Technology and Transformation

UT’s powerful partnership with Microsoft

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“There is a direct correlation between teacher preparation and student performance. As the flagship university in the state of Texas, it was our duty to respond to this growing need.”
– Uri Treisman
University Distinguished Professor of Mathematics

Developing technology solutions to support and transform a changing world is nothing new to Microsoft — and neither is its connection with The University of Texas at Austin. For the past 45 years, the partnership has been going strong and, like any good friendship, it continues to evolve.

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Microsoft has provided the UT community solutions to facilitate remote learning and work, gifted funding and Azure cloud technology to sustainability research teams, and invested in the university’s accessibility leaders, empowering them to reimagine classroom technology. But Microsoft goes beyond addressing only current problems. The visionary company thinks ahead, seeking solutions for future concerns.

Across rural Texas, the scarcity of mathematics and computer science teachers leaves students at a disadvantage. Lacking courses they need to enroll in post-secondary education, students can find their career options limited. Microsoft Education responded by making significant investments that equipped UT’s K-12 education leaders to prepare more math and computer science teachers.

“Mathematics teachers are among the most in-demand teaching positions and often the most difficult to fill,” says Uri Treisman, University Distinguished Professor of Mathematics and executive director of UT’s Charles A. Dana Center. “We know there is a direct correlation between teacher preparation and student performance. As the flagship university in the state of Texas, it was our duty to respond to this growing need.”

A generous grant from Microsoft provided resources to do just that. The funds have supported UTeach, WeTeach_CS and the Dana Center as they collaborate on new approaches to prepare and support math and computer science teachers, including UTeach ACCess, a co-enrollment pathway between the College of Natural Sciences and Austin Community College. It’s a triumphant first step to use community college partnerships to expand the highest-caliber STEM teaching preparation program beyond UT’s student population.

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