For over thirty years, teachers, administrators, business leaders and policy makers have expressed concern about the competitiveness of U.S. students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) areas. Although national and state policies have emphasized STEM education, progress has been slow. A major component of increasing STEM achievement among students is raising both the quantity and quality of STEM teachers.
The Indiana General Assembly has established the Indiana STEM Teacher Recruitment Fund to award competitive grants to STEM teacher training programs.
More than 115,000 new STEM jobs are projected for Indiana by 2018, with 40 percent requiring post-secondary education leading to an associate’s degree, and 60% requiring a four-year degree.
"Our employers tell us that tomorrow’s workers will need more STEM skills, and Indiana’s goal is to identify and encourage quality teachers to broaden our students’ learning experiences,” said Governor Mike Pence. "Continuing to recruit top educators and expand our students’ options will only enhance the outstanding work of our teachers, but also help our students as they make decisions about future career opportunities.”
The Independent Colleges of Indiana (ICI) is uniquely positioned to coordinate a coalition of independent institutions to work together to increase the number of highly qualified teachers of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in Indiana. ICI created an initiative named STEM Teach Indiana which brings together a group of independent colleges and universities to offer STEM courses and workshops to pre-service and in-service teachers, including dual credit certification training. A pre-service teacher is one who is pursuing a degree who has not yet completed training to be a teacher. An in-service teacher is one who is currently employed as a teacher.
ICI member institutions have collaborated to offer specific programs targeted to three tracks of certification: 1) pre-service elementary and secondary teachers; 2) bachelor or master level teachers seeking additional STEM certification; and 3) teachers with bachelor’s degrees seeking graduate level courses for dual credit credentialing.
For more information about this initiative, visit http://www.stemteachindiana.org/.
For an update on the current state of the program, click here.
To view a postcard sent to Indiana K-12 teachers about the initiative, click here.