Microsoft gives CSU nearly $1M to increase math, science teachers

California
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LONG BEACH (CNS) – The Long Beach-based California State University system announced Monday that two grants totaling $930,000 from Microsoft will be used to increase the number of scholarships available to teacher education candidates specializing in mathematics, science and computer science, and to expand design of computer science courses and mathematics training curriculum for current teachers.

“Microsoft’s generous gift helps to support mathematics and quantitative reasoning readiness among future educators,” said Marquita Grenot- Scheyer, CSU’s assistant vice chancellor of educator preparation and public school programs. “Additionally, the scholarships make a huge impact by enabling aspiring teachers to focus on deepening their knowledge and developing proven teaching techniques in these high-demand subjects areas.”

The first grant provides $800,000 in scholarship funding to augment financial aid packages for 160 math or science teacher candidates, who will each receive an additional $5,000 to support their academic endeavors for the 2020-21 academic year.

The financial support will allow candidates to focus on increasing their knowledge and skills during their student teaching period and may reduce the number of hours they have to work part-time jobs, according to CSU officials.

The second grant totaling $130,000 supports CSU’s Mathematical Reasoning with Connections, a faculty-designed fourth-year high school bridge course in quantitative reasoning and mathematics that prepares high school students for the rigor of college-level courses.

Of the total, $90,000 will support faculty in their development of 10 units of upper-division level computer science curriculum, with the remaining $40,000 for high school teachers who will participate in professional development to increase their readiness to teach quantitative reasoning and mathematics bridge courses.

“Strong math skills provide the foundation for the most in-demand jobs of today and the foreseeable future,” said Kate Johnson, president of Microsoft U.S. “California State University’s work to close the state’s diversity gap and support the development of the next generation of math and science teachers is inspiring, and we are thrilled to be a partner on this journey.”

The CSU’s teacher preparation program is the largest in the state and among the largest in the nation, producing more than half of California’s new teachers, according to CSU officials.

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