Welty pledges university will train more science, math teachers

California State University, Fresno President John D. Welty pledged to increase the number of high-quality mathematics and science teachers prepared at the university as part of a nationwide Science and Mathematics Teacher Imperative.

Fresno State is one of 121 public research universities in the program, 41 of which joined in a letter Jan. 6 to President Obama, pledging their institutions to train 10,000 math and science teachers annually by 2015. Pledging to at least double the number of science and math teachers graduated, the universities committed to “an additional 7,500 new teachers over the next five years.”

“America’s leadership tomorrow depends on how we educate our students today, especially in science, math and engineering,” said President Obama, in announcing the expansion of his “Educate to Innovate” campaign. Obama is trying to elevate science and mathematics education to make the United States more competitive in today’s world.

The imperative program was initiated in November 2008 under sponsorship of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, of which Fresno State is a member.

Fresno State’s own Mathematics and Science Teacher Initiative has been praised by the California State University Chancellor’s Office for doubling the number of math and science teachers since 2006.

“Fresno State has a strong cadre of educators who are committed to producing the next generation of outstanding mathematics and science teachers,” said Carol Fry Bohlin, the campus initiative’s director.

The initiative offers free or low-cost courses and workshops to current and prospective teachers who wish to expand their credential to embrace science and math. Financial support also is available for prospective teachers in those fields.

(Copy by University Communications news intern Sadie Thomas)

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