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UTeach Celebrates First Year Kick-Off Program

This year UTeach is celebrating the first year kick-off of its program, after having completed its first semester trial here at the University of Massachusetts Boston. They have gained recognition from student and faculty this past semester and have gained twice the amount of participation since the program has started.
UTeach is a practice-oriented teacher preparation program that focuses on inquiry and project-based instruction for those planning to teach in the STEM field.  UMass Boston became one of the five universities selected to receive $1.45 million in December 2014 as a five-year grant to join the national network of UTeach.  However, it was not until last school semester that the program kicked off at UMass Boston.
The UTeach program was created at the University of Texas at Austin in 1997 to attract science and math majors into secondary teaching. The program addresses the shortage of qualified secondary STEM teachers entering the teaching field.
The program offers a stream-lined field curriculum that is firmly oriented with the STEM field for students participating in the program. Their instructional program is not only designed to help students teach others in the field of math and science, but also to help them develop a deep conceptual understanding and mastery of their subject and build connections between educational theory and practices.
The curriculum sequence has four basic section.  There is the “recruitment” course which showcases and encourages students what the program entails.  After that, there is a fundamental education sequence, a specially designed content course, and a final course in the Apprentice Teaching practicum. By completing this curriculum, students are awarded with a teaching licensure in the state of Massachusetts.
Josh Abalos, a current UTeach Step 2 student, stated: “UTeach is a way to become a teacher in STEM as fast as possible. The teachers are knowledgeable and personable, and the class culture is great.”
Currently, UTeach is expanding its program thanks to the efforts of the Director of the Center of Science and Math in Context Arthur Eisenkraft, and the dean of UMass Boston’s College of Science and Math Andrew Grosovzky, who are the co-principal investigators on the grant. Their motivation behind bringing UTeach to UMass Boston is to increase the amount of certified STEM teachers across the state of Massachusetts. Director of the Office of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics in the Department of of Elementary and Secondary Education, Marilyn Decker, has stated that in the past couple of years Massachusetts had around 30 new certified physics and chemistry teachers.
This year UTeach is celebrating its first year kick-off of the program.