Math Dept. Awarded $240,000 Teacher Grant

COMMERCE, Texas – For the sixth year, Texas A&M University-Commerce Department of Mathematics has received a Teacher Quality Professional Development grant from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

The project, “Preparing for Algebra” is funded for $240,000 for 2009-2011. Dr. Eileen Durand Faulkenberry wrote the grant and serves as the director for the project with Thomas Faulkenberry, math instructor, as the co-director.

In the six years, Faulkenberry and the math department have been awarded a total of $660,000.

These grants allow competition from all universities in Texas to develop professional development programs for middle school and high school teachers.

“A&M-Commerce through its math and science departments is committed to help school districts to develop in their students college readiness,” said Dr. David Crenshaw, interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

“This grant will also aid us in supporting Governor Perry’s “Closing the Gaps Initiative.”

More math and science majors are a base goal for the College of Arts and Sciences. By developing skills early in public schools, more students will pursue college majors in those subjects,” Crenshaw said.

Twenty-five third through ninth grade teachers will attend the three-week project each summer for training at A&M-Commerce as well as monthly follow-up sessions for both academic school years.

This year’s workshop will be July 20-Aug. 6 with teachers attending from Commerce, Greenville, Rockwall, Edgewood, Bonham, Harmony, and Cumby ISDs.

“This two-year project will address the needs identified by participating school districts to better prepare elementary and middle school teachers to teach mathematics content that directly impacts student success in algebra,” Eileen Faulkenberry said.

The National Mathematics Advisory Panel states that success in algebra correlates highly with completing college, she said.

Teachers selected will receive travel and child-care expenses, $300 stipend from each participant to attend the Conference for the Advancement of Mathematics Teaching in Houston July 15-17, books and math materials valued over $600, and the option of obtaining six hours of graduate credit per year.