One university has created a new program to address the need for more science and math teachers in this country.

As an extra bonus: The school’s new regimen is more cost effective for the students.

West Virginia University establish a unique teacher-training program for secondary science, technology, engineering and mathematics teachers using a $1.45 million grant they will receive from the National Math and Science Initiative.

The UTeach program attracts high-performing undergraduate students majoring in STEM disciplines to the teaching field and prepares them for careers as teachers in secondary education. The program allows students interested in math and science to earn both a degree in their major as well as a secondary teaching certification without adding time or cost to their four-year degree program.

“This is truly a comprehensive effort across many disciplines,” Provost Joyce McConnell said in a statement. “It will require tremendous focus to recruit, prepare, develop and support the most highly qualified teachers, but that effort will yield not only more science and math teachers, but more teachers who will remain in those fields and contribute to the success of school-aged students.”

The university’s program, WVUteach, will be supported by the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Education and Human Services, and the Office of the Provost. It will be co-directed by Gay Stewart, director of the WVU Center for STEM Education, and Jeffrey Carver, director of STEM education initiatives in the College of Education and Human Services.

The key elements of the program include collaboration across colleges, student recruitment and support, compact and flexible degree plans, a focus on research-based strategies for teaching and learning math and sciences, early and intensive field teaching experiences, and personal guidance from master teachers and faculty.

The UTeach program has a successful track record as 81 percent of the more than 2,100 UTeach graduates have entered teaching. Of those graduates, 64 percent are teaching in the highest-need schools.

West Virginia University will officially launch its program with a kick-off event in spring 2015.