The University of Pennsylvania and West Chester and Duquesne Universities have joined schools in five states in a fellowship program intended to train teachers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and ensure they work in high-need school districts, officials said Friday.
Each participant in the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship program will get $32,000 to pursue what organizers say is "a specially designed, cutting-edge master's degree program" pegged to a yearlong classroom experience.
Participants must agree to teach for three years in a Pennsylvania school most in need of their expertise; fellows can count on support and mentoring during their three-year tenure, organizers said.
Gov. Wolf and Arthur Levine, president of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, announced the initiative in Harrisburg on Friday. The state joins Georgia, Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey, and Ohio.
The three Pennsylvania schools hope to train as many as 108 fellows over three years. Participating school districts are Pittsburgh Public Schools, McKeesport Area, Penn Hills, Woodland Hills, and Philadelphia.
Officials said the program is part of a larger effort to address a statewide shortage of secondary STEM instructors.
"To remain competitive, our country must do a much better job of attracting more teachers who are both knowledgeable about math, science, and engineering, and passionate about using innovative approaches to engage students in STEM learning," said Pam Grossman, dean of Penn's Graduate School of Education.