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AT&T gift to help UTeach Arlington address shortage of math and science teachers

News Release — 22 October 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media contact: Traci Peterson, (817) 272-9208, tpeterso@uta.edu

ARLINGTON - A new UT Arlington program committed to bolstering the ranks of math and science teachers has received $150,000 in support from AT&T.

UTeach logo

UTeach Arlington began this fall as a joint project of the College of Science and the College of Education and Health Professions. The aim is to address the state’s ongoing shortage of secondary school math and science teachers by recruiting and inspiring UT Arlington science majors who are also interested in earning their teaching certifications.

When they participate in UTeach, students are exposed to education-related courses, classroom experience and mentoring from area teachers earlier than in past programs. Freshman and sophomores are also offered scholarships of $125 for each of two introductory courses they complete.

Wayne Watts, senior executive vice president and general counsel at AT&T, said the company expects the program to have far-reaching results.

“UTeach Arlington will be instrumental in increasing the number of science, math, and technology-qualified teachers for Texas classrooms, helping to ensure that students graduate prepared for the challenges of continuing education and the workforce,” Watts said.

UTeach Arlington is modeled after a similar program at The University of Texas at Austin that began 13 years ago. Since then, research has shown that 70 percent of UTeach graduates who enter the teaching profession are still teaching after five years, compared to an average of 50 percent nationally.

Donald Bobbitt, UT Arlington provost and vice president for academic affairs, praised AT&T’s support for UTeach.

“Community support is essential for innovative programs such as UTeach Arlington to flourish,” Bobbitt said. “With the help of generous donors and grant funding, UT Arlington professors can inspire students and play a central role in addressing the shortage of math and science teachers in the state.”

Ninety-six freshmen signed up to take UTeach Arlington’s STEP 1 class this fall. In addition to on-campus instruction, the students have also been visiting and even presenting lessons in local elementary classrooms over the last two months.

UTeach Arlington is among the innovative education programs offered at The University of Texas at Arlington, a research institution of nearly 33,000 students in the heart of North Texas. To learn more about UT Arlington, visit www.uta.edu.

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