Posts Tagged ‘STEM’

Legislative Update: New House CTE Caucus Leader Announced As Congress Nears Funding Deal

Friday, December 16th, 2022

This week the House CTE Caucus announced a new co-chair to lead the caucus in the upcoming 118th Congress. Meanwhile, lawmakers have continued to make progress on federal fiscal year 2023 (FY23) funding in the hopes of completing work before the end of the year. 

House CTE Caucus Leadership Announcement

This morning longtime House CTE Caucus Co-chairs Reps. Jim Langevin (D-RI) and Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA) announced that Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) will succeed Langevin in the upcoming 118th Congress as the new Democratic co-chair of this bipartisan caucus. Alongside his colleague Rep. Thompson, Rep. Langevin led the House CTE Caucus for over a decade. He is set to retire at the end of the current 117th Congress. “Representative Langevin’s leadership as co-chair of the House CTE Caucus culminates over two decades of dedication to increase the awareness of and support for CTE and its learners,” said Advance CTE’s Executive Director Kimberly Green when this news was announced. “Advance CTE is incredibly grateful for his partnership and dedication, and we wish him the very best in his next chapter. We look forward to working with Representative Bonamici in the next Congress to secure the necessary resources for state leaders to build high-quality, equitable CTE systems for every learner.” 

Our organization is appreciative of Rep. Langevin’s many years of service in support of high-quality CTE programs and the millions of learners they serve across the country. We look forward to continuing this work in the next Congress in collaboration with Rep. Bonamici in this new capacity. 

Lawmakers Near Agreement on FY23 Funding

Congress stayed in session this week as part of a busy lame duck session to attend to a number of “must-pass” items still left on lawmakers’ agendas. Top among this list is the need to pass full-year funding legislation for FY23 . Current stopgap legislation, known as a continuing resolution (CR), extended FY22 funding through December 16 (today) of this year for all federal operations and programs like the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins V). 

For weeks, lawmakers have struggled to find consensus on topline spending figures for defense and non-defense spending. On Tuesday evening, Congressional leaders announced that they had reached a tentative agreement on the overall size of an FY23 package—an important first step in the wider process of developing a full-year FY23 funding package. At present, this “framework” agreement will reportedly total approximately $1.7 trillion, but specific details regarding this emerging deal have yet to be made public. In the interim, lawmakers passed an additional CR last night, lasting through December 23, to provide themselves with more time as they continue to negotiate the specific program-level spending details underlying this forthcoming funding package. 

As these efforts continue, Advance CTE will continue to work with partners on Capitol Hill to advocate for full-year FY23 funding and to encourage greater investments in CTE as part of this wider process.

ED Hosts STEM Summit

Last week, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) hosted a “YOU Belong in STEM” summit at its Washington, D.C. headquarters to support and promote science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education across the nation. The convening brought together stakeholders to discuss strategies and best practices for how to implement, at scale, high-quality STEM education opportunities, particularly for learners from marginalized backgrounds. More on the effort can be found here

Steve Voytek, Policy Advisor

By Stacy Whitehouse in Public Policy
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Legislative Update: Congress Continues Busy Lame Duck Session

Friday, December 9th, 2022

Over the last two weeks, lawmakers have continued to work on a number of pressing issues, including funding legislation for the current 2023 federal fiscal year (FY23). Elsewhere the contours of the upcoming 118th Congress– set to convene in January– are continuing to take shape as additional elections are finalized and leadership decisions are made. Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) released new guidance related to STEM education. 

Lawmakers Struggle to Find Agreement on FY23 Funding

This week, Congress continued to work on a number of important agenda items lawmakers hope to complete during the current lame duck session of Congress. Topping this list, is the need to fund the federal government and related programs beyond December 16—when current stopgap funding legislation is set to expire. This legislation, known as a continuing resolution (CR), has provided an extension of FY22 funding levels for federal operations and programs, like the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins V), through this date later this month. Lawmakers are still negotiating topline spending totals for the major components of the federal budget. As a reminder, discretionary spending is split between defense and non-defense funding. Democratic lawmakers broadly favor additional non-defense spending, while Republicans are supportive of larger amounts of funding for the military.

