MONMOUTH – The Teaching Research Institute, housed at Western Oregon University, received a $685,000, 3year grant from the federal Fund for Improvement of PostSecondary Education. The grant will launch a new certificate program called Preparation for Instruction of Science & Math (PrISM).
PrISM is a statewide collaboration of public and private colleges and universities to build the capacity of Oregon’s elementary and middle school teachers in mathematics and science instruction. PrISM prepares K8 teachers, science museum educators, and members of science and mathematics educational organizations to integrate mathematics and science instruction in ways that engage all learners.
Mathematics and science education faculties at Eastern Oregon University, George Fox University, Lewis & Clark College, Oregon State University, Portland State University, University of Portland, and Western Oregon University are working together to develop graduatelevel courses that will be available online, in weekend workshops, and at summer institutes. All accept each other’s credits for the certificate, so individuals can take courses from any of the institutions. The public and private institutions have also agreed to equalize costs and credits between semesters and quarterterms, offering greater flexibility and variety of course choice to students. Courses will be offered by the consortium beginning spring term 2008.
The program has a number of benefits for educators and their students: 1) Students will benefit from handson lessons that integrate mathematics and science concepts which teachers learn through this program; 2) new graduation requirements in math and science increase pressure on elementary and middle schools to emphasize math and science content more; 3) for schools struggling to make adequate yearly progress in mathematics or science, PrISM offers an effective way for teachers to improve instruction as well as confidence in their teaching; 4) academic credits earned through this program can be applied toward licensure renewal; 5) the PrISM certificate will signify teachers’ mathematics and science proficiencies to principals and districts, spotlight teachers who are ready to take on mathematics or science leadership roles, and augment the portfolios of recent graduates searching for jobs.
For more information about the program, visit www.prismoregon.org. PrISM is funded by a grant from the Fund for Improvement of PostSecondary Education at the U.S. Department of Education. PrISM is managed by The Teaching Research Institute at Western Oregon University.
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Contact:
Bonnie Morihara
Assistant Research Professor, TRI
5038388413 or moriharb@wou.edu
Adele Schepige
Associate Professor of Science/Math Education, WOU
5038388485 or schepia@wou.edu
Dianne Ferguson 
Research Professor, TRI
5038388808 or fergusod@wou.edu
