UC Irvine Cal Teach program receives $3.5 million

Funding to support K-12 math and science teacher education

Irvine, Calif., April 9, 2013 –The UC Irvine Cal Teach program has been awarded $3.5 million in endowment and grant funding to continue supporting math and science teacher education for many years to come.

The $2 million endowment comprises the newly created $1 million Hubert H. Wakeham Fund for Cal Teach Student Support and a matching $1 million from the National Math & Science Initiative. An additional $1.5 million came from a Cal Teach competitive grant program administered by the University of California Office of the President. The combined funding will provide student internships and scholarships as well as overall program support.

UC Irvine Cal Teach is a distinctive partnership among the schools of physical sciences, biological sciences and education under which science and math majors can earn a secondary teaching credential along with a bachelor’s degree in four years.

“With rigorous courses in science, math and education, Cal Teach is sending truly remarkable young teachers into our local schools,” said UC Irvine Chancellor Michael Drake. “This represents an important pipeline of teaching talent for our community, region and state; and we are extremely grateful for this generous investment in science and math education.”

The Cal Teach curriculum blends science or math subject matter and research-based teaching methods, with a focus on readying students for the challenges of working in California’s most disadvantaged schools. Upon graduating, program participants are fully prepared and certified to start their teaching careers.

“UC Irvine Cal Teach addresses the pressing need for skilled math and science teachers by making it possible for undergraduates to earn a math or science bachelor’s degree and a teaching credential in just four years, as opposed to the traditional five,” said Albert Bennett, the Hana & Francisco J. Ayala Dean of the School of Biological Sciences and a Cal Teach leader. “This program not only provides students with financial savings but allows them to engage in world-class research at the same time they’re earning a science or math bachelor’s degree and a teaching credential.”

In 2007, UC Irvine was one of 13 universities in the nation awarded $1.4 million by the National Math & Science Initiative to develop dual bachelor’s degree and single-subject teaching credential programs modeled after UTeach at the University of Texas at Austin. UC Irvine’s first cohort of eight Cal Teach students graduated in the spring of 2012. Twenty more will finish the program this year, with 30 juniors on track to graduate in 2014.

It’s hoped that by 2016 UC Irvine Cal Teach will produce 50 to 60 highly skilled science and math teachers every year. Adding in the 50 or more math and science teachers who annually complete UC Irvine’s traditional, fifth-year, postbaccalaureate credential program, the total number of annual teacher graduates is expected to exceed 100.

About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is a top-ranked university dedicated to research, scholarship and community service. Led by Chancellor Michael Drake since 2005, UCI is among the most dynamic campuses in the University of California system, with more than 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students, 1,100 faculty and 9,400 staff. Orange County’s second-largest employer, UCI contributes an annual economic impact of $4.3 billion. For more UCI news, visit news.uci.edu.

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