Texas A&M selected as partner in 100Kin10 Network to add STEM teachers

Teacher Prep _a T_BenchTexas A&M University has been selected to join the 100Kin10 Network, a national initiative to add 100,000 top-rate STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) teachers to classrooms across America by 2021.

Texas A&M is one of 49 new members recently admitted into the 280-partner nonprofit coalition launched in 2011 to unite key U.S. academic institutions, businesses, foundations and government agencies in a ground-level effort toward an ambitious goal: training and retaining 100,000 excellent STEM teachers to help educate the country's next generation of innovators and problem solvers.

"As a flagship, research-intensive campus, Texas A&M University will be a tremendous asset to this organization and will help advance the goals of 100Kin10," said Dr. Timothy P. Scott, associate dean for undergraduate programs in the Texas A&M College of Science and a co-director of the Center for Mathematics and Science Education. "As a land-grant institution, we take very seriously our mission to educate the citizens of Texas at all levels, especially in the high-need STEM fields."

Scott notes that the university's application was a collaborative effort involving three Texas A&M colleges — the College of Science, the College of Education and Human Development, and the Dwight Look College of Engineering. He says Texas A&M was invited to apply for membership last fall on the basis of its proven strength in teacher education and, in particular, its emphasis on certifying mathematics and science teachers, an area in which it has led the State of Texas for more than a decade.

"Texas A&M University was accepted because of the strength and significance of your commitment, your organizational capacity and leadership, and your ability and desire to contribute to the 100Kin10 goal and network," said Talia Milgrom-Elcott, Team 100Kin10 executive director and co-founder. "The review panel specifically called out your engineering work as well as your ability to help fill a critical need in the Rio Grande Valley. You display the ambition and commitment necessary to make our goal a reality. We are thrilled to welcome Texas A&M University into the 100Kin10 network."

Each 100Kin10 partner is expected to strategically apply its organizational expertise and resources to make bold "above and beyond commitments" that contribute to achieving the group's collective goal through one of three focus areas: increasing supply, retaining excellence and building the movement. Partners also offer expertise, learning and resources to support one another to achieve these commitments and to build the shared knowledge and capacity of the network.

For its part, Texas A&M has chosen the first focus area, pledging to help increase supply by preparing 950 high-quality teachers by 2020 — a total that will include 165 secondary mathematics and science teachers uniquely equipped to serve the highly diverse needs of Texas K-12 students.

"This partnership has the potential to further our efforts and expand our impact to truly make a difference for children in Texas," said Dr. Joyce M. Alexander, dean of the Texas A&M College of Education and Human Development. "Our faculty and staff already are helping to prepare the math and science teachers for tomorrow's classrooms. Our graduates already are the most sought-after professionals for Texas classrooms and are the most dedicated educators, staying in classrooms and school systems longer than many others. I am so proud that we can be a part of 100kin10 and look forward to seeing the influence of our efforts."

Under the university's 100Kin10 proposal, the three Texas A&M colleges will work together toward several new initiatives, including a possible teacher preparation program through a newly created multidisciplinary engineering major in the teacher certification areas of biology, chemistry, engineering, physics and mathematics as part of Engineering's 25 by 25 initiative. Other potential collaborations currently being discussed include hands-on STEM tools for early childhood teachers to contextualize engineering and embed it into mathematics and science lessons and integrating an engineering design theme across the middle grades mathematics and science program. And much like the 100Kin10 review panel, university administrators see strong potential in the Rio Grande Valley, a historically underserved area where Texas A&M is set to open an extension campus with an emphasis on STEM education.

"Because very few high school teachers hold engineering degrees, it is difficult to prepare and excite their students about this field through their own personal experience," said Dr. M. Katherine Banks, vice chancellor and dean of Texas A&M Engineering. "This innovative partnership will help graduates earn an engineering degree while they earn a secondary science or math teacher licensure. By better preparing the teachers, they can better prepare their students."

For additional information about 100Kin10, visit https://100kin10.org/.

To learn more about Texas A&M teacher preparation programs, go to http://teach.tamu.edu.

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About Research at Texas A&M University: As one of the world's leading research institutions, Texas A&M is at the forefront in making significant contributions to scholarship and discovery, including that of science and technology. Research conducted at Texas A&M represented annual expenditures of more than $866.6 million in fiscal year 2015. Texas A&M ranked in the top 20 of the National Science Foundation's Higher Education Research and Development survey (2014), based on expenditures of more than $854 million in fiscal year 2014. Texas A&M's research creates new knowledge that provides basic, fundamental and applied contributions resulting in many cases in economic benefits to the state, nation and world. To learn more, visit http://research.tamu.edu.