GAINESVILLE, Fla.—UF-Teach, an innovative teacher-preparation program that recruits some of the University of Florida’s top science and mathematics majors into the teaching profession, recently received STEMflorida’s Best Practices Award for excellence and accountability in targeted STEM teacher recruitment and retention efforts.
STEMflorida is a business-led statewide council created in 2009 by Workforce Florida, the state’s workforce policy and oversight board. (STEM is common shorthand for the technical disciplines of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, considered vital workforce skills in today’s competitive global marketplace.)
The award was presented recently during the STEMflorida Think Tank meeting in Orlando and recognized the UF Teach program’s role in addressing the critical shortage of math and science teachers in Florida.
UF-Teach master science instructor Griff Jones (left) helps a student on a class lesson.
UF-Teach is a collaboration between UF’s College of Education and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and the goal is to recruit the very best math and science majors and prepare them to teach effectively. The program is funded by a $2.4 million grant over five years from the National Math and Science Initiative and a $1 million endowment from the Helios Education Foundation based in Tampa.
“In UF-Teach, we have master science and math teachers who induct the students into the community of teachers by showing them the most effective, research-proven teaching methods in the given content areas and exposing them to supervised classroom experiences with schoolchildren beginning in their first semester,” said Tom Dana, associate dean at UF’s College of Education and co-coordinator of UF Teach with physics professor and associate dean Alan Dorsey of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
The program, now in its fourth year, offers students education minors for their efforts in hopes they will take to teaching. Their degrees qualify them for teaching certification in Florida schools.
The first UF-Teach class of 41 students enrolled in 2008. By spring of 2011, enrollment jumped to 224 students. Dana said projections for 2013 call for UF-Teach to graduate more than 30 students who will be certified, and highly qualified, to teach middle and high school math and science in Florida schools.
“That number should double to 60 graduates by 2015. By then, the number of middle school and high school math and science students served by UF-Teach graduates should top 7,500 and continue to grow each year,” Dana said.
https://education.ufl.edu/news/files/2019/07/News-1-300x65.png00lansfordhttps://education.ufl.edu/news/files/2019/07/News-1-300x65.pnglansford2011-10-04 10:21:322011-10-13 12:19:38Workforce council recognizes UF-Teach math-science program