[Skip to page content]
< Back
NMSI Blog

Gifts from Bechtel Group Foundation to Support UTeach Alumni

Beginning in 2014, Bechtel Group Foundation—the giving arm of the Bechtel group of engineering and construction firms—has awarded gifts totaling $300,000 to support NMSI’s UTeach Expansion Program, a collaborative partnership forged with the UTeach Institute at The University of Texas at Austin to grow the STEM teacher workforce in communities across the country.
 
Beyond supporting the graduation of top-notch math and science teachers, NMSI is committed to increasing retention of UTeach graduates in the classroom, increasing student achievement in new teachers’ classrooms, and moving new teachers along the continuum from novice to expert teachers. The Bechtel funds will help advance several NMSI initiatives to support UTeach graduates including:

•Teacher induction scholarships: Scholarships to attend NMSI’s multi-year Laying the Foundation teacher training program will provide UTeach graduates with research-based instructional strategies proven to improve teaching effectiveness and student performance as well as a wealth of tested lesson plans, labs, and assessments ready to implement in their first classrooms.

•UTeach alumni mentor development: NMSI will develop a cadre of expert mentors for UTeach graduates by selecting and training UTeach alumni who have excelled as STEM educators following graduation. Mentors provide vital one-on-one support and feedback to students throughout the program and beyond as they work to prepare student lessons and activities, respond to classroom challenges, and master student engagement techniques.

• UTeach alumni tracking and reporting: NMSI will expand UTeach graduate tracking efforts, including collection of employment and retention data and deployment of surveys to assess the needs of UTeach graduates and the ongoing support they receive. These data will inform research studies on the impact of the UTeach program nationally and help identify best practices in STEM teacher support and retention.
 
“Providing new UTeach alumni with induction support and professional development as they enter the profession is a critical component of the UTeach model,” says Ronda Brandon, Vice President of NMSI’s UTeach Expansion Program. “Bechtel’s gifts will expand the resources available to new graduates and help ensure that they have the supports they need to embark on fulfilling and successful careers in math and science education.”
 
The UTeach community includes more than 2,100 alumni from UTeach programs at 39 universities nationwide, and this number is rapidly growing. Five new universities will join the UTeach network in the 2015-16 school year. UTeach alumni from all of these programs are projected to teach approximately five million math and science middle and high school students by 2020.
 
“The Bechtel Group Foundation funds programs that engage young people in the STEM subjects,” says Manager LeeAnne Lang. “We see UTeach as an effective way to recruit and prepare teachers who have a passion for these important subjects."