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How can we improve America’s competitive edge in science and technology? Despite spending nearly $3 billion annually on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education, America ranks 25th in math and 17th in science when compared to other countries on international assessments. Yet the majority of K-12 school districts in the country continue to face a critical shortfall of qualified science and mathematics teachers. As federal and state funding for STEM teacher training ramps up, how can we recruit and inspire a new generation of educators to tackle the challenge?

As a nationally recognized expert in K-12 education, the new Dean of UCR’s Graduate School of Education (GSOE), Thomas Smith, is collaborating with CalTEACH-SMI, a UC system-wide partnership that encourages undergraduate STEM majors to pursue careers in K-12 education. By developing research collaborations with the Bourns College of Engineering (BCOE) and the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences (CNAS) related to STEM teaching and learning, the program will increase the number of UCR STEM undergraduates entering the GSOE teacher education program. GSOE will also work with school districts in the Inland Empire to increase the knowledge of current teachers on the new mathematics and science standards.

Thomas Smith

Dean, Graduate School of Education

P O L I C Y

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