November 15-16, 2001
ITEM 113-2005-R1101 Authorization to Establish a National Science Foundation Center for Learning and Teaching in the West; Montana State University-Bozeman and The University of Montana-Missoula
THAT: The Board of Regents of Higher Education authorizes Montana State University-Bozeman and The University of Montana-Missoula to establish a National Science Foundation (NSF) Center for Learning and Teaching in the West.
EXPLANATION: There is a nation-wide shortage of qualified science and mathematics educators at every level from the middle and high schools to the community colleges and universities. School districts in the West and the nation have difficulty hiring and retaining science and mathematics teachers, and as a result positions remain vacant or are filled by individuals trained in other fields. In higher education, there is a shortage of faculty trained to prepare future science and mathematics teachers, and to work with inservice teachers. The goals of the Center for Learning and Teaching in the West (CLT West) include:
(1) increasing the number of qualified doctoral and post-doctoral level professionals with expertise in science and mathematics education;
(2) increasing the number and quality of new teachers graduating with certification in these fields;
(3) providing professional development to science and mathematics teachers in low-income and high minority schools in both inner cities and rural schools in the West;
(4) investigating how distance learning can improve graduate education programs; and
(5) enhancing the research infrastructure. Increasing science, mathematics and education faculty participation in research on teaching and learning is a central objective for this center. CLT West is a regional center serving the national science and mathematics education community. Other higher education partners working with MSU-Bozeman and The University of Montana-Missoula include Colorado State University, University of Northern Colorado, Portland State University and Fort Belknap Community College.
The National Science Foundation recently awarded Montana State University-Bozeman, The University of Montana-Missoula and the partner campuses a five year grant to establish and support the Center. Funding began October 1, 2001. No other funding will be required for Center operations.