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NMSI and UTeach Recognized by Senate Budget Committee

During a Senate Budget Committee hearing on May 16, 2013, Dr. John P. Holdren, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology, gave a statement concerning the level of Federal support for STEM education in the President’s fiscal year 2014 Budget. According to Dr. Holdren, the President’s budget invests $3.1 billion in STEM education programs which will help prepare and support future and current STEM teachers. The President also aims to “substantially decrease the fragmentation of STEM programs across the Federal government” by implementing a 50% reduction of current STEM programs, cutting back from 226 to 110. However, this defragmentation effort is being done with the mindset that less is more; by reducing redundancy, the delivery and impact of the right kinds of STEM education programs will be more effective and efficient.
Among the host of programs Dr. Holdren mentioned the UTeach program, a program that “allows undergraduates to earn simultaneously a teaching certificate and a Bachelor’s degree in a STEM field.” According to NMSI, more than 1,150 college students have graduated from the UTeach program as of 2012, and an estimated 10,225 teachers will graduate by 2020 from the 34 universities currently participating. To help expand the outreach of this program further, Dr. Holdren announced that the Howard Hughes Medical Institute is donating $22.5 million to NMSI, and the Department of Education is on board as well.
“NSMI and UTeach are helping to achieve the President’s goal of preparing 100,000 effective STEM teachers over the next decade,” said Dr. Holden, “[and] the Department of Education is investing $80 million to support this goal.”
This generous investment will help to expand the UTeach program further, which is already growing rapidly across North Texas. Since its inception, UTeach Dallas at UTD has had more than 100 graduates enter the education workforce, potentially impacting 79,000 students by 2019. Another 100 students are on track to graduate next year from UNT’s Teach North Texas program, along with 50 students from UT Arlington’s UTeach program. These three North Texas programs, along with the additional five UTeach sites across Texas, are on track to produce more than 5,000 graduates by 2020.
UTeach has also had tremendous success in Louisiana with LSU’s GeauxTeach program. LSU is NMSI’s top institution in STEM recruitment, drawing in approximately 125 GeauxTeach Math/Science recruits annually, compared to 80 at NMSI’s other universities. Due to this success, it also serves as the national blueprint for teacher preparation in STEM education, and LSU hopes to replicate the program across the LSU System and the state.