New academy to benefit math and science students

Commerce – A Math and Science Teacher Academy for students at Texas A&M University-Commerce will be established this fall.

The goal is for 50 students to attend the academy, which starts in September, according to Dr. Eileen Faulkenberry, A&M-Commerce associate professor of mathematics.

The academy is made possible by a $685,000 grant by the Higher Education Coordinating Board. Project directors are Faulkenberry and Dr. Gil Naizer, curriculum and instruction faculty.

Other faculty involved in the grant are Dr. Pamela Webster of the mathematics faculty, Dr. Mark Reid, curriculum and instruction faculty; and Cheri Davis, assistant director of the A&M-Commerce Planetarium.

"The goal is to boost the number of highly qualified teachers in math and science," Faulkenberry said.

The students will attend a class once a month and an online class once a month along with courses necessary for their degrees.

"This innovative partnership with the university and public schools will not only serve to stimulate the interest of students in the region to pursue careers in science and math and to effectively prepare them to succeed in these areas, but will prepare a new generation of scientists for today's workforce needs," said Dr. Allan Headley, A&M-Commerce dean of Graduate Studies and Research.

The academy faculty will use innovative professional development models with the students, such as lesson study models for professional development, problem-based learning, and inquiry-based learning.

The funding for the two-year grant will pay students' tuition for some courses in their degree plans. Each of the students will also receive a laptop to assist with online portion of the academy, stipend for attending, and materials for their classrooms.