What need does STEM-TIPS address?
STEM-TIPS, short for STEM-Teacher Induction and Professional Support, is a statewide professional development support system for new science and mathematics teachers in their first two years on the job. UF education professors created the program in 2012 with a $2 million grant from the Florida Department of Education. Through STEM-TIPS, UF aims to reverse the lack of support that historically drives nearly one-third of new teachers from their classroom by their third year of teaching.
Induction involves online and face-to-face mentoring, on-the-job professional development and networking opportunities with peers. Novice teachers in the middle and high school grades have access to training in new curriculum standards and high-engagement instructional practices. Through STEM-TIPS, UF professors also lead webinars and have created a web-based gateway for collaborating and sharing information so science and math educators can network with peers across the state.
- The need for reform in STEM teacher education is well documented. In Florida, fewer than half of all eighth-graders have teachers who majored or minored in math. Nationwide projections cite a need for 280,000 new math and science teachers by 2015.
- UF is rolling out the program first in Miami-Dade, Duval and Palm Beach counties where the College and its Lastinger Center for Learning have existing partnerships with the local school districts.
- UF professors with STEM-TIPS also assist partnering school districts in creating coaching programs for novice science and match teachers.