An innovative program at UT that prepares math and science majors to be teachers has established an endowed scholarship for students, thanks to the generosity of two donors. Molly Schaeffer, of Nashville, a senior majoring in mathematics, is the first recipient of the Brent L. and Rachel W. Trentham Endowed Scholarship through the VolsTeach program.
Sarah Eakes majored in biology with the intent to attend pharmacy school. But during her junior year at UT, she decided to try out VolsTeach, a program that prepares math and science majors to be teachers. She apprenticed in a middle school classroom “and I loved it,” she said. “I was sold after that.” Eakes and seven other students will graduate this month as part of VolsTeach’s inaugural class.
Aspiring math and science teachers at the university will now have better access to state-of-the-art instructional tools to promote higher-level thinking in the classroom, thanks to a new home for the VolsTeach program. VolsTeach, which prepares math and science majors to become teachers in Tennessee’s high-need middle and high schools, moved into a new space last month.
VolsTeach, the program that prepares math and science majors to become teachers, is being recognized for helping to solve one of the state’s most vital education problems. Richard G. Rhoda, executive director of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, recently noted that the work of VolsTeach’s faculty and staff “have surpassed even the highest expectations set for this program.”
Two VolsTeach students have been awarded Noyce Scholarships that total more than $30,000. Mallory Campbell, a junior majoring in ecology and evolutionary biology, and Maria Owens, a senior majoring in chemistry, will each receive $12,000 for two academic years and a $10,000 induction stipend.
UT Knoxville’s VolsTeach program, which aims to produce math and science teachers to work in Tennessee’s high-need public elementary, middle, and high schools, has received a $1.2 million, five-year grant from the Robert Noyce Program of the National Science Foundation. The award is recognition of VolsTeach’s effectiveness and its emphasis on early and ongoing hands-on experience in the field.
UT Knoxville will receive as much as $1.8 million from the National Math and Science Initiative to launch VolsTeach, a new program to improve the quantity and quality of mathematics and science teachers. The grant will allow the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences to replicate UTeach, a proven model developed by the University of Texas, Austin.