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For Immediate Release
11/29/2016
Contact: Zina L. Carter  979-532-6417

WCJC OFFERS ADDITIONAL CAREER PATHWAY FOR MATH AND SCIENCE MAJORS

Wharton County Junior College, in collaboration with the University of Houston, is offering math, science, engineering and computer science majors the option to minor in education, thus preparing them for the opportunity to teach math or science in grades 7-12. WCJC students must simply add two courses in curriculum and instruction (CUIN) to their AA degree in mathematics or a science discipline, including engineering and computer science, to create a pathway to teacher certification.

teachHouston is designed to alleviate the critical shortage of qualified science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) teachers in Texas’ middle and high schools. For students who are uncertain if teaching is the right career path for them, the two CUIN courses offer them the chance to observe master teachers and deliver math and science lessons to area children.

“This program creates an exciting pathway for our math, science, engineering and computer science majors,” says Barbara Lynn, WCJC program director and instructor of education and early childhood. “Students who add these two CUIN courses, graduate from WCJC and then transfer to UH-Main and complete their degree in the teachHouston program, will have the option to take the teacher certification exams that qualify them to teach. By the time they reach their student teaching semester at UH, they’ll have taught numerous lessons at the elementary, middle and high school levels.”

Additionally, WCJC students who are part of teachHouston are eligible to apply for a position as a teaching assistant at UH’s four-week summer STEM camp, held at UH-Main. Participants will receive $1,800.

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As a UH junior or senior majoring or minoring in physics or chemistry, students are eligible to apply for the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship. Valued at $12,000 per year for up to two years, recipients agree to teach in a high-need school district for two years for each scholarship.

“The best way to fully understand science or math is to teach it to someone else,” says Barbara Lynn, WCJC program director of education/early childhood. “Watching students‚ enthusiasm grow as they learn from your teaching is very rewarding.”

Entry-level level salaries in the Gulf Coast region for middle school teachers, excluding special and career technical teachers, were $46,436 in 2015, according to the Texas Workforce Commission. In addition, a 2015-16 report of teacher compensation by the Texas Association of School Boards indicates that about half the public school districts in Texas offer additional stipends to math and science teachers.

WCJC will offer CUIN 1101 in the Spring 2017 semester with Lynn as the instructor. This one credit hour course lets students observe master science teachers and instruct fourth graders in area public schools. WCJC will offer CUIN 1102 in the Fall 2017 semester. This one credit hour course lets students observe and teach math and science classes in area middle schools.

This initiative is one of many supported by WCJC as a Texas Pathway Project. The Texas Pathway Project is a statewide strategy focused on building capacity for community colleges to design and implement structured academic and career pathways at scale, for all students.

To learn more about teachHouston, visit wcjc.edu or contact Barbara Lynn at barbaral@wcjc.edu or 281.239.1556.

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