We know that this is a challenging time for teachers across the
country. Many of you have been plunged into the world of virtual
learning without a lot of time to prepare. Following sudden
school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you’ve had to
move quickly to shift your carefully planned lessons online so
your students can continue learning at home. And those of
you who are STEM and career and technical education teachers
in particular face unique challenges as you work to adapt
hands-on learning experiences to a virtual format.
It is no secret that in the modern economy, STEM fields are in
constant need of qualified workers. There simply are not enough
people with STEM skills to fill vacancies, even though those who
hold STEM degrees make 26 percent more than their contemporaries
who hold non-STEM degrees. Countless studies have chronicled
various reasons why too few students participate in STEM
education; however, a new survey from Pew Research Center finds
that the number one reason students are not studying STEM might
be that they view these fields as too difficult.
As you know, science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills are in high demand in today’s fast-paced, technology-driven economy. Leading employers prize job candidates with strong communication and teamwork skills who anticipate workplace problems and can apply literacy, math and technical know-how to solve them. (Learn more in this Business Roundtable report).
“I believe the Aerospace Engineering curriculum is helping
students to learn and to think like engineers,” says Bill Vivian,
who teaches the Advanced Career Aerospace Engineering curriculum
at Sun Valley High School in Charlotte, North Carolina.
SREB has long held that high-quality career and technical
education transforms how students learn by connecting the
classroom with the real world of work. Our nine Advanced Career curricula exemplify the
power of CTE. Each four-course AC career pathway is built around
hands-on, project-based assignments that challenge students to
apply academic knowledge, technical know-how and teamwork skills
to solve the same problems faced by industry professionals.
recent article in The New York Times describes how
West Virginia’s career and technical education programs are
preparing students for degrees and careers in the state’s
high-tech, high-demand industries. “Far from being strictly
a job training program for teenagers, classes like Advanced
Career Energy and Power require math and physics instruction
as rigorous as in the College Board’s Advanced Placement track.”
Here are six ways the state partners with SREB in CTE and
National convening attendees share best practices for
increasing access to quality CS learning experiences
Last month I was privileged to participate in InfoSys
Foundation’s CrossRoads 2017 convening on computer science
and maker education in San Francisco. The convening’s attendee
list included state and local government representatives, thought
leaders, K-12 educators, postsecondary faculty and not-for-profit
computing organizations from across the US — including many SREB
Most if not all SREB states have a serious, unmet need for
registered nurses with Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees
— the preferred credential of many health-care providers.
Here’s how Kentucky health-care industry leaders and secondary
and postsecondary health educators designed a new, 120-credit
hour nursing career pathway in a state where the pathway
from high school to the BSN could take up to 168 credit hours —
48 costly excess hours.
Over the past decade there has been
widespread agreement that increasing student access to advanced
coursework is a good thing. It is good not only because it raises
the rigor of their education, but also because it promotes access
to college and helps students get a head start.
What goes on in the Advanced Career classroom? A lot of math.
Intense researching and reading. Most importantly, learning. The
type of learning that remains in the forefront of students’ minds
as they apply it to practical, purposeful projects.
Labor market economists project that by 2020, two-thirds or more
of all jobs will require some postsecondary education — either a
certificate, a credential or a degree at the associate level or