This disagreement— how much to allot for both of these spending categories—has remained one of the primary obstacles for Congress to advance full-year spending legislation needed to avert a government shutdown and lapse in appropriations for programs like Perkins V. As this disagreement persists, lawmakers will likely be forced to pass another short-term extension of existing FY22 funding levels to provide themselves more time to negotiate a final deal. It is unclear whether lawmakers will find consensus on this important issue prior to the start of the next Congress, set to begin on January 3, 2023, but both sides are working earnestly to finalize a deal prior to the holidays. 

As these efforts continue, Advance CTE will continue to engage with partners on Capitol Hill to impress upon lawmakers the importance of full-year funding and to encourage greater investments in Perkins V and funding streams of interest to the Career Technical Education (CTE) community in the coming year. 

Democrats Solidify New Senate Majority

As shared previously, the long-awaited midterm elections took place last month which resulted in Republicans retaking control of the House. While nearly all of these electoral races had been resolved, a final Senate runoff election in Georgia between Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) and challenger Herschel Walker took place. After the polls closed Tuesday evening, Sen. Warnock (D-GA) was declared the winner of this election. With Sen. Warnock’s electoral victory, Democrats will have a 51-49 majority in the Senate as part of the upcoming 118th Congress. This majority will further solidify Democrats’ control of legislative and nomination processes which, over the last two years, had relied on Vice President Kamala Harris to cast tie-breaking votes when the chamber deadlocked. 

Significantly, this slim Democratic majority in the 118th Congress will also mean Democrats will have majorities on individual Senate committees, including the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee which oversees CTE policy, in the coming Congress. With these majorities on committees, Democrats will be able to move nominees and certain legislation that had previously been bogged down by disagreements between the parties over the last two years. Despite these positive developments for Democrats Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, an incumbent Democratic Senator from Arizona, announced that she is leaving the Democratic Party to become an independent. Although this complicates Democrats’ newfound Senate majority somewhat, Sinema shared in an interview today that she will not caucus with Republicans which means Democrats are still likely to have a firmer grip on the Senate in the coming two years. 

House Republican Leadership Continues to Take Shape

Elsewhere incoming House Republican leaders are continuing to make decisions regarding who will lead committees of jurisdiction in the coming Congress, including those that will oversee CTE policy next year. Of note, Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) was granted a waiver by House Republican leadership recently to run to lead the House Education and Labor Committee next Congress. This waiver will allow Foxx to run for chair, but she is likely to be challenged by one or more other Republican members vying for the position. Advance CTE will continue to monitor this and other developments as the 118th Congress continues to take shape.

ED Issues New STEM Guidance

On Wednesday,  December 6, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) sent a Dear Colleague letter to state educational agencies, local educational agencies, and other stakeholders providing information on how existing federal funds can be used to  support science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. The letter aims to provide guidance on using funds from the American Rescue Plan (ARP), as well as other relevant funding streams and legislation, such as Perkins V, to support innovative, equity-focused K-12 STEM education and related activities. It also provides suggested examples and best practices for how to maximize the use of these resources. The letter goes on to emphasize the importance of STEM education in helping students recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and prepare them for a rapidly evolving labor market. 

Steve Voytek, Policy Advisor

By Stacy Whitehouse in Public Policy
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Legislative Update: Congress in Recess Through the Midterms

Monday, October 24th, 2022

The last few weeks, lawmakers in Congress have remained in recess ahead of the upcoming midterm elections set to take place November 8. Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) has launched a new STEM initiative while other federal agencies have made several recent grant announcements regarding connectivity efforts and mental health. 

Congress Remains in Recess Ahead of Midterm Elections

Both the House and Senate are currently on an extended recess ahead of the upcoming midterm elections. While the chambers are formally out of session, they are holding pro forma sessions during this time to continue committee-level work on a number of existing agenda items. Before going on this extended recess, Congress was able to successfully pass short-term funding legislation, known as a continuing resolution (CR). This CR extends current fiscal year 2022 (FY22) funding levels for all federal programs, including the Carl D. Perkins Act (Perkins V), through December 16. By that date, lawmakers will next need to act by either passing an additional funding extension at that time or completing work on a more comprehensive funding proposal for the federal government. 

