Altria Group and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) inaugurated a partnership to launch two new sites for TMCF’s Teacher Quality and Retention Program (TQRP), which recruits college students interested in teaching middle school science, technology, engineering and/or mathematics (STEM). With the $1million grant from Altria, TMCF opened Summer Teaching Institutes at Virginia State University in Petersburg, VA, and Tennessee State University in Nashville, TN. During the TQRP, Master Teachers, who are board-certified educators, work alongside new teaching recruits to learn hands-on, inquiry-based approaches to making math and science instruction relevant and fun.
The TQRP approach is unique in that it provides financial resources, training and mentoring to new teachers from pre-service through the critical first three years of teaching. Education and STEM majors attending TMCF’s network of 47 public HBCUs are eligible to apply to the program. In addition, TMCF focuses on recruiting African American males and STEM majors to address the shortage of National Board Certified Teachers who are African American males, as well as the shortage of qualified science and math teachers in high-need schools.
“TQRP is one of our signature programs. HBCUs’ historic tradition of producing teachers, coupled with TMCF’s experience in school reform, is an ideal platform for the delivery of this expanded effort to directly impact teacher quality and retention in our country’s urban and rural communities.” said TMCF’s President & CEO Johnny C. Taylor, Jr.
According to a report by the Business Higher Education Forum, the U.S. will have a shortage of over 280,000 math and science teachers by 2015. In response, TMCF has partnered with the National Math and Science Initiative’s UTeach program and with the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards to prepare math and science teachers to serve in high-need schools. Since 2009, TMCF and its partners have provided career development, leadership training and mentoring to over 150 aspiring and new teachers from public Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Altria’s recent grant supports the development of nearly 50 education and STEM teaching majors selected from 26 public HBCUs across the country. “Our country is reaching a critical turning point, where the workforce pipeline contains too few students with the skills and knowledge they need for high-demand careers in the science, technology and engineering sectors,” said Jennifer Hunter, senior vice president for Corporate Affairs, Altria Client Services. “We believe our investment in TQRP will help more kids get engaged with these subjects, earlier in their school years – by building a larger pool of teachers in Richmond and Nashville who are best prepared to interest urban students in STEM.”
For more information about the program please visit www.thurgoodmarshallcollegefund.org.