Cal Teach started in 2006 to help address California’s chronic shortage of qualified math and science teachers. The goal of the Cal Teach program at UC Santa Cruz is to recruit and support science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) undergraduates to become outstanding secondary math and science teachers, especially in diverse, high-need schools where teacher shortages are the most severe. Cal Teach offers undergraduates experience in working with students in local public schools, coursework and advising, and financial support for STEM majors who are considering teaching careers. Cal Teach places university STEM majors in cooperating K–12 classrooms, improving the student-to-teacher ratio in local schools. When Cal Teach graduates become credentialed teachers, schoolchildren benefit from the influx of innovative and engaging new teachers who are committed to meeting their educational needs. Cal Teach also attempts to address the disparity between the cultural and ethnic diversity of California schoolchildren and that of the teacher population. More than 48 percent of Cal Teach participants are students of color and 42 percent are the first generation in their families to go to college. This diversity makes Cal Teach graduates much more similar to the K–12 student population than to the K–12 teacher population. Cal Teach participants gain extended career preview and professional development experience. They have access to in-depth academic and career advising and financial support for becoming teachers. All these resources help recruit and prepare enthusiastic STEM majors for long-term success as teachers, and it’s working! More than 30 percent of our graduates have pursued math or science teaching careers. Our graduates disproportionately choose to teach in high-need schools, and their retention rate is well above average for new teachers. Many of our graduates now teach in the local community, and some are hosting Cal Teach interns in their classrooms. Even those Cal Teach participants who haven’t yet pursued teaching careers show greater persistence in completing their degree than the overall student population at UCSC. A donation of any amount will help sustain diverse participation by preserving scholarships for interns, support graduates by purchasing supplies for their classrooms, and nourish the strong community of present and past participants through workshops and professional gatherings. Your gift of any size to Cal Teach will help prepare and sustain great math and science teachers for California’s diverse schoolchildren, changing their futures and the future of California.
Our matching gift of $750 has been met! Let's keep the donations coming!