NMSI Announces GM New Teacher Academy to Support First-Year STEM Teachers of Color

Program will serve more than 1.3k Black, Latino and Indigenous STEM teachers over the next 5 years to combat isolation, improve practice, and foster a stronger teacher-identity 

A diverse STEM teacher workforce is critical to increasing educational outcomes for students of color and the future of national security. Research shows, “Black students who’d had just one Black teacher by third grade were 13 percent more likely to enroll in college—and those who’d had two were 32 percent more likely.” However, the U.S. educator workforce’s current state does not reflect its student body’s diversity. 

To address these challenges, the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) announces the launch of the GM New Teacher Academy. In partnership with General Motors (GM), the initiative will train over 1,300 first-year STEM teachers who identify as Black, Latino/a and Indigenous. 

“The new GM Teacher Academies further solidifies NMSI’s commitment to increasing access and equity in STEM education,” said Michelle Stie, Vice President of Teaching and Learning at NMSI. “From climate change to health and economic growth– our most pressing challenges require problem-solving skills rooted in STEM. The collaboration with GM and other committed donors reflects our shared values and commitment to providing opportunities for underrepresented communities. Together, we will bridge the gaps, cultivate talent, and nurture a thriving ecosystem that fosters innovation and progress.”

Countless research and reports points to the importance of a diverse teacher workforce, including:  

  • Nearly 50% of public-school students identify as Black, Indigenous, or a person of color. Yet that diversity is not reflected in the teacher workforce, with 79.3 percent of public-school teachers identifying as White.  
  • In addition, a comprehensive research review also found that teachers who identify with the Black, Indigenous, or People of Color community tend to advocate more for students that represent the same community. 
  • Furthermore, a Forbes article provides a real-life example of the consequence of undervaluing diversity in the STEM industry as it describes medical equipment that produces inaccurate readings for patients with darker skin pigmentation. However, the article also presents a solution: “There is a clear path to eliminating racial inequities throughout medicine and science: getting more students of color into the jobs and careers that design and evaluate health devices, practices, and standards.” 

NMSI will offer the GM New Teacher Academy in the Atlanta Metro area to early-career STEM teachers of color in Georgia and Alabama and other regional HBCUs in the South. NMSI’s Laying the Foundation (LTF) program, a core component of the annual STEM training participants receive, will provide the pedagogical and STEM content support needed for effective instruction in today’s classroom. The program will empower new teachers to build and maintain subject matter expertise, enhance their leadership skills, and propel students’ confidence, creativity, and problem-solving skills. 

Donations from GM, Micron and 3M make the GM New Teacher Academy possible. GM has provided a $300K gift to support the training, and Micron is also supporting the efforts with a $25K gift.

“We’re thrilled to work with NMSI to launch the General Motors New Teacher Academy in metro Atlanta,” said Terry Rhadigan, vice president of Corporate Giving at GM.  “From software and hardware to design and data, our industry continues to evolve. Investing in STEM teachers is an investment in our collective future.”

For more information on how to support early-career STEM teachers in your community, contact NMSI or visit https://www.nms.org/.

The American Consortium for Equity in Education, publisher of the "Equity & Access" journal, celebrates and connects the educators, associations, community partners and industry leaders who are working to solve problems and create a more equitable environment for historically underserved pre K-12 students throughout the United States.

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