Published: Feb. 18, 2015

High five: MSU honored for physics teacher education

Contact(s): Tom Oswald Communications and Brand Strategy

With the United States facing a severe shortage of qualified physics teachers, Michigan State University is doing its part to remedy the situation.

The Physics Teacher Education Coalition has honored MSU by including the university as an initial inductee into its “5+ Club,” an elite group of institutions that has graduated five or more physics teachers in a given year.

The majority of institutions graduate fewer than two physics teachers a year, while the most common number of graduates is zero.

“We are proud of MSU’s success in training qualified physics teachers for Michigan, said Sekhar Chivukula, professor of physics and associate dean for faculty development in the College of Natural Science. “We look forward to increasing the number of teachers qualified to teach science and mathematics in the future.”

In the 2012-13 academic year, MSU graduated seven physics teachers, putting it among seven other universities who also were welcomed into “The 5+ Club.”

The award demonstrates that MSU is providing qualified physics teachers for the state of Michigan, an area of importance as institutions around the country strive to increase the number of students pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or the STEM disciplines.

The PhysTEC said the United States is in the midst of a severe, long-term shortage of qualified physics teachers. In 2013, the National Task Force on Teacher Education reported that “the need for qualified physics teachers is greater now than at any previous time in U.S. history.”

MSU has long been a leader in physics education. The university has consistently been ranked No. 1 in the nation in graduate programs in nuclear physics.

The coalition is the flagship education program of the American Physical Society. It’s mission: To improve the education of future physics teachers, creating successful models for physics teacher education programs, and disseminating best practices.

The project has funded more than 40 sites to build physics teacher education programs. Visit for more information.