Three Louisiana universities are banding together to create the Louisiana STEM Pathways Consortium which allows for the delivery of the LaSTEM Pathways curricula, teacher training and so much more across the state of Louisiana, as learned from a News Star article.
The partner universities uniting for this project are the University of Louisiana Monroe, the Louisiana State University’s Gordon A. Cain Center and McNeese State University; all three will work with their regional high school systems to implement the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education approved STEM curricula created by LSU faculty.
As a partner in the Stem Pathways program, Louisiana universities in the ULM system will work with Northeast Louisiana school systems in order to provide intensive training to teachers in the high-demand field of biomedical sciences and computing, which will enable each of the university’s four colleges to participate.
ULM’s Dean of the College of Arts, Education, and Sciences, John Pratte said of the partnership, “This is an effort across several colleges within ULM and with school districts in more than 14 parishes. It is a tremendous opportunity for ULM to partner with LSU and McNeese to provide workforce and education training.”
The LaSTEM Pathways program is aiming to provide Louisiana high school students with an opportunity to enroll in progressive sequence of up to eight standards-based projects and inquiry-based STEM courses in order to attain “industry-promulgated” credentials, university-issued certificates of course completion and/or dual enrollment credit. Students completing this pathway will graduate with either a career-tech diploma or an enhancement to their university prep diploma alongside a Silver or Gold STEM Diploma Seal.
Under Louisiana’s current approved state education funding formula, any school districts offering a BESE (Board of Elementary and Secondary Education)– approved LaSTEM Pathway course that is taught by a trained and LSU-certified teacher will receive $482 per student per course in the form of Career Tech and Career Development supplements. In the case of the LaSTEM Pathways Program, the bulk of student credentialing will be completed by LSU or ULM.
This educationally and community-rich partnership is set to reward the Louisiana universities, educators involved, and most of all the students hoping to get a “leg up” in STEM fields of employment.
LSU’s Dean of the College of Business and Social Sciences, Ron Berry, said of the venture, “four of our faculty have been training with LSU faculty this summer to prepare for their role in training regional high school teachers. We look forward to working with our secondary school partners across the region to improve STEM education through this partnership.”
Professor of Political Science and Public Administration and LaSTEM Coordinator, John Sutherlin added, “A great deal of thanks goes to Billy Dean Blackett, a board member of the Louisiana Environmental Education Commission and a longtime advocate of education and ULM. Dean helped bring all of the parties to the table, which led to this exciting and very promising partnership. His commitment to providing opportunities for young people across our region is exceptional.”
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