The length of the CR is intended to provide Congress additional time to campaign ahead of the fast-approaching midterm elections November 8. It is broadly hoped that when the outcomes of these elections become clearer, lawmakers will be able to reach consensus during the “lame duck” session of Congress. As these efforts get more fully underway, Advance CTE will continue to work with its partners in Congress to secure robust funding levels for the Perkins V basic state grant program and other priority Career Technical Education (CTE)  funding streams. 

ED Launches “YOU Belong in STEM” Initiative

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) recently announced a new initiative aimed at encouraging learners to explore and pursue pathways in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields. The effort pulls together a number of existing ED activities and related priorities highlighting various opportunities to promote STEM education for learners at both the K-12 and postsecondary levels. In the coming weeks, the Department intends to release additional guidance, technical assistance, and related information for how to deepen and expand on these efforts in the future. 

FCC Releases Additional Connectivity Funds

Last week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced another round of Emergency Connectivity Fund Program (ECF) funding totaling nearly $78 million. Authorized by the American Rescue Plan, the ECF provides funding to schools and libraries to purchase broadband plans and devices for students, school staff, and library patrons and has been a key Advance CTE federal policy priority since the start of the pandemic. These latest funding commitments are from the first and third application windows for the ECF program and will benefit nearly 175,000 students from Delaware, Florida, Indiana, North Carolina, New Mexico, and Texas.  

ED Distributes Funding for School-based Mental Health

In the wake of several tragic mass shootings earlier this year, Congress passed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (S. 2938). The new law modestly tightened the nation’s gun laws while investing significant new funding into K-12 education to support safer schools and promote learner mental health. On Monday, October 3, the U.S. Department of Education announced that it had published two grant funding opportunities as part of this legislation.

The first of these is the School-based Mental Health Services Grant program which will provide competitive grants to state (SEAs) and local education agencies (LEAs), along with consortia of these entities, to apply for funding to increase the number of school-based mental health services available to students. There is more than $144 million available for these grants. More information on how to apply, including related deadlines, can be found here. The second grant announcement is related to the Mental Health Service Professional Demonstration grant program. This competitive grant effort is intended to provide financial support to SEAs, LEAs, and postsecondary institutions to hire additional staffing capacity for similar purposes. Additional information regarding this initiative can be accessed here.

Steve Voytek, Policy Advisor

By Stacy Whitehouse in Public Policy
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Making the Case for a Cross-Disciplinary STEM Core

Tuesday, October 26th, 2021

Submitted by CORD, 2021 Fall Meeting Sponsor

The nature of work is evolving right before our eyes. Technological advancements are transforming existing industries and creating new ones at an unprecedented pace. The World Economic Forum predicts significant disruption in the jobs landscape over the next four years. As many as 85 million current job roles may be displaced while more than 97 million new roles could emerge. Many of those roles will be enhanced by technologies that can collaborate with humans to enrich lives and workplaces in what the National Science Foundation (NSF) describes as the “future of work at the human-technology frontier.” Our challenge as state Career Technical Education (CTE) leaders is ensuring future technicians acquire the expanding skill sets necessary for success in a rapidly changing environment. 

Through the NSF-Advanced Technological Education (ATE) supported initiative, Preparing Technicians for the Future of Work, staff at the Center for Occupational Research and Development (CORD) led a series of research activities designed to identify the knowledge and skills that will be essential for future STEM techniciansThis work has resulted in the Framework for a Cross-Disciplinary STEM Core (The Framework), a set of recommendations for technician education that incorporate knowledge and skills such as Advanced Digital Literacy, Data Knowledge and Analysis, and Business Knowledge and Processes into technician preparation programs. These core content areas are essential to future success in STEM fields because they transcend narrow job specialization and enable technicians to adapt to a complex employment environment. Topics within these areas have been prioritized by educators and industry leaders.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Framework offers practical recommendations for implementation, with regional customization, by any community college technical program. Steps toward adoption of the Framework include:

Download the Framework today and discover ways you can advocate for adoption of the Cross-Disciplinary STEM Core in your state.

