First We Teach MO cohort begins, receives media attention

Darren Essman

Darren Essman, a biology major and military veteran, discusses UMSL’s We Teach MO program on a recent KSDK news segment.

The new We Teach MO program at the University of Missouri–St. Louis caught not only the attention of the 12 participants constituting the inaugural cohort, but also the St. Louis news media. Participant Darren Essman, a biology junior and military veteran, shared his enthusiasm for the program with KSDK (Channel 5).

“I believe that my passion for biology will come across,” he told KSDK reporter Jason Aubry. “I believe that will translate to me being a good teacher.”

We Teach MO seeks to rectify the shortage of highly qualified math and science teachers in Missouri by putting Science, Technology, Engineering and Math undergraduates on the fast track to teacher certification. The program is a collaborative effort between the UMSL College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Education co-directed by Curators’ Distinguished Teaching Professor Chuck Granger, Orthwein Endowed Professor of Lifelong Learning Keith Miller and Department of Mathematics and Computer Science Chair Haiyan Cai. Education graduate student Nicolle von der Heyde will mentor and educate participating STEM students.

The first We Teach MO class was held on Sept. 18. Classes will continue through fall and into spring. The KSDK segment can be seen here.

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