Aug. 11, 2010
Elizabeth Klipp, 404-413-1356
GSU University Relations
Lisa Ray Grovenstein, 404-894-8835
Georgia Tech Communications & Marketing
ATLANTA - A new collaboration between Georgia State University and the Georgia Institute of Technology streamlines the process for increasing the number of high-quality certified math and science teachers.
Approved by the Board of Regents on Aug. 11, the GSU-Georgia Tech Bachelor of Science/Master of Arts in Teaching (BS/MAT) Option is unique because it allows students to apply credits to degrees earned at both institutions while also completing a state-approved teacher certification program. The program will begin this fall.
"This collaboration is consistent with the Regents' commitment to supporting a high-quality teaching workforce, especially in high need areas. We know that teachers prepared at USG institutions are retained in Georgia classrooms at high levels, making this partnership beneficial for the new teachers, the schools and education across the state," said Lynne Weisenbach, the University System of Georgia's vice chancellor for Educator Preparation, Innovation and Research.
With early acceptance into the program, students may complete a BS degree at Georgia Tech and a MAT degree at Georgia State, said Dana Fox, chair of the GSU College of Education's Department of Middle-Secondary Education and Instructional Technology.
"We have a severe shortage of math and science teachers in our state and nation, and that has a profound negative effect on student achievement in schools," Fox said. "The goal of our partnership is to offer opportunities for students to pursue STEM education course work through cross-registration, joint enrollment and simultaneous completion of degrees. It is meant to facilitate a more seamless entry into the teaching profession."
Georgia Tech undergraduates who have earned a minimum GPA of 3.5 may apply to the BS/MAT program as early as the end of their freshman year, provided they have completed at least 30 hours of academic credit.
The initiative focuses on the strengths of both institutions, according to Donna Llewellyn, director of Georgia Tech's Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning. She points out, "Georgia Tech is known for its incredible STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) students, and Georgia State is known for its excellent programs for preparing teachers for our state's and nation's schools – it just makes good sense to pair up and utilize each of these strengths."
The program supports preparing certified teachers for STEM programs in grades four through eight and six through 12.
The BS/MAT option supports the goals of the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Innovation through Instructional Integration-supported Tech to Teaching project at Georgia Tech, which leverages existing initiatives that provide programming and support for students who are interested in teaching careers at all levels.
This newest program joins other partnerships between Georgia Tech and GSU that support the Tech to Teaching project, including the NSF-sponsored Robert Noyce Teaching Scholars program, which awards eligible Georgia Tech and GSU students who choose to become science teachers up to a total of $24,000 during their senior undergraduate year and their MAT year at GSU.
"The Noyce Scholarships offered to science education teacher candidates allow us to have significant impact on increasing the pool of highly qualified science teachers in high-need metro Atlanta schools," said Anton Puvirajah, GSU assistant professor in science education and co-principal investigator on the Noyce grant.
On the Georgia State campus, students who are interested in becoming STEM teachers may contact the Department of Middle-Secondary Education and Instructional Technology at 404-413-8060 or email@example.com. For more information on admission requirements for MAT programs, visit http://msit.gsu.edu/teems.htm.
Additional information on the BS/MAT and other programs that support Georgia Tech students who wish to become K-12 teachers is available through the newly created office of Pre-Teaching Advising. Information will also be posted on the Tech to Teaching website, www.techtoteach.gatech.edu and on Georgia Tech's Office of Pre-Teaching website at www.undergradstudies.gatech.edu/preteaching, in the near future.