New Georgia Tech/GSU Collaboration Designed to Support STEM Teachers

BS/MAT Option Leverages Strengths of Both Institutions

A new collaboration between the Georgia Institute of Technology and Georgia State University (GSU) streamlines the process for becoming a certified math or science teacher.  

Georgia Tech/GSU Collaboration Designed to Support STEM Teachers
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The BS/MAT option is designed to bring more STEM teachers to 4-8 and 6-12 classrooms.

Approved by the Board of Regents on Aug. 11, the Georgia Tech-GSU Bachelor of Science/Master of Arts in Teaching (BS/MAT) Option is unique because it allows students to apply credits to degrees earned at both institutions while also completing a state-approved teacher certification program. The program will begin this fall.

The Georgia Tech-GSU initiative focuses on the strengths of both institutions, according to Donna Llewellyn, director of Georgia Tech’s Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning.  She points out, “Georgia Tech is known for its incredible STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) students, and Georgia State is known for its excellent programs for preparing teachers for our state’s and nation’s schools – it just makes good sense to pair up and utilize each of these strengths.”

Although the initiative strongly supports preparing certified 4-8 and 6-12 teachers in STEM programs, it includes many of GSU’s MAT programs. Llewellyn adds, “This partnership not only helps develop top-notch teachers who can help educate the Georgia workforce, but it also assures that we have a home-grown pipeline of teachers who can fully prepare students to pursue higher education degrees – this is a win-win!”

As a nearby research university with a large and well-known College of Education, Georgia State’s graduate education programs are particularly attractive to Georgia Tech students.

With early acceptance into the program, students may complete a BS degree at Georgia Tech and a MAT degree at Georgia State in approximately five years, said Dana Fox, chair of the GSU College of Education’s Department of Middle-Secondary Education and Instructional Technology.

“We have a severe shortage of math and science teachers in our state and nation, and that has a profound negative effect on student achievement in schools,” Fox said. “The goal of our partnership is to offer opportunities for students to pursue STEM education course work through cross-registration, joint enrollment and simultaneous completion of degrees. It is meant to facilitate a more seamless entry into the teaching profession

Georgia Tech undergraduates who have earned a minimum GPA of 3.5 may apply to the BS/MAT program as early as the end of their freshman year, provided they have completed at least 30 hours of academic credit.

Additional information on the BS/MAT and other programs that support Georgia Tech students who wish to become K-12 teachers is available through the newly created office of Pre-Teaching Advising. Information will also be posted on the Tech to Teaching website, www.techtoteach.gatech.edu and on Georgia Tech’s Office of Pre-Teaching website at www.undergradstudies.gatech.edu/preteaching, in the near future.


On the Georgia State campus, students who are interested in becoming STEM teachers may contact the Department of Middle-Secondary Education and Instructional Technology at 404-413-8060 or teems@gsu.edu. For more information on admission requirements for MAT programs, visit http://msit.gsu.edu/teems.htm.

“Because Georgia Tech does not have a college of education, pursuing an education degree has not traditionally been the top choice among students who know they might become K-12 teachers,” said Beth Bullock Spencer, director of Georgia Tech’s Pre-Teaching Program. “This is changing now that we have entering Georgia Tech freshmen who declare themselves ‘pre-teaching’ and expanded programs with GSU like the BS/MAT option.”

The BS/MAT option supports the goals of the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Innovation through Instructional Integration-supported Tech to Teaching project at Georgia Tech, which leverages existing initiatives that provide programming and support for students who are interested in teaching careers at all levels. This newest program joins other partnerships between Georgia Tech and GSU that support the Tech to Teaching project, including the NSF-sponsored Robert Noyce Teaching Scholars program, which awards eligible Georgia Tech and GSU students who choose to become science teachers up to a total of $24,000 during their senior undergraduate year and their MAT year at GSU.

The Georgia Institute of Technology is one of the world's premier research universities. Ranked seventh among U.S. News & World Report's top public universities and the eighth best engineering and information technology university in the world by Shanghai Jiao Tong University's Academic Ranking of World Universities, Georgia Tech’s more than 20,000 students are enrolled in its Colleges of Architecture, Computing, Engineering, Liberal Arts, Management and Sciences. Tech is among the nation's top producers of women and minority engineers. The Institute offers research opportunities to both undergraduate and graduate students and is home to more than 100 interdisciplinary units plus the Georgia Tech Research Institute.