APPROACH AND METHODOLOGY
NMSI achieves rapid results by using a systemic scaling model that ensures that replication sites produce the same or better outcomes than the original pilot. NMSI's scaling model is grounded in experience and provides an effective blueprint for scaling.
UTeach was specifically created to attract the widest range of bright science, mathematics, and computer science majors into secondary teaching careers, to prepare them with an advanced field-intensive curriculum, and to promote field retention through induction support and ongoing professional development.
Replication of the NMSI UTeach STEM teacher preparation program is a five-year process supported by substantial grants administered directly to universities, as well as ongoing implementation and evaluation support provided by the UTeach Institute and NMSI.
Before a university applies for funds to replicate UTeach, it is recommended that key stakeholders carefully consider whether NMSI UTeach is a viable option given the university and local context. Universities should first become familiar with the NMSI UTeach program model, before assessing their local needs and examining their capacity and commitment for successful implementation.
Successful implementation of the NMSI UTeach program involves significant institutional changes, requiring universities to: create an organization devoted to preparing teachers, develop institutional support, attract and retain students, create an instructional program, provide first-rate instruction, and strive for continuous program improvement.
The philosophy underlying the design of the NMSI UTeach instructional program is that, by combining individualized coaching, intensive teaching experiences in K-12 classrooms, and relevant science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) content, students' knowledge and skills will develop at an accelerated rate. This approach translates into a curriculum, unique in content and sequence, that allows students to obtain a STEM field degree and secondary teaching certification within a normal four-year graduation schedule, thereby saving students both time and money.
IMPLEMENTATION, TIMELINE, AND DELIVERABLES
NMSI UTeach seeks to identify new university partners, through requests for proposals, other outreach, and collaboration with existing partners. Universities will be selected based on their ability to (a) secure commitments necessary to eventually sustain full funding for the program; and, (b) run a high-quality, high-results program.
During the next three years, NMSI's UTeach program expects to graduate 2,461 new teachers over the three years of the commitment. NMSI anticipates it will graduate a number of new STEM teachers as follows: 2012 - 532; 2013 - 758; and, 2014 - 1,171. NMSI anticipates these UTeach graduates will impact more than 700,000 students during their teaching careers.
Also during the commitment period, NMSI UTeach will also partner with eight universities to launch new UTeach programs, further expanding the ability of NMSI UTeach to help solve the nation's STEM crisis. It is anticipated that UTeach programs will have graduated, cumulatively, 1207 graduates by 2012, and 3136 graduates by 2014.
The need for teacher preparation innovation and reform is clear. U.S. student achievement in math and science falls significantly behind other industrialized countries. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that over 50% of the fastest growing jobs in the next decade will require substantial math and science preparation, yet we are failing to produce and retain sufficient numbers of math and science teachers to keep America internationally competitive. More than 20 percent of students in math and more than 60 percent of students in chemistry and physics are taught by teachers without expertise in these fields. The problem is projected to get worse. According to the Business-Higher Education Forum, there will be a shortfall of more than 283,000 math and science teachers by 2015.
In April 2009, President Obama urged, 'We cannot start soon enough. We know that the quality of math and science teachers is the most influential single factor in determining whether a student will succeed or fail in these subjects.'
Faculties in colleges of education are realizing that the traditional approach to preparing secondary STEM teachers has become outdated. Symptoms of this include: continued reduction to single digits the numbers of college of education STEM graduates in many universities; many research I universities-serving our brightest math and science students-have moved out of the business of undergraduate teacher preparation, including the University of California system; lower quality admissions to colleges of education as evidenced by SAT scores; and, the reduction of content courses. These circumstances have led to a shortage of excellent STEM teachers capable of teaching advanced and high-quality math and science courses in high schools-and, fewer young people are entering into STEM careers compared to the growing demand for them.