April 6, 2023
Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU), which leads the state in the preparation of Black teachers, is joining forces with UTeach, The University of Texas at Austin program that leads the state in university-based STEM teacher preparation. Together, they plan to raise the number of Black secondary STEM teachers prepared in Texas.
PVAMU’s new program, called PVU Teach, uses the innovative UTeach model to recruit and prepare qualified STEM educators, which will ultimately strengthen K-12 STEM education overall in the area. PVAMU joins three other historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) currently establishing UTeach programs; it is the first HBCU in Texas to join the UTeach national network of programs, which includes 56 colleges and universities.
Research shows that student academic performance, confidence, and behavior improve when there is a demographic match between teacher and student. Currently, 65% of Texas students are non-White, compared with just 37% of their teachers.
“HBCUs have a critical role to play in diversifying the STEM teacher workforce,” said Kimberly Hughes, Director of the UTeach Institute. “This project combines Prairie View’s expertise in preparing STEM graduates of color with UTeach’s proven approach to recruiting those same STEM majors to consider teaching.”
UTeach programs across the nation prepare qualified STEM teachers according to the UTeach model, which was originally developed at The University of Texas at Austin. The program has the potential to significantly increase the number of STEM teachers produced each year. Thirteen UTeach programs across Texas account for more than half of all secondary STEM teachers prepared by institutions of higher education.
“Prairie View A&M University has an established legacy of preparing highly qualified, resilient educators trained to facilitate academic achievement for diverse populations,” said PVU Teach Co-Director, Acting President, and Whitlowe R. Green College of Education Dean Michael L. McFrazier. “We are excited about and confident that the PVU Teach initiative will assist the University with increasing the number of certified STEM teachers of color to serve as role models and positively impact the attitude and motivation of K-12 students of color to excel in and pursue science, math, engineering and technology fields of study.”
PVU Teach has been made possible thanks to funding from the Greater Texas Foundation and the Powell Foundation.