College of Education receives grant to diversify STEM teacher workforce



The College of Education and Human Development, in partnership with the College of Science, Engineering and Technology, has been awarded a $46,000 National Math and Science Institute HBCUTeach: Diversifying the STEM Teacher Workforce Planning Grant. The grant will support the college in organizing a secondary STEM teacher preparation program based on the nationally recognized UTeach STEM teacher preparation model.

“Data supports our belief that many high-quality students, who contemplate the teaching options in mathematics or sciences, are discouraged by the amount of additional work needed, beyond their major degree requirements, for a teaching certificate, as well as the lack of professional mentorship received within the primary content areas,” said Dr. Roosevelt Shelton, dean of the College of Education and Human Development.

The large number of students completing the MAT option, Shelton said, is evidence that alternative routes to STEM teacher certification are being pursued.

“Our short-term goal is to explore various means for addressing these challenges, such as the UTeach model,” he added.

Shelton explained that the grant provides a significant opportunity to evaluate and better understand the UTeach program model and strategies. As a result, plans developed through the process will be evaluated to increase the number of secondary African American STEM teachers. In January 2021, the college will be eligible for three to five-year grants to implement those plans.

“The acute teacher shortage in our state is a paramount concern for us, and STEM teachers are our greatest shortage area. Our long-term goal is to qualify for the extended three-year funding grant, through which we can transform and significantly expand our current STEM footprint within the state,” said Shelton.