UC Irvine awarded grant to launch teaching program

December 03, 2007

Irvine, Calif., Dec. 3, 2007 -- UC Irvine has been awarded up to $2.4 million over five years to improve teacher education in math and science following a competition that included submissions from more than 50 universities nationwide.

The grant is one of 12 to be awarded by the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) to implement programs modeled after UTeach, a successful math and science teacher preparation program at The University of Texas at Austin.

"The UTeach program is a wonderful model with proven success, and it is highly synergistic with the Cal Teach program that we have here in the UC system," said John Hemminger, dean of the UC Irvine School of Physical Sciences. "This partnership represents a great step forward in ensuring the education of our future generations, and it is an incredible collaboration between the sciences and education. By working with UTeach and NMSI, UC Irvine will be able to grow its program and produce more teachers of the highest quality for our secondary schools."

The UTeach program was established in 1997 at The University of Texas at Austin as a new and improved way to introduce undergraduate math and science majors to secondary school teaching. By offering compact degree plans, early teaching experiences and financial assistance for undergraduate students, UTeach provides a platform for raising the quantity and quality of mathematics, science and computer science teachers in secondary schools.

UTeach certifies more than 70 students every year at The University of Texas at Austin. More than 90 percent of these UTeach graduates immediately go on to teach in their respective fields, and more than 80 percent continue four years after starting, compared to only 60 percent nationally. Additionally, almost half of UTeach graduates teach in schools where more than 50 percent of students receive free or reduced price lunch.

"I have been impressed by the tremendous results the UTeach program has had in Texas, and I look forward to the great outcomes that will result from expanding this program across the nation," said Tom Luce, president and CEO of NMSI.

NMSI is a non-profit organization whose goal is to help the United States maintain its global leadership position in technological innovation. ExxonMobil contributed an initial $125 million to NMSI's efforts. Additional donors include the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation. NMSI is committed to the hallmarks of the UTeach program becoming the national standard for math and science teacher preparation.

"As a company that employs 14,000 engineers and scientists, ExxonMobil knows how important it is to provide the best education and training possible for our nation's young people," said Rex Tillerson, chairman and CEO of Exxon Mobil Corp. "We are proud to be part of this important effort to begin to address the critical shortage of math and science teachers in our schools."

The UTeach Institute was created to expand and replicate UTeach at universities in Texas and across the United States.

In addition to the grants, the UTeach Institute has developed numerous resources to help in replication efforts nationwide, including a UTeach operations manual and a framework for collecting demographic data and conducting evaluations. The UTeach Institute also will be engaged in building a community of faculty and Master Teachers who will instruct UTeach courses to facilitate the sharing of successful practices.

"UTeach has proven to be a very successful model for preparing our next-generation science and math teachers, and we're very excited to have the opportunity to replicate the program at universities across the Unites States," said Mary Ann Rankin, dean of the College of Natural Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin. "The more the program spreads, the more fine teachers we will be producing to inspire and educate our nation's children to discover and create new science and technology for the future."
About the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI): NMSI is an innovative non-profit organization created to facilitate the scale-up of programs proven to positively impact math and science education in the U.S. For more information about NMSI, please visit its website at www.nationalmathandscience.org.

About the UTeach Institute: The UTeach Institute was created to provide direction and leadership to expand and replicate the UTeach mathematics, science and computer science teacher preparation program at universities across the nation. The primary goal of replicating UTeach is to increase the quantity and quality of mathematics, science and computer science teachers in schools. UTeach is a highly innovative and successful teacher preparation program, which has doubled the number of mathematics and science majors being certified at The University of Texas at Austin. For more information on the UTeach Institute, please visit their website at www.uteach-institute.org.

About ExxonMobil Corp.: ExxonMobil Corp. is a leading international energy company whose subsidiaries have operations in most of the world's countries. In the United States, ExxonMobil has significant exploration and production, refining and marketing and chemicals operations. ExxonMobil is one of the largest oil and gas producers and reserves holders in the United States, with a portfolio including Alaska, onshore Gulf Coast and deepwater Gulf of Mexico. In addition, there are approximately 13,000 Exxon and Mobil branded service stations in the United States, as well as seven refineries, four of which are integrated petrochemical facilities. For more information about ExxonMobil, please visit the company's website at www.exxonmobil.com.

About the University of California, Irvine: The University of California, Irvine is a top-ranked university dedicated to research, scholarship and community service. Founded in 1965, UCI is among the fastest-growing University of California campuses, with more than 27,000 undergraduate and graduate students and about 1,800 faculty members. The second-largest employer in dynamic Orange County, UCI contributes an annual economic impact of $3.7 billion. For more UCI news, visit www.today.uci.edu.

Television: UCI has a broadcast studio available for live or taped interviews. For more information, visit www.today.uci.edu/broadcast.

News Radio: UCI maintains on campus an ISDN line for conducting interviews with its faculty and experts. The use of this line is available free-of-charge to radio news programs/stations who wish to interview UCI faculty and experts. Use of the ISDN line is subject to availability and approval by the university.

UCI maintains an online directory of faculty available as experts to the media. To access, visit www.today.uci.edu/experts.

For UCI breaking news, visit www.zotwire.uci.edu

University of California - Irvine

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