculum and teacher support play this particular field of education.
"The gap between the supply and demand of computer science-certified teachers is vast and nowhere is this more true than with underrepresented populations. This work, then, serves to fill that gap through the systemization of a pathway for the production and support of highly qualified CS teachers. This pathway currently exists across the UTeach network for other STEM fields and we are grateful for this opportunity to allocate significant resources towards expanding our reach to include CS while serving a more diverse student/teacher population," says Dr. Ruthanne Thompson, Distinguished Teaching Professor and co-director of Teach North Texas.
The overarching goal of this project is to address the significant shortage of qualified computer science teachers in the rapidly expanding discipline, with a focus on serving historically underrepresented students. Over three years, the grant hopes to prepare 120 new STEM teachers, 40 of which teach computer science, across four regions. Another 160 in-service teachers will receive computer science coursework using College Board-endorsed curriculum.
Established in 2008, Teach North Texas prepares and certifies secondary teachers of mathematics and science, addressing the national and regional need for excellence and innovation in science and technology. The educators of TNT prepare teachers of mathematics and science by taking a hands-on and interdisciplinary approach to facilitate collaboration among UNT colleges and departments. For more information about how Teach North Texas supports our next generation of STEM educators, visit http://teachnorthtexas.unt.edu.