At the University of Texas at Austin, it was called UTeach.
In Lawrence, it could be UKanTeach.
"In Texas, in Kansas, everywhere, there's an incredible shortage of mathematics and science secondary teachers," said Jan Lariviere, project coordinator at Kansas University's Center for Science Education.
Lariviere will speak today to the Kansas State Board of Education. Her talk - covering the UTeach teacher preparation program - is part of a larger discussion on dealing with the state's teaching shortage.
Some districts are reaching beyond the country's borders to countries such as Spain and India to recruit teachers to fill vacancies, although the Lawrence district has not done so.
An informal survey of school districts, conducted in the fall by acting education commissioner Dale Dennis, found 497 teacher vacancies statewide. That figure was up slightly from the 483 reported in fall 2005.
Top areas of need, according to the informal survey, included special education, math, foreign language and science.
"This has been our worst year," said Martha Gage, director of teacher education and licensure for the Kansas State Department of Education. "Late summer and this fall have sort of been a nightmare for us with folks trying to find teachers."
Gage said today's talk will lay the groundwork for board action or any legislative proposals aimed at addressing teacher recruitment and retention.
The state education department has formed a recruitment committee that is developing strategies to address the issue. A Pre-Collegiate Teachers Preparation Program is in development to identify and mentor future teachers while they are themselves in middle school and high school.
And Lariviere, wife of KU Provost Richard Lariviere, will discuss the UTeach program, which helps introduce math and science college students to teaching and provides mentoring and support.
Jan Lariviere said the program helped more than double the number of UT-Austin students gaining teacher certification. Now the university is certifying more than 70 students each year in math and science, compared with about 25 each year at KU, she said. KU is exploring the UTeach model.
"I'd love to see the numbers double," Jan Lariviere said.