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Sunday, November 08, 2015

OSUTeach addresses math, science teacher shortage

Photo: Kathryn McNutt
"The OSUTeach program at Oklahoma State University introduces students who are good at mathematics and science to the teaching profession." writes Kathryn McNutt, covers higher education for The Oklahoman and NewsOK.

OSUTeach program coordinator Caitlin Barnes, left, and student Meranda Golbek demonstrate an engineering design challenge in Barnes' office on the Oklahoma State University campus. The game is used by OSUTeach students to teach science concepts to elementary school students. 

Growing up in Kremlin, Meranda Golbek went back and forth between wanting to be a doctor or a teacher like her mother.
When Golbek enrolled at Oklahoma State University she declared chemistry as her major, with a goal of going to medical school.

That's when she learned about the OSUTeach program, which introduces students who are good at mathematics and science to the teaching profession.

“I thought I'd try it out. It was free,” said Golbek, 19. “So I just tried it, and I ended up falling in love with the program.”

Now she is an ambassador who helps recruit more students to OSUTeach, which lets students earn a degree in their math or science major and full teaching certification without added time or cost.

Golbek loves the options that affords. Her degree will be in chemistry with a secondary education option and premed focus.

“It gives me the option when I graduate to go into premed, to go into a master's program or to go into the classroom,” she said.

As a freshman, she got to teach in an elementary school the first semester and in a middle school the second semester.

“It allows you right off the bat to see if you like it,” Golbek said.

Photo: Caitlin Barnes

OSUTeach coordinator Caitlin Barnes said those first two steps are one of the best features of the program.

Students who find out they like teaching continue with the program and take about one education class per semester. Those who don't move on with their plans to be a scientist or mathematician.


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