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3 Reasons Why UTeach is Awesome (and Absolutely Necessary) for Students

It could be said that teaching is not a simple career choice to make these days. Of the 426,000 middle- and high-school math and science teachers in the U.S., 25,000 leave the teaching profession every year, and approximately 46% of new teachers leave within their first five years of teaching. Those are drastically high numbers, and they could be a potential turn-off for want-to-be teachers. I guarantee the reason why there is such a high turnover rate is not because the teaching profession is cursed, it’s because we aren’t fully preparing our teachers for a successful experience in the classroom.
But, in partnership with the University of Texas at Austin, NMSI is changing these statistics with UT Austin’s revolutionary UTeach Program, and here are the three reasons why it is SO AWESOME – and impacting American students:
1.    It produces incredible, qualified teachers. By now it should be no surprise that America needs better teachers in our classrooms – especially in the areas of math and science – but did you know that this year’s DISD Teacher of the Year, Joshua Newton, is also a graduate of UT Austin’s UTeach Program? Teaching since 2007, he has endured beyond the 5-year quitting mark, and has made great strides to reshape his school district and help those students at risk – and he actually holds a degree in MATHEMATICS! We need more teachers like Newton, teachers who are dedicated and passionate about helping their students, teachers who are qualified to facilitate and encourage learning in the classroom, and that’s where UTeach comes into play for higher education students.
2.   It meets a need in high demand. President Obama has charged the nation with producing 100,000 new – and qualified – teachers of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) by 2020, but that goal will never become a reality at the current rate of teacher retention. However, unlike the national average, NMSI and UTeach are seeing fantastic results. Almost 90% of these UTeach graduates go on to teach math and science, and nearly 80% are still in the profession after 5 years. Because of this success, the UTeach program has been replicated in 35 universities across 17 states, and as of 2012, more than 1,150 UTeach students have graduated from these universities. It is also estimated that over 15,000 more teachers will graduate from these same 35 UTeach programs by 2022.
3.   But in the end, it helps the kids the most. Rigorous and effective STEM education is absolutely vital to national success, but too many students are struggling to keep up. Only 70% of students graduate from public high schools, only 32% graduate college-ready, and those numbers are even lower for minorities. If America is to stay globally competitive and relevant, we need to ensure that our children are getting the best teachers that they possibly can. Thankfully, UTeach is producing those teachers; by 2020, the graduates of NMSI’s UTeach programs nationwide are expected to impact more than 5 million secondary students. That means 5 million students are expected to receive the best, most rigorous education they need to be successful in college and the workforce. And that’s really the core of UTeach. It’s about helping the students of America succeed in life.
One UTeach student – Brittney Sly of the University of Texas in Arlington – summed it all up in the best possible way at one of our recent Summer Institutes:
“Through going through UTeach and the NMSI teacher training, I expect to become a better teacher, and be able to do better for my students – for my future students that I don’t know yet – because I want to be the best teacher that I can possibly be. So it seems like the more training and the more experience that I can go through before becoming a teacher, the better I’ll be prepared to handle all of those different kinds of students and teach them different things.”
There is still time to register for our remaining Summer Institutes! Don’t miss your chance to revolutionize your classroom through NMSI’s Teacher Training and become the best teacher that you can possibly be!