Gates Foundation Awards UTeach Institute $1 Million to Prepare Much-Needed STEM Teachers for Texas

New teachHOUSTON Pathway to Result in 50 New Secondary STEM Teachers by End of Three-year Project

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded $1 million to the UTeach Institute to pilot expansion of a teacher residency program for degree holders in partnership with the University of Houston. The University of Houston’s successful teachHOUSTON program prepares undergraduate STEM majors to be teachers and now will implement a high-quality residency program for professionals seeking a second career or returning to the workforce.

teachHOUSTON Student Teacher

UTeach for Texas is a one-year pathway in which participants complete coursework and collaborate with an expert mentor teacher to observe and co-teach in a local K-12 school.

“We are excited and grateful for the opportunity to expand accessibility to career changers through an expedited pathway that includes a year-long residency with our district partners,” said Paige Evans, Clinical Professor and Co-Director of teachHOUSTON. “We believe this will result in highly qualified STEM teachers prepared to teach our diverse youth in Greater Houston.”

The number of science and mathematics teachers coming from the country’s teacher preparation programs has been falling for years due to the drop in production from the nation’s universities. States are turning to concerning solutions. For example, Texas, which prepares more teachers than any other state, provides pathways into teaching that require almost no preparation in advance, and these are producing the majority of new teachers.

The University of Houston and UTeach for Texas are committed to solving the STEM teacher shortage crisis while ensuring that every student is taught by an excellent STEM teacher.

“Expanding access to new pre-service candidates, like career changers, to high-quality, university-based preparation programs through innovative certification pathways like UTeach for Texas is critical to increasing the supply of well-prepared teachers for Texas who will stay in the profession,” said Kimberly Hughes, Director of the UTeach Institute at The University of Texas at Austin.

The new teachHOUSTON pathway will result in 50 new secondary STEM teachers by the end of the three-year project.

- News Release courtesy of UTeach Institute