After the UTeach program shut down and dropped 26 students — almost all freshmen — the College of Science has announced its return.
The program, which allows STEM majors to attain a secondary teaching certification with their degree, was originally planned to be cut because of its cost, according to a previous Shorthorn article. The students were dropped, recruiting was suspended, and the program was to close in three years.
But now, funds have been reallocated, and program co-director Ramon Lopez said he wants to expand it larger than before. The program will offer a computer science track in the spring.
The students who were dropped will be contacted to enroll for the spring semester, said Erin Gonzales, UTA UTeach student services coordinator. Prospective students for the program have also reached out to her and additional recruitment will begin soon, she said.
The funds, reallocated from the College of Science budget, allow the program to maintain three master teachers and its support staff, Lopez said.
According to a previous Shorthorn article, the program costs about $300,000 a year to run.
Morteza Khaledi, College of Science dean, and Teresa Doughty, College of Education dean, originally made the call to shut the program down to seek an alternative, such as a replacement program within the College of Education, according to the article.
Kimberly Hughes, director of the UTeach Institute in Austin, said the program flourishes when both the College of Science and the College of Education collaborate, so she wants to help strengthen that partnership.
“I’m grateful that the university took another look and figured out a way to continue a successful program,” Hughes said.
Staff have begun calling the program UTeach Lazarus, Lopez said. He believes the program will continue to succeed, and it wouldn’t surprise him if fall 2020 enrollment broke records.
“I’m pleased to say that now the College of Science can get back to one of its core missions, which is the preparation of high quality STEM teachers — in collaboration with the College of Education,” he said.