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NEWS RELEASE

Office of External Communications

Houston, TX 77204-5017 Fax: 713.743.8199

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 1, 2007

Contact: Marisa Ramirez
713.743.8152 (office)
713.204.9798 (cell)
mrcannon@uh.edu

CAREER TRANSITIONS: UH TURNS SCIENCE, MATH PROFESSIONALS INTO TEACHERS
Transition to Teaching Program Prepares Them for Jobs in Area Public Schools

HOUSTON, Feb. 1, 2007—A new program from the University of Houston’s College of Education could be the next big thing for those looking to make a career change or those about to retire.

Applications are being accepted for the Transition to Teaching program, which recruits and trains degreed professionals in the math or science field for placement as science or math teachers in area school districts.

“The ideal person is someone who is already working in those fields, like nurses or accountants, but who is looking to either retire or change careers,” said College of Education Professor and Project Director Eileen Westerman. “We give you training, scholarships, mentoring and job placement. It’s a great deal.”

Interviews to select participants are planned for Feb. 23. Interested persons can contact Coordinator Alan M. Thompson at 281.467.9089 or transition@mail.coe.uh.edu for more information.

Transition to Teaching is one of several programs created by the UH College of Education to meet the critical need for math and science teachers at all grade levels in public schools. Degreed professionals will receive tuition scholarships, in-class training (called “authentic classroom experiences”) and job placement in one of the five partner districts. They’ll also receive credit hours that can be applied toward a master’s degree. At the end of the year-long program, participants will be recommended for a teacher’s certificate.

“Each person will have support every step of the way,” Westerman said. “They’ll observe and co-teach in classrooms and get job placement assistance in one of our five partnering school districts. The participants will find a new career. Students will find their new teachers, and find that those teachers have hands-on experience with what they are teaching. Everyone will win.”

The program is made possible by a $2 million grant from the Department of Education to find qualified people to teach math and science in public schools.

Beginning in the 2007-2008 academic school year, the state of Texas will require all high school students to take four years of math, a mandate that will strain school districts already in a pinch to find qualified math and science teachers.

The UH College of Education has created several programs, like the Transition to Teaching program, to recruit and train new science and math teachers.

These programs include:

  • The Teach Houston Program, which provides training for UH students of any major to prepare for a science of math teaching position in an area school district
  • The Mentor Teacher Cohort Program, in which graduate education students who are student-teaching mentor peers just entering graduate school
  • The Quality Teacher Recruitment and Certification (QTRAC) program, which recruits and trains degreed professionals for science or math teaching careers
  • Professional Development for Preschool Teachers with special emphasis on early math learning

“The college is really being very creative and innovative as we look for ways attract, train and support new science and math teachers for all grade levels,” Juanita Copley, professor and chair of the college’s department of curriculum and instruction, said. “UH and the College of Education want to be part of the solution to this critical nationwide problem.”

For more information on the UH College of Education’s Transition to Teaching program, please visit www.coe.uh.edu/transition.

About the University of Houston
The University of Houston, Texas’ premier metropolitan research and teaching institution, is home to more than 40 research centers and institutes and sponsors more than 300 partnerships with corporate, civic and governmental entities. UH, the most diverse research university in the country, stands at the forefront of education, research and service with more than 35,000 students.

For more information about UH visit the university’s ‘Newsroom’ at www.uh.edu/admin/media/newsroom.