U.S. DOE Announces $5.4 Million Grant to Fund Lehman’s Innovative STEM Teacher Prep Program

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Photo of Migdio and students
Photo of Migdio and students

Lehman’s School of Education is known for producing talented teachers, counselors, and leaders who are prepared to create positive change in urban classrooms and schools. Now, with a new $697,486 grant from the U.S. Department of Education (DOE), with a projected total award of $5.4 million over the next five years based on performance, the school can build on its track record with its teacher preparation program in STEM education.

The grant is part of the federal DOE’s Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) program, which this year is providing over $20 million in new funding to support programs that prepare teachers to work in high-need schools.

“This innovative program, called LUTE-STEM, Lehman Urban Transformative Education-STEM, aims to prepare effective [Pre-K] through 12 teachers from a diverse student population who will develop proficiency in teaching STEM, and computer science in particular, to students in Bronx and New York City high-need schools,” said Gaoyin Qian, Interim Dean of Lehman’s School of Education. “Teacher candidates will receive strong support so that they can benefit from a yearlong clinically rich experience, which will enhance their teaching effectiveness.”

Lehman College was the only City University of New York institution to receive a TQP grant out of the 31 awards granted to two dozen school districts, institutions of higher education and nonprofit organizations. The DOE announcement lauded the awardees’ innovative ideas and noted a critical need to support teachers’ professional growth in exciting and challenging ways, especially in STEM and computer science—fields that rarely offer professional development opportunities for teachers. Lehman’s program will do just that.

The program, which will admit students in 2020, will be an intensive, 18-month course of graduate study in one of four areas: early childhood education, childhood education, mathematics, or science. Along with required coursework, teacher candidates will participate in professional development workshops, a mentorship program, and an extended, one-year classroom residency in a New York City public school.

A graduate of the LUTE-STEM program will be prepared to qualify for a New York State teaching certificate, and earn a computer science micro-credential.

At the end of the five-year grant period, Lehman expects to have produced 100 teachers who can incorporate computer science principles and practices into their classrooms, schools, and after-school programs. Because of a teacher shortage in the Bronx, it is expected that all graduates will find employment—with most putting their expertise to work in underserved New York City public schools.

Designed to foster a deep relationship between Lehman College and high-need schools, LUTE-STEM will also demonstrate how effective partnerships between higher education and public schools can move the needle on student achievement.

Professor Harriet Fayne, who is the project’s principal investigator, says she looks forward to working with her colleagues in the School of Education on LUTE-STEM, to “determine how to build an exemplary urban teacher residency program that can serve as a national model.”

This is the second TQP grant that Lehman College has received. The project runs from October 2019 through 2023.