STEM & STEM Champions in Colorado
MISSION & VISION:
All Colorado learners have the STEM education and experiences needed to succeed in the innovation economy.
Since its founding in 2014, Colorado STEM has successfully built a diverse coalition of stakeholders across the state to significantly expand STEM opportunities across the state. Colorado Succeeds is the backbone organization of the coalition. GOALS:
Align the state’s education system with workforce demands through high-quality STEM education and experiences.
Expand high-quality STEM education and experiences for all students, with a particular focus on students who are underrepresented in STEM fields.
Create more opportunities for all students to gain STEM literacy, skills, and competencies that are highly demanded by Colorado’s economy and highly-skilled labor market.
THEORY OF CHANGE:
When more students have access to opportunities, awareness, demand, and participation increases, along with the acquisition of skills and competencies needed to be prepared for post-secondary and career. The ultimate impact achieved is a more prepared talented pipeline that meets the demands of a highly skilled STEM-driven workforce.
Expanding STEM Programs in Colorado
Colorado Succeeds collaborates with employers and educators to ensure all students benefit form high-quality educational experiences. Learn how you can help create and expand these opportunities for all students of Colorado in 2018.
STEM & Innovation Coaching
Applicants for The Succeed Prize Execellence Awards participated in coaching with business leaders. Educators worked through their ideas and pitches with numerous industry partners, receiving valuable expertise. Finalists were awarded $15,000 at The Succeeds Prize.
STEM Champion Site Visits
The annual delegation trip includes visits with leading educators, non-profits, schools, and business leaders successfully building programs and agile learning environments to develop agile learners. Over 30 business leaders from Colorado attend workshops and learning sessions.
The Colorado Roadmap to
Released by Colorado Succeeds and talentFOUND, The Roadmap is an online resource to support partnerships between education and industry to create and/or expanding high-quality work-based learning programs.
Industry leaders who commit their time, talent, and resources, as well as state agencies, industry associations, nonprofit organizations, and public schools/districts who advocate for high-quality programs and support implementation.
STEM Champions are change agents for how school and industry work together to ensure all students have access to high quality STEM education and experiences that will prepare them for success in their future. Interested in becoming a STEM Champion? Contact Ashley Andersen.
Colorado STEM in Action
Thanks to strong public-private partnerships, innovative pilot programs, and empowered educators, Colorado has made tremendous progress expanding STEM education opportunities. Here is how two school districts, one rural and one suburban, are creating STEM experiences that work for their unique school community.
Policy & Advocacy to Move the Agility Agenda
- Industry-Aligned Credentials: Demand for the Career Success Pilot Program increased in 2018. The program was extended for 5 years. High school students in CO have earned over 9,000 credentials in just two years. The majority of credentials earned were in skilled trades, technical services, STEM and IT. In 2019, Colorado Succeeds secured a $3 Million increase, totaling nearly $5 Million for the Career Success Development Fund.
- Expansion of AP coursework: Advanced coursework options are expanding, which will allow more students to become college- and career-ready. Another program providing incentives to rural schools and districts to offer Advanced Placement (AP) courses and exams has been extended through 2021. And a new state program will renew subsidies for low-income students to offset much of the high cost of AP exams.
- Expansion of Concurrent Enrollment: Another new law expands high school students’ access to concurrent enrollment in college classes by allowing community colleges to offer courses to school districts outside a college’s designated regional service areas. This will ensure high school students are not limited by the offerings at their local community college.
- State’s Vision for Education: Leadership at Colorado Succeeds represented the STEM Champions and participated in the Education Leadership Council’s statewide vision planning committee ensuring that aligned priorities were part of the state’s plan. Many of the ideas reflected in the ELC plan are now being pursued during this legislative session.
Removing Barriers to Work-Based Learning Experiences by Modifying Seat-Time Requirements: School funding is based on the amount of time a student is physically inside a school building. Because of this, many school districts avoid offering experiential out-of-school learning opportunities (like work-based learning) for fear of losing funding. CS is pushing legislation that would provide districts legal flexibility from these constraints and grant funding to offer and scale experiential out-of-school learning opportunities.
Expand Access & Quality of Concurrent Enrollment: CS has championed policy to modernize concurrent enrollment by guaranteeing the transfer of credit from concurrent enrollment courses taken in high school to any Colorado institution of higher learning. Students will benefit from better and more affordable access to college.
Colorado STEM Examples in Our Schools
Salida School District
Through close collaboration with local businesses and the area community college, students in Salida are building housing for local educators, all while gaining real-world skills and industry-recognized credentials. Watch our video on this inspiring program: ColoradoSucceeds.org/Salida
Adams 12 Five Star Schools
Two teachers from Adams 12 applied for and won The Succeeds Prize 2017 Innovation Award. They used this $15,000 award to build a STEM Family MakerSpace and expose their entire school community to technology and engineering. Learn more: ColoradoSucceeds.org/Markerspace