By Brittany Cannady in Advance CTE Fall Meeting, Resources
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Research Review: Promising Practices for Reducing Racial Disparities in Academic Outcomes

Wednesday, May 12th, 2021

Gaps in academic outcomes between learners of color and their White peers is a challenge that continues to perplex education leaders. Two new studies highlight promising practices for how states can begin to narrow racial disparities in academic outcomes and better prepare learners for the transition to postsecondary education through strong academic support and quality career and academic advising. 

Removing Barriers to Gateway Courses 

Academic and technical proficiency are both essential for career readiness. Career Technical Education (CTE) secondary learners who pursue postsecondary education are required to demonstrate academic proficiency while completing technical coursework. However, traditional postsecondary placement models can be a barrier to learners, extending both the time and costs of completing a program of study, and ultimately serve as a deterrent for learners pursuing a postsecondary degree. 

In a recent study, researchers at Florida State University examined how Florida reformed its introductory college-level course placement policies and the impact the reform had on learners of color. Prior to 2013, Florida postsecondary students scoring below college-ready on a statewide placement test were required to take at least one developmental education course. Nearly 70 percent of first-time-in-college learners were required to take these developmental education courses based on their placement test scores, with Black and Latinx learners being overrepresented compared to White learners. Learners had to pay tuition to enroll in these courses without  receiving credits, and the courses did not count towards degree requirements. Furthermore, learners were required to successfully complete developmental education courses before they were allowed to enroll in for-credit gateway courses such as English and math. 

After the Florida legislature passed Senate Bill 1720 (SB 1720) in 2013, learners who entered a Florida public high school in the 2003-2004 school year or later and graduated with a standard high school diploma were presumed to be college-ready, were exempt from college placement testing and developmental coursework, and could enroll directly into gateway English and math courses. The passage of SB 1720 also reformed developmental education courses overall by requiring colleges to design them in a way that better meets the needs of learners in the following ways:

These reforms allowed learners who choose to enroll in developmental courses the opportunity to complete them faster, only enroll in the courses they needed, and complete their education on-time. Additionally, under SB 1720 colleges were required to reform their advising services, which increased learner awareness of developmental course options along with other academic services such as tutoring.  

Comparing three cohorts of learners who had enrolled in a Florida postsecondary institution prior to SB 1720 (Fall 2011 – Fall 2013) and three cohorts of learners after SB 1720 (Fall 2014 – Fall 2016), researchers found that after the passage of SB 1720, the percentage of first-time college students enrolled in gateway math and English courses increased overall for learners; however, gains were most significant for learners of color and outpaced the growth of White enrollment by 15 percentage points. 

Similarly, the percentage of learners who passed the introductory college-level courses increased across the board; however, the gains were much more pronounced for learners of color when compared to their White peers. 

The findings from this study indicate that traditional postsecondary placement models may be underestimating the ability of learners to be successful in college-level courses, particularly learners of color who are overrepresented in developmental education.

STEM Dual Enrollment Leading to College Persistence

Another study by the Community College Research Center (CCRC) illustrates the importance of dual enrollment courses in reducing racial/ethnic gaps in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) program outcomes. About one-third of CTE high school concentrators pursue a program of study in the STEM Career Cluster, reaffirming that high-quality CTE programs can provide a strong foundation for and serve as a delivery system of STEM competencies for a broader range of learners. 

CCRC found that when Florida high school learners enrolled in college-level algebra courses through dual enrollment, they were more likely to pursue and persist in STEM programs in their first year of college compared to learners who did not participate in dual enrollment. When disaggregated by race/ethnicity, the study found that, even though dual enrollment algebra learners were much more likely to be White, Black and Latinx learners who enrolled in dual enrollment courses were much more likely than White learners to enroll and persist in STEM programs in college. 

