Nazareth-RIT Collaboration Targets Need for More Math and Science Teachers

Agreement encourages top-performing college students to consider careers in education

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Efforts to enhance the talent pool of math and science educators in the Rochester region have resulted in an important collaboration between Nazareth College of Rochester and Rochester Institute of Technology.

Nazareth College President Daan Braveman and RIT President Bill Destler approved an articulation agreement between the two institutions that enables qualified undergraduate students at RIT to simultaneously pursue graduate-level coursework at Nazareth College leading toward a Master of Science in Education (M.S.Ed.). Both presidents formally signed the agreement during a ceremony today at Nazareth College.

Under this new arrangement, qualified students in their final year of undergraduate studies at RIT in academic disciplines related to science or engineering have the option to enroll in one of Nazareth’s M.S.Ed. programs, allowing students to pursue up to nine graduate credits during that period. These will also serve as elective credits toward the students’ Bachelor of Science degree. Upon graduation from RIT, students continue their studies at Nazareth with expectations of earning initial teacher certification in Inclusive Early Childhood, Childhood, or Adolescence Education.

“This agreement represents a creative way for the two schools to address the national and regional need for well prepared math and science teachers at the primary and secondary levels," says Braveman. "We have designed a program that meets the quality standards of both institutions and at the same time enables participating students to complete two degrees in a shorter period of time. I am very excited about this partnership and its prospects for making a difference both regionally and nationally."

Adds Destler, “Our nation risks losing its global advantage if we don’t do a better job of inspiring children to excel in math and science. This agreement allows our best and brightest college students to strongly consider careers in education, ultimately providing the mentorship that will undoubtedly inspire a new generation to tap into their unlimited potential.”

The collaboration between Nazareth College and RIT was first proposed by the Rochester Area Colleges Center for Excellence in Math and Science. Charles Brown, the center’s executive director, says the agreement is a critical step toward developing and delivering programs that increase the quality and quantity of the student talent pool pursuing curricula in math, science and related technical fields.

“The RAC Center for Excellence in Math and Science is positioned to work across traditional institutional boundaries to help create opportunities that address the national shortage of qualified science, technology, engineering and math educators and scientifically trained people,” states Brown. “We’re very grateful to the dedicated faculty and administrators at RIT and Nazareth College for their role in helping make this agreement possible.”

The articulation agreement between Nazareth College and RIT takes effect during the 2009-2010 academic year. RIT students will be required to follow the application procedures and guidelines for admission into M.S.Ed. programs at Nazareth.

Faculty and staff from both institutions will share responsibility for advising students who express an interest in obtaining initial teacher certification. Each institution will designate an individual to serve as the primary program advisor. In addition, each institution has agreed to work to facilitate the handling of student financial aid and registration requirements.