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UW Joins National Math, Science Teacher Initiative


May 12, 2009 — The University of Wyoming College of Education has another ally in identifying new and effective ways to recruit future mathematics and science teachers. It is part of the Science and Mathematics Teacher Imperative (SMTI).

UW joins 106 other National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges institutions as SMTI members. The partnership is committed to increasing the number and diversity of high quality mathematics and science teachers prepared by their institutions; identifying the need for science and mathematics teachers in their states; and building partnerships with other universities and community colleges, school systems, state government and others to collectively address their state needs.

The opportunity to share Wyoming's successes and "understanding what different institutions are doing to increase the number of students who will be majors in these areas and choose to teach" is a primary benefit of joining this national effort, says Linda Hutchison, UW Department of Secondary Education chairperson.

She say there is a nationwide shortage of majors who are ready to step into the classroom in the areas of mathematics, physics, chemistry, geology and earth systems science. UW has had some success in increasing mathematics education enrollment recently, she says.

"However, gaps between enrollments in the four sciences identified and predicted classroom vacancies in Wyoming remain large," Hutchison says. "Needs in neighboring states, which frequently hire UW graduates, reflect national trends."

Hutchison, UW's institutional representative to SMTI, will participate in a major summit of SMTI members, scheduled May 17-18 in Boulder, Colo. That event is expected to offer a significant opportunity to learn about successful strategies incorporated at other SMTI institutions. While she anticipates learning about tactics that could benefit UW, Hutchison says she can offer Wyoming-based examples of effective programs.

One of those success stories is the Wyoming School-University Partnership (WSUP), a collaboration that engages stakeholders at UW, school districts, community colleges and state government to address a variety of educational concerns.

For more information on the SMTI, contact Hutchison at lhutch@uwyo.edu or (307) 766-2375 or visit the initiative Web site at http://www.teacher-imperative.org.

Posted on Tuesday, May 12, 2009

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