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Marketing for Attracting Teacher Hopefuls RAC


Note: This Research Action Cluster is no longer active. Its work is presented here as it may continue to be useful.

Statement of the Problem

  • Secondary Mathematics Teacher Programs* (SMTPs) are not enrolling or graduating enough secondary mathematics teachers to satisfy the needs of U.S. middle and high schools.
  • Salary, stereotypes, job satisfaction, career prestige, and the challenges of learning mathematics contribute to low enrollments in mathematics teacher preparation programs.

*An SMTP is a program that includes a nationally accredited course of study housed at an institution of higher education that leads to licensure for teaching mathematics in grades 6-12.

  • Aim Statements

    • Attract and maintain an adequate supply of secondary mathematics teacher candidates
    • Purposeful and sustained marketing plan and effort to attract a diverse population of teacher candidates and counter the negative narrative about teaching
    • Address needs of different institutions and programs
    • Marketing sensitive to diverse audiences Investigate how to retain those we recruit with strong potential for teaching secondary mathematics


  • General Approach

    • Provide models for developing and launching purposeful and sustained marketing campaigns that re-brand teaching to appeal to STEM majors
    • Include adaptions for programs focusing on undergraduates, UTeach, alternative pathways, and other models
    • Identify critical experiences in mathematics and clinical work that impact recruitment and retention
  • Measures Used

    • Annual number of graduates reported to SMTI
    • Number individual initiated inquiries about mathematics teaching (by email, phone, walk-in, etc.) monitored continuously through form and aggregated monthly
    • Annual data summary on diversity that includes race, ethnicity, and gender
    • Number of individuals who declare an appropriate SMTP major aggregated monthly
    • Number of individuals who apply for admission to an SMTP aggregated each semester


MTE-Partnership Driver Diagram


MATH Driver Diagram


The RAC has created and disseminates a 9-module Secondary Mathematics Teacher Recruitment Campaign Implementation Guide available at

  • Module 1 Teacher Recruitment Campaign Overview
  • Module 2 Campaign Planning
  • Module 3 Campaign Research
  • Module 4 Branding
  • Module 5 Social Media
  • Module 6 Public Relations
  • Module 7 Paid Broadcast Media
  • Module 8 Web Site Identity
  • Module 9 Lessons Learned/Evaluation


Chapter 14, The Mathematics Teacher Education Partnership: The Power of a Networked Improvement Community to Transform Secondary Mathematics Teacher Preparation, AMTE Professional Book Series, Volume 4
2016 MTE-Partnership Proceedings: Marketing to Attract Teacher Hopefuls (MATH) Conference Working Group Report