UCSC's New Teacher Center launches online mentoring program for math teachers

Ellen Moir. Photo by Covello & Covello Photography.

The New Teacher Center at the University of California, Santa Cruz, has launched a new initiative to boost student performance in mathematics by providing an online network for beginning math teachers. The pilot program in nine states supports 150 beginning secondary math teachers. Support for the program was provided by a $500,000 grant from the Goldman Sachs Foundation.

By creating a new national online network, the Electronic Mentoring for Student Success (eMSS) program has established a content-focused professional development community for beginning math teachers. Novice teachers receive one-on-one mentoring from a veteran teacher in their state; pairs are established based on course content and grade level. In addition, curriculum that focuses on math content and pedagogy is available in a larger online community where teachers share case studies, lesson plans, and common challenges. The network also provides access to expert mathematics content specialists, allowing teachers to deepen their knowledge in the field.

The New Teacher Center (NTC) plans to offer the eMSS for Mathematics program to additional school districts following the successful conclusion of the pilot program. The new program is modeled on the eMSS for Science program that the NTC developed in partnership with the National Science Teacher Association and Montana State University. Originally launched in 2002, the science program now includes more than 425 mentors and 500 new teachers throughout the country.

"We are excited about this opportunity to expand our professional development support to new mathematics teachers," said Ellen Moir, executive director of the NTC. "We believe that we can reduce teacher turnover and improve student achievement by providing an environment where new teachers receive discipline-specific tools coupled with personal mentoring. This award helps us offer dedicated and enthusiastic new teachers the support they need to thrive."

"Improving mathematics education is critical for all students," said Stephanie Bell-Rose, president of the Goldman Sachs Foundation. "We identified the New Teacher Center at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and their eMSS online mentoring program as the ideal partner to help us advance achievement in mathematics, especially in hard-to-staff districts that serve underrepresented students."


About The Goldman Sachs Foundation: The Goldman Sachs Foundation is a global philanthropic organization funded by The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. The foundation's mission is to promote excellence and innovation in education and to improve the academic performance and lifelong productivity of young people worldwide. It achieves this mission through a combination of strategic partnerships, grants, loans, private-sector investments, and the deployment of professional talent from Goldman Sachs. Funded in 1999, the Foundation has awarded grants of $94 million since its inception, providing opportunities for young people in more than 20 countries. Visit the foundation's web site at www.gs.com/foundation.

About the New Teacher Center: The NTC is dedicated to improving student learning by supporting the development of an inspired, dedicated, and highly qualified teaching force. Since its inception in 1998, the center has been a driving force behind the enhancement of teacher induction strategies and has worked with school districts in 40 states and four countries to implement intensive teacher induction programs. For more information, visit www.newteachercenter.org.