Conclusion

Taken together, these studies suggest promising practices that can narrow racial/ethnic academic achievement and opportunity gaps and prepare learners for success along their career pathway. The research demonstrates how increased access to introductory college-level courses, strong academic supports, quality career and academic advising, and access to college in high school programs can have significant access and equity implications and begin reducing disparities in outcomes for Black and Latinx learners. 

For more information on advising and dual enrollment, please visit the Learning that Works Resource Center. 

Brian Robinson, Policy Associate

By admin in Uncategorized
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HEA in Practice: Title III HSI STEM Articulation Grant

Wednesday, January 30th, 2019

Title III of the Higher Education Act (HEA) is the main source of institutional level funding in HEA, primarily supporting minority-serving colleges. Title III authorizes the Hispanic Serving Institutions Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics and Articulation Program (HSI STEM). An institution is categorized as an HSI if at least 25 percent of the full time undergraduate students are Latino. As of the 2016-2017 school year, HSIs include 65 percent of Latino undergraduate students and 15 percent of colleges and universities across the country, and these number will continue to increase.

This piece of HEA has two goals: the first is to increase attainment of STEM degrees and the second is to create a model transfer and articulation agreement for STEM degrees between two- and four-year institutions. Appropriations for this program are mandatory through FY2019. Funding can be utilized for purposes such as:

A great example of how this has been implemented is the Laredo Community College in Texas, which developed its STEM Articulation and Summer Bridge program through the HSI STEM grant. The STEM articulation program supports learners interested in STEM in both the college enrollment process, as well as successfully navigating the two to four year transfer. This program includes a Summer Bridge component, which provides incoming college students with advisement on everything from what to expect academically to the interpersonal skills that will be required. Learners in this program graduated at twice the rate of the college’s overall graduation rate.

Meredith Hills, Policy Associate

By admin in Uncategorized
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This Week in CTE

Friday, December 14th, 2018

TWEET OF THE WEEK

ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE WEEK

Trump Administration Releases Strategy to Bolster STEM Education in the U.S.

On December 4, the Committee on STEM Education of the National Science and Technology Council released Charting a Course for Success: America’s Strategy for STEM Education. This report that outlines the Trump administration’s five-year strategy to increase access to high-quality Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education and to ensure the United States is a global leader in STEM literacy, innovation and employment. Read more legislative updates on our blog here.

VIDEO OF THE WEEK

What is Dual Enrollment?

Watch this video for a brief overview of what makes a high-quality dual enrollment program. You will learn how participation in these programs has grown over time and the present challenge to close access gaps.

Watch the video here. https://youtu.be/-3bXnkHeddg

RESOURCE OF THE WEEK

What Happens to Students Who Take Community College “Dual Enrollment” Courses in High School?

In the fall of 2010, the 15 percent of learners enrolled in community college were high school dual enrollment learners. In a new report, the Community College Research Center-Teachers College, at Columbia University in New York, examines who enrolls in community college dual enrollment courses and what happens to them after high school. The research findings are based on longitudinal data of more than 200,000 high school learners who first took a community college course in fall 2010 for six years, through to the summer of 2016.

Findings:

Read the full report here: https://ccrc.tc.columbia.edu/media/k2/attachments/what-happens-community-college-dual-enrollment-students.pdf

By admin in Uncategorized
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Trump Administration Releases Strategy to Bolster STEM Education in the US

Monday, December 10th, 2018

On December 4, the Committee on STEM Education of the National Science and Technology Council released Charting a Course for Success: America’s Strategy for STEM Education, a report that outlines the Trump administration’s five-year strategy to increase access to high-quality Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education and to ensure the United States is a global leader in STEM literacy, innovation and employment. The strategy is rooted in three goals: build strong foundations for STEM literacy; increase diversity, equity and inclusion in STEM; and prepare the STEM workforce for the future.

To achieve these goals, the strategy is broken into four pathways that respectively focus on:

The pathways described in the strategy share common items with STEM4: The Power of Collaboration for Change, a resource by Advance CTE, the Association of State Supervisors of Mathematics, the Council of State Science Supervisors, and the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association that outlines principles and corresponding recommendations to drive and implement outstanding STEM education research and practices.

