The Dominion Post  

WVU program produces STEM-certified teachers

Created on:   Sat, Mar 3, 2018   12:11 PM

Last modified:   Sat, Mar 3, 2018   12:11 PM

Submitted to The Dominion Post

Through WVUteach, the WVU Center for Excellence in STEM Education is set to produce nearly 25 STEM teachers each year, accelerating the pace of placing certified teachers in vacant West Virginia classrooms.

A $100,000 grant from the Eberly Foundation will support that effort through a master teacher assistant, allowing nearly 100 additional students to enter WVUteach over the span of four years, with 12 estimated to credential and enter the classroom following graduation each year. The remainder of these students will graduate with a STEM degree.

“The sole focus of WVUteach is to expand the number of STEM graduates so that they, in turn, can teach STEM fields in secondary education,” said WVUteach co-director Gay Stewart. “This grant will help us prepare a dynamic talent pool of highly-trained secondary education STEM teachers across West Virginia.”

WVUteach offers hands-on learning and classroom experience as early as the first semester of college, allowing most students to receive a degree and certification in four years rather than the average five-to-six. Moreover, retention rates are higher among UTeach teachers, who stay in teaching for an average of five years, compared to most post-baccalaureate model teachers who stay in teaching for an average of two and a half years.

The need to increase the numbers of STEM teachers, especially in science and mathematics, is a state-wide concern in West Virginia. According to the West Virginia Board of Education, nearly one in every 18 West Virginia classrooms is led by an individual who is not a certified teacher.