UNH Awarded Federal Grant to Get STEM Teachers in Rural N.H. Schools

Monday, October 3, 2016

DURHAM, N.H. – Thanks to a five-year $4.3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education, the University of New Hampshire will prepare and support 60 highly qualified elementary and secondary math and science teachers for rural, high-need New Hampshire schools beginning this summer.

“We are excited to bring our excellence in teacher preparation to the North Country,” said Leslie Couse, professor of education and department chair. “Grant opportunities that focus on rural communities are rare. This grant will provide the means for deep clinical training during a year-long residency, a hallmark of high-quality teacher preparation and allow students to graduate with less debt, while becoming connected to the community.”

The University of New Hampshire Teacher Residency for Rural Education (UNH-TRRE) is a 15-month graduate level program designed to prepare elementary and secondary STEM teachers to teach in rural New Hampshire communities. It will support “residents” in learning, teaching, and living in rural NH communities. During their first summer, residents will take graduate coursework, observe in schools, and complete a community-based internship to learn about the resources of the communities in which they will teach. During the academic year, residents will complete a yearlong “residency” alongside an experienced master teacher in an elementary, middle, or high school classroom.

Residents will receive a living wage stipend and substantial scholarship during the program and will commit to teaching in a rural New Hampshire school for at least three years after graduation. Upon completion of the program, UNH-TRRE will continue to support its graduates during their first two years of teaching. 

The features that distinguish UNH-TRRE include an integrated curriculum centered on STEM content and pedagogy, clinical strength through a full-year residency, and a focus on knowing families and communities. The program will use high leverage practices that promote student achievement, provide opportunities to learn how to work with all students, and community-based internships that connect teaching to the resources of rural communities. 

UNH-TRRE includes many partners around the state including the Department of Education, North Country Education Services and school districts throughout the North Country: Berlin, Dummer, Errol, Milan, Gorham Randolph Shelburne Cooperative, Laconia, and White Mountains Regional.

The University of New Hampshire, founded in 1866, is a world-class public research university with the feel of a New England liberal arts college. A land, sea, and space-grant university, UNH is the state's flagship public institution, enrolling 13,000 undergraduate and 2,000 graduate students.