03/14/2013 10:13 AM
BATON ROUGE – The National Math and Science Initiative, or NMSI, presented a check
for $1 million dollars to the LSU Foundation for the GeauxTeach Math/Science teacher preparation program during a reception on Tuesday, March 12, at the LSU Memorial Tower. The donation
was a result of a challenge issued by NMSI to raise $1 million in endowment to sustain
and grow the GeauxTeach program. LSU alumni, corporate partners and a private foundation
made gifts to support students, faculty and programmatic needs. This NMSI match has
resulted in a total endowment of $2 million.
“We are extremely excited about this endowment and the positive impact that it will
have on math and science education in Louisiana,” said Guillermo Ferreyra, interim
dean of the LSU College of Science. “This endowment will allow us to accept more students
into the GeauxTeach Math/Science program and to graduate more math and science teachers
who will positively impact the children of Louisiana.”
In 1999, the Board of Regents and Board of Elementary and Secondary Education created
the Blue Ribbon Commission on Teacher Quality, or BRC, to help improve teacher quality
in Louisiana. Acting upon a mandate from the BRC, LSU faculty from the Colleges of
Science, Human Sciences & Education, and Humanities and Social Sciences created content
majors with concentrations in secondary education – now known as GeauxTeach.
In 2007, LSU was one of 13 institutions awarded a $2.4 million grant from NMSI to
expand the already successful math and science component of the teacher preparation
program. Today, GeauxTeach Math/Science students can pursue a bachelor’s degree in
biological sciences, chemistry, mathematics or physics while concurrently pursuing
a concentration in the theories and methods of teaching. The program places students
in K-12 classrooms as early as their freshman year and provides more intense field
experiences in their junior and senior years. GeauxTeach Math/Science graduates are
well prepared both in their subject matter and in their ability to transfer that knowledge
to their students.
“Having the funding to provide support for students pursuing degrees in math and science
education will increase the number of teachers who are prepared to be effective in
the classroom,” said Laura Lindsay, dean LSU College of Human Sciences & Education.
“We know, and research supports, GeauxTeach Math/Science places much-needed quality
STEM teachers in the classroom.”
Prior to receiving the NMSI grant, GeauxTeach Math/Science graduated 14 students per
year. With the added funding, the program increased its number of graduates to 27
in 2012. The program is slated for further growth with projections of 30 to 35 graduates
LSU leads its peer NMSI institutions in recruitment drawing an average of 125 GeauxTeach
Math/Science recruits annually compared to 80 at other NMSI universities. A replication
of the highly regarded UTeach program at the University of Texas at Austin, GeauxTeach
Math/Science has become a blueprint for effective science and mathematics teacher
preparation across the nation. The LSU program is well positioned to replicate GeauxTeach
Math/Science at other campuses within the LSU System and across Louisiana.
“GeauxTeach Math/Science is a transformational way to recruit, prepare and support
science and math teachers,” said Dr. Mary Neal, LSU zoology and medical school alumna
and development chair of the College of Science’s executive committee. “This fundraising
effort was successful because of the generosity of LSU’s alumni and friends. My husband,
Ron, and I were proud to join other donors in support of this program that is critical
to inspiring the next generations of leaders in energy, healthcare, national security,
technology, our environment and beyond.”
A community of master and mentor teachers share the responsibility of preparing GeauxTeach
Math/Science students for the rigors of the classroom. The mentor teachers guide the
students in their field experiences where they work together to design unique and
relevant classroom experiences. LSU math, science and education researchers guide
the students’ learning of content and pedagogy.
“The GeauxTeach Math/Science program is a worthwhile experience for our students,”
said Robyn Carlin, College of Science master teacher. “Not only will they get a chance
to promote the importance of math and science in the classroom through inquiry-based
instruction, but they will also become informed stakeholders who can positively affect
math and science education in the community at large. We are convinced that even those
GeauxTeach Math/Science students who opt for careers outside of education remain strong
advocates for STEM education.”
About the National Math and Science Initiative:
NMSI is a non-profit organization launched in 2007 by top leaders in business, education and science to transform math and science education in the United States. NMSI has trained more than 60,000 school teachers to inspire students to succeed in math, science and English and was selected in 2012 to establish an Educator Leader Cadre for Common Core State Standard implementation across the country. NMSI has also gained national recognition for recruiting more college students to become dedicated math and science teachers through the UTeach program, which is transforming teacher preparation in 34 universities in 16 states. NMSI’s Advanced Placement program is increasing achievement in 462 schools in 18 states.
NMSI has received major funding support for its groundbreaking national initiatives
from Exxon Mobil Corporation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Michael
and Susan Dell Foundation, with additional support from the Carnegie Corporation of
New York. For more information, please visit www.nationalmathandscience.org.
Gifts to LSU’s GeauxTeach:
A gift to LSU’s GeauxTeach is an investment in the future of math and science education in Louisiana. To give to the GeauxTeach program, contact Ann Marie Marmande at 225-578-4906 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Wayne Miller at 225-578-6384 or email@example.com.
Posted on Thursday, March 14, 2013