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A Boost for Education: The Teacher Academy for Mathematics and Science

A Boost for Education
Reported by
Leslie Knowlton

Posted April 17, 2007

Presented By


To better prepare next generations of math and science teachers and help fill the present shortage of such teachers in New York City (NYC) public schools, the City University of New York (CUNY) in partnership with the New York City Department of Education last year launched the Teacher Academy (TA), a multi-campus program that gives its students up to four years of free tuition and fees at six CUNY campuses. A seventh campus will launch a TA in September.

To provide a snapshot of the new project that began with funding from the Carroll and Milton Petrie Foundation as part of the New York City Partnership for Teacher Excellence, a panel of seven TA directors and six of their current students convened at the New York Academy of Sciences on February 2, 2007. There, they reported details of the overall project plus specifics about how they are instituting the program at their respective campuses.

Use the tabs above to find a meeting report and resources from this event.

Web Sites

Program overview

Teacher Academy at the City University of New York
This is the main Web site for the Teacher Academy program. It includes links to FAQs, admissions, financial aid, and much more.

Host schools

Brooklyn College
This Web site contains information about the different departments participating in the TA program, the Peer Led Team Learning academic support groups, the host schools, and the role of the humanities in the program.

Teacher Academy of the City College of New York
City College's TA Web site has links to programs of study, faculty and staff, and admissions pages.

Teacher Academy at the College of Staten Island
This Web site has links to general information about the TA program, academic programs, and admissions.

Teacher Academy at Hunter College
This Web site has links to general information about the TA program, academic programs, student testimonials, faculty and staff, and admissions.

Teacher Academy at Lehman College
The Lehman College Web page has everything you need to know about its program.

Teacher Academy at Queens College
The Queens College TA Web site has general information about the program, links to the departments involved, and information about staff.

TIME 2000
An undergraduate program at Queens College specially designed for prospective secondary mathematics teachers.


Keynote Speaker

June Kasuga Miller, PhD

Teacher Academy at Queens College

June Kasuga Miller is the director of the Teacher Academy at Queens College and director of the college's secondary science education program. She received her master's from Queens College and her doctorate from Columbia University. Certified in both chemistry and biology, Miller taught in New York City Schools for almost a decade. She has taught elementary and secondary education courses and graduate research seminars in science and mathematics education. Her research interests are in science and curriculum design and assessment protocols.


Deborah S. Gardner, PhD

Teacher Academy at Hunter College

Deborah Gardner is the director of the Teacher Academy at Hunter College. She has a BA in political science from Barnard College and a PhD from Columbia University with a specialty in New York City history. Gardner has worked for several New York foundations and taught at Hunter College in the Urban Planning and Honors College programs. She is a member of the Office of the Provost at Hunter and works closely with a core group of faculty from the Schools of Education and Arts & Sciences on the development and programs of the Teacher Academy.

Jane Keleher, PhD

Teacher Academy at York College

Jane Keleher is the director of the Teacher Academy at York College. Keleher teaches courses that span three departments: Teacher Education, Mathematics, and Philosophy. Her research focuses on developmental mathematics—the transition from high school to postsecondary study in mathematics. She received her doctorate from Central Connecticut State University.

Eleanor Miele, PhD

Teacher Academy at Brooklyn College
e-mail | web site

Eleanor Miele is the director of the Teacher Academy at Brooklyn College and an associate professor of science education. She was recently appointed to a named professorship endowed by Leonard and Claire Tow. She also serves as program head of the masters programs in childhood and middle childhood science education. Miele earned a bachelor of science degree in genetics from Cornell University and completed her education in molecular biology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. She served on the faculty of the Columbia University Science Honors Program for gifted high school students for sixteen years. Miele works closely with many informal science institutions in teacher preparation. She is codirector of the National Parks of New York Harbor Education Center and is currently principal investigator on three projects funded by the National Science Foundation.

Jim Neujahr, PhD

Teacher Academy at CCNY
e-mail | web site

Jim Neujahr is the director of the Teacher Academy at CCNY. Neujahr has served in several administrative roles in the School of Education including program head, department chair, associate dean, and acting dean. In addition to teaching courses in educational research, science education, and inquiry in education, he frequently supervises student teachers.

Over the past 20 years he has collaborated in science and technology education projects with colleagues in physics, engineering, and architecture at CCNY, colleagues in the NYC Board of Education, and colleagues in other parts of CUNY and in other institutions. In most of these he was director or codirector of projects funded by the National Science Foundation. Recent results of these collaborations are five teachers' guides in engineering technology published by Heinemann and the City Technology Web site.

Susan Polirstok, PhD

CUNY Teacher Academy at Lehman College
e-mail | web site

Susan Polirstok is the director of the CUNY Teacher Academy at Lehman College. Polirstok taught middle school students in the Bronx for eight years before coming to Lehman College. Throughout her 25-year tenure at Lehman as a professor of special education and associate dean of education for the past four years, Polirstok has worked closely with Bronx school administrators, teachers, paraprofessionals, and parents to provide training and support for students with special needs. She is the author of numerous articles and text chapters on Asperger Syndrome, gentle teaching and functional communication for individuals with autism, peer tutoring, parent training and advocacy, learning and behavior disorders, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, emotional intelligence, self-monitoring strategies, classroom management, and faculty development.

Leslie Knowlton

Leslie Knowlton is a freelance writer based in New York City and on Deer Isle, Maine. With a master's degree in psychology, she spent more than a decade as a correspondent for the Los Angeles Times and a medical writer and contributing editor for the Psychiatric Times. Her work has also appeared in dozens of other newspapers and magazines including the Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, New York Daily News, Cosmopolitan and Fitness.