The University of Texas at Arlington College of Science 2012-13  

UTeach enrollment tops 200 as program moves into 3rd year

The UTeach Arlington team includes, front row from left, Jessica Hance, Jacqueline Weilmuenster, Marsha Scott, Yvonne Dillon and Erin Gonzales; back row from left, Greg Hale, Ramon Lopez, Bethany Goerdel, Karen Jo Matsler, LeeAnn Snell-Burke, Ann Cavallo and Kevin White.
UTeach Arlington, the math and science teacher preparation program which started at UT Arlington in 2010, is in its third year and has been a smashing success in every respect.
The number of new students enrolling in the program grew from 122 in Fall 2011 to 136 in Fall 2012, and with 72 continuing students, the program's total enrollment in Fall 2012 was 208.
"We've been very successful in recruiting," program co-director Ramon Lopez said. "We'd like to do more in terms of retention, and tie in UTeach initiatives to other retention efforts on campus.
"Next year (Spring 2014) we'll have our first crop of graduates from the program, and schools are chomping at the bit to get them. Having highly qualified, well-trained teachers will help create successful students, and some of those students might very well decide to come to UT Arlington someday. That will help improve our retention numbers, and retention is a big focus of the University."
In the past year, the program has added another Master Teacher, as well as several support staff members who keep things running smoothly. Bethany Goerdel is a Master Teacher in Science and will also be the UTeach internship coordinator; Jessica Hance handles the program's accounting; and Kevin White, an assistant professor of science education, is in charge of curriculum and instruction.
Goerdel has 13 years of elementary and middle school teaching experience and has always believed in the UTeach approach of giving students the tools they need to learn how to become good teachers, then helping them put their knowledge into practice.
"This program is about helping students learn how to teach," she said. "We let them explore teaching first, and teach them how to engage their students, and then they learn why we do it that way. I'm just thrilled to be a part of this program; it's what I've always believed as a teacher."
The UTeach program originated at UT Austin in 1997 and has been duplicated at universities around the state. The hallmarks of the UTeach Arlington program include strong collaboration between the College of Science and the College of Education and Health Professions; early and intensive field experiences for teacher candidates; the use of experienced Master Teachers as instructors, mentors and field experience coordinators; strong support from the university's administration; vigorous recruitment of STEM majors into the STEP 1 introductory course; development of teacher candidates' content knowledge and effective teaching techniques; and a variety of student benefits, including scholarships and internships.
The following have made generous donations to the UTeach Arlington program:
  • AT&T
  • Brett A. Benham
  • Bruce and Vicki Tanner
  • George and Fay Young Foundation
  • Lockheed Martin Corp.
  • Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control
  • Sid W. Richardson Foundation