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.
The Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) is excited to announce that they will offer grants to the first 50 schools in High Schools That Work (HSTW) states that adopt a new Advanced Career (AC) program. These grants of $5,000 will help support schools in securing some of the equipment or professional development to implement their new AC program.
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 teachers the Advanced Career (AC) 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.
A recent article in The New York Timesdescribes 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 readiness.
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 states.
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.
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 higher.