The Texas Instruments Foundation selected UNT's Teach North Texas program to share in a $1.5 million grant to expand the program and add two new master teachers to its staff. The funding is part of a $3 million grant to Dallas area school districts and universities to promote an increase in science and math teachers.
"UNT was founded on a mission to prepare teachers, and nearly 120 years later, we are still meeting that challenge. I am excited that Texas Instruments is investing in our Teach North Texas Initiative to train future secondary math, science and computer science teachers," UNT President Gretchen M. Bataille says. "In our first year the number of participants exceeded expectations and with TI as a partner we will be able to serve more students and have a greater impact on math and science education."
In announcing the grants, Sam Self, chairman of the Texas Instruments Foundation, says, "Teachers are the key. But we can't expect to graduate the caliber of students our state and nation need without more and better trained math and science teachers. We're investing in proven programs to address both quality and quantity of STEM teachers. These grants help by training 180 existing teachers in three school districts and developing 300 new teachers from three North Texas universities by 2013."
Launched in 2008, TNT initially expected to have 135 students in five years, but officials now anticipate more than double that number, says John Quintanilla, co-director and associate mathematics professor.
The program expects to graduate at least 60 students a year with bachelor's degrees in math, science or computer science with teacher certification. The first two students are expected to graduate from the program in 2010.
The collaborative effort between the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Education builds upon UNT's already strong support of secondary education in the North Texas region through a partnership with the Fort Worth and Denton school districts.
One of the key features of TNT is the opportunity for students to explore the teaching profession in two free 1-hour courses that can be taken as early as their freshman year. Once in the program, students will take courses in the professional development sequence that emphasize field experiences, teaching strategies and concepts related specifically to the subjects the students will teach.
Another key aspect of the program is students' interactions with master teachers, who are experienced high school teachers hired by UNT to teach courses, supervise field work and offer mentorship and real-world advice to the future teachers.
TNT is modeled after the UTeach program at the University of Texas and its initial funding included $2.4 million in grants from the Greater Texas Foundation and the National Mathematics and Science Initiative. The program is directed by Quintanilla and Mary Harris, Meadows Chair for Excellence in Education in the Department of Teacher Education and Administration.
Buddy Price with UNT News Service can be reached at Buddy.firstname.lastname@example.org.