Texas A&M University's STEM Teacher Preparation Academy has been recognized as an Exemplary Faculty Practice under the Quest for Quality: Teacher Preparation in Texas initiative, a statewide effort to highlight exceptional quality in university-based teacher preparation across the Lone Star State.

Quest for Quality, a collaboration between the Center for Research, Evaluation and Advancement of Teacher Education (CREATE) and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB), is funded through a grant from the College for All Texans Foundation.

The award, based on a submission prepared by STEM Academy representatives earlier this spring, recognizes evidence of faculty excellence in the following areas: developing knowledge in the discipline; modeling pedagogy; using technology; addressing diversity and equity; creating experiential learning; investigating, analyzing and solving problems; and assessing learning. All nominations were independently reviewed and selected by state and national reviewers, along with CREATE staff.

Specifically, Texas A&M STEM Academy faculty members Timothy P. Scott, Jennifer Whitfield, Dawn Parker and Carolyn Schroeder were cited for their efforts to impact and improve the state of STEM education by helping to better prepare the next generation of science and mathematics teachers.

"We are honored to have received this award," said Whitfield, STEM Academy and aggieTEACH program director and a senior lecturer of mathematics. "The Texas A&M students and the teachers from Bryan ISD and College Station ISD who participated in the Academy are the ones who really made this project worthy of such a prestigious award. It was their energy and dedication to the profession that motivated us, as project directors and faculty members, to implement the cutting-edge teaching methods that will help them be successful in the 21st century classroom."

As a CREATE Award winner, Texas A&M's STEM Academy will be highlighted on the Quest for Quality website and recognized by THECB Commissioner Raymond Paredes at the CREATE 2013 Research Conference/Question for Quality: Excellence in Teacher Preparation and Research on Teaching, set for November 11-12 in Austin.

Texas A&M's STEM Academy was founded in 2011 with the help of a two-year, THECB grant through the Center for Mathematics and Science Education (CMSE) intended to increase the number of effective mathematics and science teachers in Texas with a curriculum that infuses current technology with STEM content. The Academy provides $4,000 scholarships to sophomores and juniors who commit to the two-year program to earn a mathematics or science teaching certification at the middle school or secondary level. In addition, it is affiliated with Texas A&M's nationally peer-reviewed teacher recruitment model, aggieTEACH, a collaborative effort between the College of Science and the College of Education and Human Development that has helped position the university as the state leader in university-trained mathematics and science teacher production for the last seven years, according to the Texas State Board for Educator Certification.

As a consortium of the University of Houston System, the Texas A&M University System, the Texas State University System and the University of Texas System, CREATE works to provide opportunities for member institutions and the profession at large to systematically explore quality and effectiveness issues related to teacher preparation, retention, and student achievement. To learn more, visit http://www.createtx.org/.

For additional information on the Quest for Quality project and the THECB's Closing the Gaps initiative, go to http://www.questforquality.org/.

To learn more about Texas A&M's STEM Academy and the Center for Mathematics and Science Education, visit http://aggieteach.tamu.edu/thecb-academy.shtml.


Contact: Shana K. Hutchins, (979) 862-1237 or shutchins@science.tamu.edu or Jennifer Whitfield, (979) 458-2087 or jwhitfld@math.tamu.edu

Hutchins Shana

  • Brighter Futures

    Participants in Texas A&M's award-winning STEM Teacher Preparation Academy and aggieTEACH program -- a national peer-reviewed teacher recruitment model -- benefit from side-by-side experience in the classroom with master teachers, such as Bryan High School's Colleen Holmes (center). (Robb Kendrick/Texas A&M Foundation)

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