How NCSU Became a Leader in STEM Education

Ninety years ago, NC State began offering degrees in mathematics and science education. Today, the NC State College of Education stands as North Carolina’s largest supplier of STEM educators. These educators not only fill high-need subject areas, they also rank among the state’s most effective teachers.

For the past 15 years, just a week before school starts each year, Karen Hollebrands has received at least one email from school districts in North Carolina – sometimes many more – asking for help in finding mathematics teachers.

“It is not uncommon for us to receive inquiries from principals wondering if we have any recent graduates who are looking for jobs as mathematics teachers just before school is ready to begin,” says Hollebrands, Ph.D., the Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor of Mathematics Education at the NC State College of Education. “The supply of highly qualified mathematics teachers does not seem to be meeting the demands.”

It’s a lament heard nationwide, too: There aren’t enough qualified teachers to inspire students to pursue science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers.

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Written by Diana Smith. Edited by Cherry Crayton.

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