Athens State University’s College of Education and College of Arts and Sciences have collaborated to launch Athens State TEACH, based on the widely-recognized UTeach Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) teacher preparation program. This new program is designed to prepare more STEM teachers to meet the STEM teacher shortage in Alabama. Athens State TEACH will make it easier for students majoring in STEM fields to obtain their teaching certification by providing rigorous coursework and experiences supplemented by scholarships to students, academic support, and additional support through program faculty and staff. The program has established partnerships with Wallace State Community College, Calhoun Community College, and Northwest-Shoals Community College to offer STEM students the opportunity to try out teaching as freshman and sophomores.
The University kicked off the program with an event that featured various speakers and explored the impact the program will have on the next generation of STEM educators.
“We are proud to build on our historically excellent secondary education programs as we partner with the UTeach Institute to offer a certification path for STEM majors,” said Dr. Patricia Glaze, Athens State TEACH Co-Director and Associate Professor of Mathematics. “Athens State TEACH will encourage students who are working on a STEM degree to “try out” teaching. We will also offer the Athens State TEACH introductory courses at several community colleges, strengthening our partnerships with them and reaching students earlier in their coursework. Our new condensed education minor leads to secondary teaching certification, which offers more options for our graduates.”
UTeach is a widely-recognized STEM teacher preparation model, and Athens State TEACH will become one of 55 institutions in 23 states to implement the program. This program was made possible through a grant from the Alabama Legislature via a partnership between the Alabama Commission on Higher Education, the Alabama STEM Council, and the UTeach Institute.