SUNY Cortland has been selected by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to be one of four regional teaching hubs offering a new program aimed at retaining and rewarding New York’s best teachers, and using their expertise to improve public education statewide.
The College, home to New York’s largest accredited teacher-education program, will host the NYS Master Teacher program for Central New York.
The program, announced by Gov. Cuomo Monday, offers highly effective secondary school math and science teachers who make a four-year commitment to mentoring their peers a $60,000 stipend ($15,000 annually for four years). The idea is to give outstanding teachers in these subjects an incentive to continue teaching in New York while sharing their methods, experience and insight with fellow teachers.
As a program host, SUNY Cortland will coordinate 50 to 60 master teachers from the Central New York area, starting in the fall semester of 2013. A variety of meetings and professional development events will be held on campus, and SUNY Cortland students and faculty will be able to share experiences, identify effective practices and suggest innovation.
“We are honored to be part of this exciting program,” SUNY Cortland President Erik J. Bitterbaum said. “Teacher education has always been a critical part of our mission and we continue to believe that the future of our state, and our country, lies in the hands of our school-age children and the dedicated and innovative professionals who teach them.”
Roughly half of all SUNY Cortland students graduate with teaching certification.
The College is already one of only five SUNY campuses selected for the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program, a National Science Foundation initiative to recruit people strong in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) into the teaching profession. Last year, the College received a state grant to immerse a dozen future math and science students in high-needs classes at Binghamton High School for a full year.
“We recognize the critical importance of STEM education and are committed to fully preparing teachers to meet this challenge, even under challenging classroom circumstances,” said Andrea LaChance, dean of SUNY Cortland’s School of Education. “The master teacher program will help us improve the quality of education in New York state.”
Under the program, all host campuses will partner with a nearby research institution, adding additional resources for development. SUNY Cortland will partner with Binghamton University or Syracuse University.
In addition to Cortland, the other SUNY campuses selected for the launch of the program were SUNY Plattsburgh, SUNY New Paltz and Buffalo State College. Six other regional hubs will be added in the spring of 2014.
"We want the best possible teachers in every New York classroom teaching our children," said Gov. Cuomo. "As part of the state's work to transform our education system and put students first, we are committed to investing in great teachers to educate our students and create a highly-trained workforce to drive our future economy. This program will reward those teachers who work harder and whose students perform better."
The governor's office issued a news release about the initiative Monday. Applications for the program will be available online at SUNY.edu starting July 1. Completed applications are due Aug. 1 and recipients will be announced Sept. 1.
Applicants must, at a minimum, be:
- Currently employed as a teacher in New York, with a minimum of 4 years teaching experience
- Rated “highly-effective”
- Handling a course load that’s at least 60 percent math or science
- Able to demonstrate receipt of an undergraduate degree (in any subject) and a masters’ in education from any accredited public or private institution
- Able to show a 3.5 GPA or higher in graduate studies, and a 3.0 or higher in undergraduate studies
"Incentivizing our best teachers in the STEM fields to stay and teach in New York and lend their expertise to others will build a strong foundation of student success and ensure that our education system remains globally competitive,” SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher said. “The New York State Master Teacher program is yet another example of the Governor taking bold action to improve New York schools and benefit students for years to come."