Houston Endowment Awards UTeach Institute Planning Grant to Prepare Much-Needed STEM Teachers for Texas

November 1, 2023

Houston Endowment has awarded a planning grant to the UTeach Institute, in partnership with the teachHOUSTON program, to expand UTeach for Texas, a fast-track STEM teacher certification pathway for degree holders. The grant will provide support for faculty and staff, in collaboration with Pasadena ISD, to develop a pilot program for STEM degree holders to begin teaching in as little as six weeks. Preparation will be followed by intensive, continued coursework and field support during the first year of teaching and beyond. 

“We are thrilled and grateful for the opportunity to expand accessibility to career changers to complete the UTeach for Texas program in collaboration with Pasadena ISD,” said Paige Evans, Clinical Professor and Co-Director of teachHOUSTON. “We believe we will create a teacher preparation model that will result in highly qualified STEM teachers prepared to teach diverse youth. We also believe that they will be retained as teachers through participation in our enhanced induction model that supports teachers in their first three years.”

The number of science and mathematics teachers coming from teacher preparation programs has been falling for years due to the drop in production from the nation’s universities. States are turning to concerning solutions. For example, Texas, which prepares more teachers than any other state, primarily provides pathways into teaching that do not require any advance preparation. 

The University of Houston and UTeach for Texas are committed to solving the STEM teacher shortage crisis while ensuring that every student is taught by an excellent, highly educated STEM teacher.

“Texas schools and districts are increasingly being forced to fill classrooms with new teachers who are underprepared. With this new preparation pathway, UTeach is partnering with school districts to ensure that all Texas students are taught by well-prepared teachers who will stay in the profession,” said Kimberly Hughes, Director of the UTeach Institute at The University of Texas at Austin. 

This new pathway will result in the certification and continued development of highly qualified STEM teachers in Texas. 


About the UTeach Institute

The UTeach Institute works to improve secondary STEM teaching and learning through the national expansion of the UTeach secondary STEM teacher preparation program to colleges and universities. Over 15 years, the Institute has employed a comprehensive approach to successful program development in higher education settings and serves as the national hub to a networked community of 55 universities, implementing UTeach programs, including 12 in Texas. Learn more at uteach-institute.org.

About UTeach for Texas

UTeach for Texas is an innovative, accelerated teacher preparation program for STEM degree holders. UTeach for Texas candidates are prepared and supported by the premiere math, science, and computer science teacher certification program in Texas whose graduates teach longer and whose students perform better. Learn more at uteachfortexas.org.

About teachHOUSTON

teachHOUSTON is committed to producing outstanding high school STEM teachers. In partnership with the University of Houston College of Education, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and local school districts, teachHOUSTON emphasizes early and ongoing field-based teaching experiences while students work to attain a bachelor’s degree in STEM and STEM teaching certification. Learn more at uh.edu/nsm/teachhouston.

About Houston Endowment 

Founded in 1937 by Jesse H. Jones and Mary Gibbs, Houston Endowment supports a wide range of programs and initiatives working to expand opportunity and address the pressing needs of the greater Houston community, including arts, parks, civic engagement, and education. Learn more at https://www.houstonendowment.org/.

Please direct inquires to Kimberly Hughes, Director, UTeach Institute: 512-232-5850 or hughes@uteach.utexas.edu.