Cal Poly Pomona’s Math and Science Teacher Initiative (MSTI) will receive an additional $90,000 this academic year to increase the number of credentialed math, science and computer science teachers. The funding follows the California State University’s announcement of its plan to dedicate an additional $10 million over the next four years to help alleviate the critical teacher shortage.
“Consistent with MSTI goals, this funding is earmarked for increased production of STEM field teachers,” said Nicole Wickler, research director for the Center for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (CEMaST) at Cal Poly Pomona. “The primary goal is to double the annual production of STEM teachers to at least 2,000 by the end of 2023.”
A 2017 report by Stanford University and Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE) indicated that the number of newly prepared math and science teachers has decreased 40 to50 percent between 2011 to 2017. According to a CSU report, California will need an additional 33,000 math and science teachers over the next 10 years.
“We are grateful to the CSU for its support of this very promising initiative,” said College of Education and Integrative Studies Dean Jeff Passe. “There are so many potential STEM teachers who are eager to take advantage of the additional assistance that this measure will bring.”
Since its inception in 2014, MSTI has supported 43 math and science credential students at CPP by providing $5,000 a year for a maximum of two years. MSTI Scholarships are available to juniors and seniors in the College of Science and College of Education and Integrative Studies who plan to pursue a credential in math or science.
“Being a MSTI scholar has been an integral part of becoming a credentialed teacher,” said credential student Katrina Poniente. “The relief of knowing the majority of my tuition is covered by the generosity of this program is invaluable. As a result, I have been able to spend more time focusing on my classes and preparing for my career in hopes of becoming the best biology teacher I can be.”
For more information about teacher preparation programs at CPP, visit the College of Education and Integrative Studies website.