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UTSA partners to stem teacher shortage

(March 31, 2005)--Recent college graduates and second-career professionals interested in using their math and science skills in a high school classroom at a high-need San Antonio school are encouraged to apply to the new Accelerated Teacher Education Program (A-TEP) offered at UTSA.

Participants in the program receive $4,000 in scholarship money to cover books, tuition and related fees in exchange for a commitment to teach in a high-need San Antonio school for three years. The students enroll at UTSA and take 27 credit hours of course work beginning this summer. The credit hours can count towards a master's degree. The deadline to apply for A-TEP is April 15.

The federally funded program targets recent college graduates or second-career professionals, such as retired military, with expertise in math or science where the national teacher shortage is especially pronounced. In Texas, 32 percent of high school science teachers are teaching out of their chosen field, while 39.6 percent of middle school math teachers are out of their field, according to the Texas Education Agency. The TEA, located in Austin, is the administrative unit for primary and secondary public education in Texas.

Participants in the UTSA program will volunteer or substitute teach in one of the partner school districts (San Antonio, Edgewood, Harlandale and Southwest) during the summer. They will also enroll in six credit hours of course work during the first summer session followed by another six credit hours during the second session.

A-TEP students will be employed by one of the participating schools beginning in August and attend program workshops throughout the year with continuous teaching evaluation and support offered through UTSA. Teachers also gain intensive mentoring support through the following two years.

Interested applicants must have a bachelor's degree in math or science from an accredited university, along with two letters of recommendation and a cumulative GPA of 2.5 overall or 2.75 over the last 60 semester hours of college. Those participants who wish to apply the course work towards a master's degree must maintain a 2.75 GPA.

Additional criteria include a completed application form; documentation of reading, writing and math abilities; acceptable scores on the self-reporting portion of Fitness for Teaching; a passing score in a content-area test and, for graduates from foreign universities, an acceptable score in the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language).

For more information, visit the A-TEP Web site or contact Abraham Dominguez, project director, at (210) 458-6170.

--Leigh Anne Gullett

University Communications
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