Interdisciplinary & Intercollegiate Programs

UTeach UMass Lowell - STEM Teaching Minor

UTeach is an innovative program that prepares math, science, engineering and computer science students to become middle school or high school teachers. Teaching is a rewarding career, and this minor provides STEM majors with the opportunity to find out whether teaching is for them. The program is open to science, math, computer science and engineering students. Students begin by taking two, 1 credit courses (UTL.101 and UTL.102) commonly known as Step 1 and Step 2. The courses in the minor provide students with classroom experiences in middle and high schools under the direction of experienced mentors.

Students who choose to enter the STEM Teaching Minor, take 18 credits of course work. In order to receive a teaching license, students must also pass MTEL examinations and complete a practicum (generally in their senior year). Students therefore have a bachelor’s degree in their STEM field, a STEM Teaching Minor and a Massachusetts teaching license.

The UTeach program (which includes Step 1, Step 2 and the STEM Teaching Minor) was developed at the University of Texas Austin. UTeach UMass Lowell was launched in spring 2012 with funding from  Massachusetts Department of Education.

Exploratory Courses (do not count toward minor)

Course Title Credits Semester
UTL.101 Step 1: Inquiry Approaches to Teaching 1
Fall, Spring
UTL.102 Step 2: Inquiry-Based Lesson Design 1
Fall, Spring
STEM Teaching Minor (18 credits)

Course Title Credits Semester
UTL.201 Knowing & Learning in Math & Science* 3
Fall, Spring
UTL.204 Perspectives on Mathematics & Science* 3
UTL.202 Classroom Interactions and Equity 3
Fall, Spring
UTL.301 Project-Based Instruction 3
UTL.302 Research Methods for STEM Inquiries 3
UTL.441 Teaching English Language Learners 3
*These courses are Common Core approved

In addition to the above courses, Math and Computer Science majors must also take the following course for teacher licensure.

Course Title Credits Semester
92.210 Functions and Modeling 3 Fall
92.427 Geometry 3 Fall
Please visit the UTeach website for further information, call the UTeach offices at Pasteur 106, or contact the UTeach faculty, led by Program Director, Sumudu Lewis

UTeach Courses

Science, Technology-Engineering and Mathematics Teaching

UTL.101 - Step 1: Inquiry Approaches to Teaching  (1 credit)
This course provides students with an introduction to teaching in order for them to explore a career as a middle or high school math or science teacher. During the course, student-pairs teach math and/or science lessons in a local elementary school classroom and receive feedback from a mentor teacher. Additionally, students are introduced to the theory and practice that is necessary to design and deliver excellent instruction. This course is the first step for students interested in exploring the STEM TEACHING MINOR with UTeach UMass Lowell. 

Pre/Co-requisites: Math, Science & Engineering Majors only.

UTL.102 - Step 2: Inquiry Based Lesson Design (1 credit)
Students who are exploring teaching as a career become familiar with the middle school setting by observing and discussing the middle school environment, and by teaching several lessons in a middle school classroom. They build upon and practice lesson design skills that were developed in Step 1 and also become familiar with excellent science and mathematics curricula for the middle school setting. 

Pre-requisite: UTL101

UTL.201 - Knowing and Learning in Mathematics and Science (3 credits)
(General Education Social Sciences for all undergraduates)
The course starts by imparting the understanding that there is a science to learning and by having students examine ideas of what it means for an individual to know or understand something. This course focuses on several essential questions which enable students to explore how knowing and learning are structured with specific emphasis on mathematics and science. Students will come to understand what it means to know something, how we can understand student thinking and how theories of learning inform instructional decisions; in particular students will explore the idea that learning is a social activity. Students are prompted to reflect on their own ways of looking at various ideas and concepts and to consider alternative perspectives. Students will conduct an analysis of reasoning processes through a clinical interview process, one-on-one with learners engaging in problem solving. This course is required for the STEM TEACHING MINOR.

UTL.202 - Interactions and Equity (3 credits)
This course examines the organization of instructional settings that maximize learning for all. Students will examine gender issues, cultural issues, bilingual education and learning disabilities as they impact learner success. A major portion of the course is a field experience in which students interview high school teachers, observe a high school classroom, then teach three lessons. The purpose of these experiences is to ensure that students recognize the diversity of students and their specific learning needs. This course is required for the STEM TEACHING MINOR.

Pre-requisites: UTL.101, UTL.102, and UTL.201

UTL.204 –- Perspectives on Mathematics and Science (3 credits)
(General Education Humanities for all undergraduates)
This course examines the history and philosophy of mathematics and science. Students will explore a selection of topics and episodes in the history of science and mathematics recognizing that many gains in knowledge have emerged through struggle, and in spite of resistance from cultural, religious and social structures. Students will learn that ideas in science and mathematics are dynamic and that disagreement can often lead to major breakthroughs. Students must think critically about how K-12 STEM education texts portray the history and philosophy of science and mathematics.  This course is required for the STEM TEACHING MINOR.

UTL.301 - Project-based Instruction (3 credits)
This is a key component of the minor as it engages students in designing, implementing and employing a project-based curriculum. Students will observe project-based learning in high schools, before creating and leading their own field-based unit. The unit must incorporate major components of project-based learning, namely collaboration, formulating questions, making predictions, designing investigations, collecting and analyzing data, making products and sharing ideas. This course is required for the STEM TEACHING MINOR.

Pre-requisites UTL 201 and 202

UTL.302 - Research Methods for STEM Inquiries (3 credits)
The goal of this course is to provide students with an understanding of and the ability to use tools that scientists use to solve problems. Students will also learn how scientists communicate their findings and engage in peer-review. Students design and carry out four independent inquiries, which they write up and present in the manner that is common in the scientific community. Students will work in multi-disciplinary teams. The course is divided between class and lab sessions, but is primarily lab-based. The topics of the class sessions are: Curiosity and Scientific Inquiry, Experimental Design and Analysis, Statistics, Modeling, Presenting Scientific Information. Students conduct their inquiries, incorporate statistics to interpret their results and present their scientific work orally.  This course is required for the STEM TEACHING MINOR.

UTL.401 - –Practicum (6 credits) 
This is the culminating experience in the STEM TEACHING MINOR and includes a biweekly seminar. Students are required to spend 12 weeks (minimum) teaching a STEM subject in a middle or high school. Candidates are required to have (i) declared the STEM TEACHING MINOR, (ii) passed both MTEL examinations and (iii) maintained an overall GPA of 2.5.  

Pre-requisites: All UTL courses and 92.210 (Math and Computer Science only).

UTL.441 - Teaching English Language Learners (3 credits)
The purpose of this course is to prepare new teachers with the knowledge and skills to effectively shelter their content instruction, so that the growing population of English language learners (ELLs) in K-12 schools can achieve academic success, and contribute their multilingual and multicultural resources. The course will provide aspiring teachers with practical research-based protocols, methods, and strategies to integrate subject area content, language, and literacy development. Successful completion of this course provides the SEI (Sheltered English Immersion) endorsement required for teaching in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Pre-requisites: UTL 301 and Must be taken in the senior year prior to the practicum

92.210 - Functions and Modeling (3 credits - Math and Computer Science majors only) 
Engage in lab-based activities designed to strengthen their problem-solving skills and expand knowledge of the topics in secondary mathematics, focusing especially on topics from precalculus and the transition to calculus. Explore a variety of contexts that can be modeled using families of functions.  Topics include conic sections, parametric equations and polar equations. Multiple representations, transformations, data analysis techniques and interconnections among geometry, probability and algebra. Quantitative approaches and building relationships between discrete and continuous reasoning will be recurrent themes.