University of Texas at Dallas: UTeach Dallas Gets Grant To Help Multiply Number of STEM Teachers

The University of Texas at Dallas’ UTeach Dallas program has received a three-year, $500,000 grant from Communities Foundation of Texas’ W.W. Caruth, Jr. Fund to support the program’s efforts to recruit and retain science and math majors for careers in teaching.

Based in the Department of Science/Mathematics Education in the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, UTeach Dallas allows college students to combine a degree in a STEM field with a secondary teaching certificate without adding time or cost. The Communities Foundation of Texas (CFT) grant specifically addresses the urgent need in North Texas for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) teachers for underrepresented, high-needs schools.

“The University has invested heavily in the success of UTeach Dallas, yet so much of what we do goes beyond teaching courses to prepare new teachers,” said Dr. Mary Urquhart, UTeach Dallas director and associate professor and head of science/mathematics education.



“The generous financial contributions of our community partners have continued to make the elements of success of our program possible. The grant from CFT’s W.W. Caruth, Jr. Fund will ensure that over the next three years we are able to continue our efforts in recruiting, preparing and retaining excellent future STEM teachers and supporting our graduates as they rise to the many challenges in today’s classrooms.”

In the current school year, UTeach Dallas graduates are directly impacting nearly 30,000 middle and high school students, Urquhart said.

“Of the nearly 200 UTeach Dallas graduates teaching as of this past fall, about 85% are working in Dallas, Collin, Denton and Tarrant counties, right here in North Texas,” Urquhart said. “The majority of these graduates also choose to take teaching positions in high-needs public schools and districts.”

One of the hallmarks of the UTeach Dallas program is providing students — including those who might not have considered teaching as a career option — with experience in a classroom during their first or second semesters at the University. The CFT grant will support these early field experiences for students as well as stipends for mentor teachers, professional development services for new teachers, classroom supplies, and internships and scholarships.

“The grant from CFT’s W.W. Caruth, Jr. Fund will ensure that over the next three years we are able to continue our efforts in recruiting, preparing and retaining excellent future STEM teachers and supporting our graduates as they rise to the many challenges in today’s classrooms.”

Dr. Mary Urquhart, UTeach Dallas director

Specific goals for the UTeach Dallas program over the next three years include recruiting at least 350 new students to try the program and continuing its high rate of teacher retention. UTeach Dallas has produced 291 graduates since the program began in 2008, and more than 85% of graduates who pursued teaching remain in the profession after five years.

“This grant is aligned with our organizational goal to advance equity across our community. UT Dallas is one of the first replication sites for the nationally acclaimed UTeach model for STEM teacher preparation, and we’re thrilled to support their efforts to both improve and increase STEM education in North Texas, especially for underrepresented students,” said Wende Burton, interim chief philanthropy officer at Communities Foundation of Texas.


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