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For over thirty years, teachers, administrators, business leaders and policymakers 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 teachers in STEM fields. The Indiana General Assembly established the Indiana STEM Teacher Recruitment Fund in 2013 to award competitive grants to programs and initiatives that work to bolster the overall quality of STEM instruction in Indiana and advance student interest and knowledge in STEM fields.

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 fourth adaptation and thus named STEM Teach IV. The primary concentration of funds will be for high school teachers needing graduate level courses in STEM discipline areas to meet the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) requirement for teaching dual-credit courses by 2022. Three additional opportunities for STEM Teach for this fourth iteration are as follows:

  • Regional STEM Workshops offered by local colleges and universities to boost STEM instruction in the classroom for elementary, middle and high school teachers
  • Undergraduate courses offered through colleges and universities to assist teachers with enhancing STEM instruction and/or adding a STEM content area to their existing teaching license
  • Scholarships for teachers to attend STEM-based statewide conferences

We have designed STEM Teach IV 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. 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 these expenses.

Courses will be offered for a minimum of six semesters to include Spring 2020, Summer I 2020, Summer II 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, and Summer I 2021.

In-service teachers will begin applying for acceptance into the program through an online application in late October of 2019. Teachers who successfully completed courses in STEM Teach III will not need to reapply for this opportunity. Registration for courses and workshops for teachers accepted into the program are available based on each teacher’s priority status and will occur several months before each semester begins.

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Investing in the Future

The careers fueling Indiana’s economy and future growth require STEM-related skills and experience,” said Indiana’s Higher Education Commissioner Teresa Lubbers. “Training more Hoosier teachers in these subject areas and ensuring they are working in schools that have a shortage of those subject areas is critical to the goal of having more Hoosiers prepared to succeed in high-demand STEM fields.