The National Science Foundation (NSF), through its Division of Undergraduate Education, has awarded a $900,000 grant to UC Santa Barbara’s Gevirtz School to help support the education of mathematics and science teachers in the Cal Teach program. The funding, being made available as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will provide $10,000 fellowships for 75 teacher candidates pursuing their Masters Degree.
“This award will allow us to increase our production of math and science teachers by 70 percent,” says Dean Jane Close Conoley of the Gevirtz School, who is the project’s principal investigator. “Over the next five years we anticipate preparing 145 credentialed mathematics and science teachers for California high schools. This translates into literally thousands of young Californians having specially prepared mathematics and science teachers in their secondary classrooms. These are teachers who know how to be effective with English language learners and economically disadvantaged students. In fact, a condition of students’ fellowships is that they teach in high-need schools for at least two years, thus, schools that rarely get the best teachers will now be guaranteed an exceptionally prepared teacher work force.”
“The Gevirtz Graduate School has forged important partnerships with our mathematical, life and physical science departments to build a cutting edge pathway to develop exceptionally well trained teachers,” claims UC Santa Barbara Chancellor Henry T. Yang. “We are very proud of the faculty’s efforts and look forward to the children of California benefiting from this award from the National Science Foundation. Good teachers make a difference for children and the NSF award will allow the most talented science and math majors to pursue careers in education without incurring additional debt.”
Cal Teach at Santa Barbara, or CTSB – has three objectives: 1) to use the rapidly expanding undergraduate program at the Gevirtz School – which includes a new Minor in Science and Mathematics Education – to recruit students, particularly underrepresented ethnic minority students, into science and mathematics teaching; 2) to increase the overall number of science and mathematics credential candidates in UCSB’s Teacher Education Program; and 3) to build cohorts of students through shared activities so as to prepare and retain student-centered, reform-minded science and mathematics teachers. These objectives are all the more crucial given the increasing need for qualified science and mathematics teachers and the lack of support at the state level due to California’s budget crisis.
[Jane Close Conoley is available for interviews; contact George Yatchisin at 805 893 5789]
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