Northern Arizona University offers a new accelerated teacher program for those interested in teaching math and science.
Here are some NAUTeach highlights:
• Modeled after UTeach at the University of Texas at Austin – a proven program for producing science and math teachers in Texas, where 70 percent of graduates are still teaching five or more years after entering the field. That’s greater than the national average of 50 percent.
• NAU is one of 13 sites nationwide.
• The focus of NAUTeach is on science and mathematics specific teacher preparation.
• The compact degree program allows most students to graduate with a degree and certification in four years. (Graduates earn a degree in their field of expertise in science or math as opposed to a degree in education. At the same time, they graduate with the certification to teach in Arizona.)
• Participating students are given early and continued teaching experience, even as freshmen.
• A streamlined educational sequence is designed to engage teachers in active learning so they can replicate similar experiences for their students.
• Highly-experienced public school teachers serve as master teachers in the program.
• The first semester of NAUTeach in fall of 2008 had 50 students. For the spring semester, 45 of those students continued with NAUTeach.
• The goal for 2011 is 60 math and science teachers a year. Currently, NAU produces 26 per year-the highest in the Arizona University System.
• Startup funding: National Math and Science Initiative – $1.4 million; Helios Foundation – $1 million; ExxonMobil – $1 million.
Source: Northern Arizona University.