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 students’ STEM achievement is raising 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.
The Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning (CELL) and the Independent Colleges of Indiana (ICI) are continuing the successful initiative STEM Teach, now in its third adaptation and thus named STEM Teach III, to offer graduate courses to in-service teachers for dual-credit credentialing. We have designed STEM Teach III to offer ICI member and public institutions the opportunity to work together to increase the number of qualified dual-credit teachers of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in Indiana.
STEM Teach III will expand on the achievements and successes of previous iterations of the initiative to focus specifically on high school teachers needing graduate level courses in STEM content areas to meet the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) requirement for teaching dual-credit courses by 2022. STEM Teach III will accelerate the process and provide ample opportunity for teachers to meet the credentialing requirements for dual-credit teachers.
Tuition, books, and materials for these courses will be offered at no cost to teachers employed at public schools, including charters, in Indiana by utilizing funds available through the STEM Teacher Recruitment Fund to pay colleges and universities for tuition, books and materials. Courses will be offered for a total of six semesters in Spring 2018, Summer I 2018, Summer II 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019, and Summer I 2019. Summer II 2019 will also be available due to a recent grant extension.
In-service teachers began applying for acceptance into the program through an online application in October 2017. Several application periods have taken place since that date. Additional application windows will open as space becomes available.
Registration for graduate courses for current and future dual credit teachers accepted into the program are available based on each teacher’s priority status and will occur several months before each semester begins.