Notably, both resources recognize the importance of increasing access to and equity in STEM preparedness and the importance of real-world scenarios to preparing learners for lifelong career success. Career Technical Education (CTE) can play a pivotal role in promoting strong STEM education programs and workforce by exposing learners of all ages to real-world experiences through work-based and experiential learning and by fostering a STEM talent pipeline. High-quality CTE programs of study are informed by labor market data and developed with industry input to ensure that learners are developing the skills, such as computational literacy, to meet employer needs.

As the United States continues to fall short in preparing learners for education and careers in STEM, state leaders should consider how CTE can serve as mechanism to meet the goals outlined in the Trump administration’s five-year strategy.

Brianna McCain, Policy Associate

By admin in Uncategorized
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Global Competencies, CTE & STEM

Wednesday, November 28th, 2018

When students enter the job market, they will need to know the global dimensions of their career pathway and how to work with people from different backgrounds – including here in our increasingly diverse country. Recognizing the incredible opportunities and necessities of linking Career Technical Education (CTE) and global competencies is why Advance CTE partnered with Asia Society, Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) and Longview Foundation to release Preparing a Globally Competent Workforce Through High-Quality Career and Technical Education back in 2015. 

Since the release of this report, this partnership has continued, leading to the development of the Global CTE Toolkit, which houses many curricular and instructional tools for embedding global competencies into CTE teaching and learning.

This work is now extending to focus squarely on STEM, with Advance CTE, the Global Education at Asia Society and ACTE partnering to create new online professional development modules that support CTE educators in integrating STEM content into their classrooms while teaching global skills via active, project-based learning. These 10 new modules – entitled Career Readiness in a Global Economy: STEM and CTE – will help educators understand how to make global connections to local issues; create high-quality global STEM projects; assess global workforce readiness skills; connect with classrooms abroad to complete collaborative projects; and teach students to be project managers so they are more successful in completing their projects.

These new modules, together with sample curriculum and other tools and resources are now being piloted and we are looking for state and local leaders and practitioners to join in and give your feedback. For each 15-minute module you give feedback on, you will be entered into a drawing for one of two $100 Amazon gift cards. All materials are free of charge due to generous support from the Project Management Institute Educational Foundation (PMIEF).

If you are interested in piloting these new materials, please visit CTE Learn, create a free log-in, and click on the Career Readiness in a Global Economy: STEM and CTE, button to get started. Also, feel free to share the link and information with others in your states and communities.

Contact Heather Singmaster at hsingmaster@asiasociety.org with any questions. All surveys must be completed by February 15, 2019 to be entered into the drawing.

By Kate Blosveren Kreamer in Advance CTE Announcements, News, Uncategorized
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Joint Paper Promoting Collaboration in STEM Education Released

Tuesday, August 28th, 2018

All too often, policy conversations concerning science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) happen separately from conversations related to Career Technical Education (CTE). Recently, Advance CTE partnered with the Association of State Supervisors of Mathematics, Council of State Science Supervisors, and International Technology and Engineering Educators Association to release STEM4: The Power of Collaboration for Change to highlight the importance of collaborating and coordinating strategically in these areas.

The document notes that, despite an abundance of initiatives and efforts, our nation is not achieving its goals in preparing students for college majors or careers in STEM and offers three main principles to drive and implement outstanding STEM education research and practices:

Principle 1: STEM education should advance the learning of each individual STEM discipline.

Principle 2: STEM education should provide logical and authentic connections between and across the individual STEM disciplines.

Principle 3: STEM education should serve as a bridge to STEM careers.

Each principle is accompanied by a set of recommended actions that may be taken to shift toward access to and equity in STEM preparedness that is felt to be crucial.

The paper is the product of an organized and coordinated effort among the leadership of our respective organizations to address the challenges faced when implementing STEM education and providing access to the knowledge, skills, and career pathways necessary for all students, particularly those in underserved populations.

To read the document, click here.

Ashleigh McFadden, State Policy Manager

By admin in Research
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