The University of Nevada, Reno, has finally opened the doors of a new collaborative workspace for the NevadaTeach program. NevadaTeach, implemented in 2015, allows students to earn a dual degree in secondary education and one of many STEM majors.

On Wednesday, Feb. 21, University Executive Vice President and Provost Kevin Carman welcomed NevadaTeach students, faculty and donors to the new space on the fourth floor of the William J. Raggio Building.

The construction project, which was funded by a grant received last spring from the Pennington Foundation, includes a dedicated reception area, student workroom, classroom laboratories, a conference room, master teacher offices, storage and a director’s office.

A central location for the NevadaTeach community is expected to positively impact the growth of the program and STEM education in Nevada. Students, researchers and teachers in the NevadaTech program now have an environment to promote collaboration and learning, better communication within the program’s community and a centralized location for prospective students to learn more.

UNR first launched the program in 2015 after the university was selected to join a national network of universities in the expansion of the UTeach science, technology, engineering and math teacher preparation program. The UTeach program was founded in 1997 at The University of Texas, Austin with the goal of attracting science and math majors into secondary teaching careers. It was created as a collaborative effort between the Colleges of Natural Sciences and Education to address both the shortage of qualified secondary STEM teachers as well as the quality of individuals entering the teaching field.

The program at UNR is designed similar to the flagship program, with added elements to give students teaching experience in their first year of school, support from ‘master teachers’ in the community, and a streamlined degree plan that allows students to be certified teachers at no additional cost once they graduate.

Students graduating from NevadaTeach will have completed all of the coursework necessary to pursue a teaching license at the middle or high school level, while also earning a comprehensive and marketable degree in a STEM discipline.

“The NevadaTeach program is an important part of our ongoing commitment to ensuring Nevada students receive the best education possible from instructors who are not only experts in their subjects but trained by successful teachers to inspire students in the classroom,” said Kenneth Coll, dean of the College of Education to the NV Silver and Blue Magazine last spring.

UNR is the first to implement this UTeach program model in the region. However, according to NevadaToday, the award is part of a statewide vision with both Nevada State College and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas expressing interest in becoming a part of the program.

“When we accomplish this, we will be the first state in the nation to have a statewide UTeach program initiative,”

University Executive Vice President and Provost Kevin Carman said to NevadaToday in 2015. “The program has already received endorsement from the presidents and provosts of these institutions as well as by the Nevada System of Higher Education chancellor and Board of Regents.”

UTeach has now been implemented in 46 universities across 22 states and the District of Columbia. The UTeach Institute projects that these programs across the country will produce more than 7,000 graduates by 2022 and that these teachers will reach more than four million students.

Emily Fisher can be reached at and on Twitter @NevadaSagebrush.