Virginia State University (VSU) is getting $1 million to help train future science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) teachers. Students completing a STEM major will be able to get their secondary teaching certifications at no additional cost or time in school.
Selected by Gov. Ralph Northam, the university will take part in HBCUTeach, a nationwide initiative that recruits undergraduate STEM majors at HBCUs to become teachers. Virginia is the first state in the nation to allocate public funds for this initiative. $500,000 was allotted to the VSU Teach program, with an additional $500,000 from Dr. Ernst and Dr. Sara Lane Volgenau, founders of Fairfax-based SRA International.
“In the next five years, 150,000 new jobs will come available in the STEM fields,” said Dr. Willis Walter, Dean of the VSU College of Education. “We want those jobs to be employed by people of all races, backgrounds and genders. That means we will have to do something different in the areas of math and science education.”
The National Math and Science Initiative launched the HBCUTeach initiative in 2020 in collaboration with the UTeach Institute and with support from Fund II. HBCUTeach is customized to meet the unique needs of this population of future STEM teachers. NMSI and the UTeach Institute will work with VSU to implement the program.