Project NEXUS helps prepare educators to teach math and science to English language learners

A University of North Texas program called Project NEXUS is enhancing math and science teachers' skills and knowledge to help them more effectively teach middle school and high school students who are English language learners, thanks to a $985,000 Title III National Professional Development grant from the U.S. Department of Education. UNT was one of 101 universities across the country to receive the grant, which is funding 100 percent of the project.

UNT students who are preparing to become teachers will get Project NEXUS training on May 20 and 22 on the UNT campus.

Through Project NEXUS, UNT is partnering with the Region 10 Education Service Center and Denton and Lewisville school districts to offer professional development workshops to:

  • mathematics and science teachers in the Denton and Lewisville school districts,

  • faculty members in the Department of Teacher Education and Administration in UNT's College of Education and

  • UNT's College of Education students who are studying to become math and science teachers.

The Project NEXUS professional development workshops began in September and will continue through 2017. So far, several teachers and principals from the Denton and Lewisville school districts and several UNT faculty members have taken part in the workshops.

Also through Project NEXUS:

  • Eight UNT students studying to become mathematics and science teachers have received scholarships to enroll in an undergraduate course about teaching English as a second language.

  • UNT faculty, project staff and students presented information about Project NEXUS at the National Association for Bilingual Education conference, the Bilingual/ESL Association of the Metroplex conference and the Teachers of English for Speakers of Other Languages conference. Faculty members and Boyd will present the information again at the UTeach conference in Austin on May 22.

Boyd"Texas public schools have more than 800,000 English language learners, and about 200,000 of them attend school in north Texas," said Dr. Rossana Boyd, principal investigator and director of the Bilingual/ESL Teacher Certification Programs at UNT. "This is an important issue in our area, and in these workshops, teachers learn strategies and approaches that can help them teach more effectively. In turn, students benefit by mastering mathematics and science concepts, leading to better academic performance in classroom and state tests and increasing their possibilities for careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics."

Adapted from original release by Ellen Rossetti, News Promotions