Teach North Texas earns $1 million matching grant from National Math and Science Initiative

By: 
Meredith Dickenson

DENTON (UNT), Texas — The Teach North Texas program has raised enough private support to qualify for a $1 million matching grant from the National Math and Science Initiative, fulfilling a promise made by NMSI when the UNT program began five years ago. Students enrolled in the streamlined teacher-education program are earning their bachelor’s degrees in math, science or computer science while also preparing for their teacher certification. The announcement was made at an April 3 event at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas.

NMSI is replicating nationwide programs that demonstrate a significant impact on math and science education in the United States. The non-profit organization was created in 2007 to transform STEM education in America with funding from Exxon Mobil Corp., the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation.

“NMSI only funds programs with proven results,” said John Quintanilla, UNT professor of mathematics and co-director of Teach North Texas. “It is gratifying to have their support, and to work with them to build a large pool of outstanding STEM teachers for our region.”

With nearly 300 students currently enrolled, Teach North Texas is popular because it allows students majoring in STEM disciplines to receive full teaching certification without adding time and cost to their education. Graduates leave the program as well versed in teaching methods as they do in their content areas.

Other features of the program include:

  • Active recruitment and student support, including scholarships
  • Early and intensive field experiences, beginning in the first semester
  • Personal attention and guidance from highly experienced master teachers, faculty and successful public school teachers

More than 60 students have graduated from the UNT program so far, and these alumni are teaching either mathematics or science in 22 school districts across the North Texas region. Teach North Texas students have higher grade-point averages and average SAT math scores than their UNT peers.

“In the Lewisville ISD, we are very proud to have hired more Teach North Texas graduates than any other school district in the Dallas-Fort Worth area,” said Janet L. Hood-Hanchey, director of secondary staffing at Lewisville ISD Human Resources Services. “We highly prize the Teach North Texas teachers for the consistent excellence of their preparation for teaching today’s students.”

Major funding for the Teach North Texas program has come from the Greater Texas Foundation and the Texas Instruments Foundation.