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UT Tyler scholarship encourages STEM careers

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Tyler, TX (KYTX) -- A program at UT Tyler is trying to address the shortage of math and science teachers, giving out scholarships to some students.

It wasn't hard for UT Tyler freshman Katherine Karaki to choose a major. "I had an incredible math teacher in high school, and that made me love math more, " Karaki said.

She's poised to follow in that teacher's footsteps, enrolled in UTeach, an education programs that allows science and math majors to get their degrees, teaching certification, and experience within 4 years.

"I don't just take math and science classes and then get into a classroom and have no idea what I'm doing after I graduate," Karaki said.

She's one of 25 students every semester who receives a scholarship through UTeach.

"It doesn't cost them anything to try teaching, and we're hoping that those that think they want to teach will fall in love with it the moment they get in there and see the impact they have on students," Donna Wise, a UTeach master teacher, said.

We're told 90 percent of the students already have a job by the time they graduate from the UTeach program.

Counselors at Tyler ISD are encouraging students at the high school level to look into STEM.

"Some students will go, 'oh that is hard, that is too much work.' But we need you to go for it," Celia Tucker, lead counselor at Robert E. Lee High School, said.

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