Workforce Development

Indiana Leads the Way in STEM Education

March 14 was Albert Einstein’s birthday, a scientific legend known worldwide whose name has become synonymous with the word ‘genius.’ How many Einsteins are growing up in America’s public schools today but are hindered from reaching their full potential due to poor education policy? Today, some states are leading the way in improving Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education to keep this from happening.

Indiana, one of America’s highest performing states regarding educational options and student achievement, has prioritized and fostered STEM education for years. Under the leadership of Governor Mike Pence, Indiana has implemented new academic standards at the K-12 level with the purpose of improving student outcomes in STEM and other subjects. Students can also participate in expanded extracurricular activities and can receive dual course credit for advanced STEM courses they take in preparation for college, while teachers have access to STEM-specific professional development and resource sharing.

At the higher education level, Indiana works to create a pipeline of STEM educators, offer dual credit courses and provide outreach and professional development to K-12 students and teachers. Purdue University, Indiana University and University of Indianapolis all maintain partnerships with secondary schools in their area and grants set up to help implement STEM teaching and certification programs. The state has also given $3 million in Innovative Curriculum Grants to career and technical training projects across the state.

As the United States seeks to improve K-12 performance and prepare Americans for a globalized, highly technical workforce, STEM education is a worthwhile endeavor. In keeping with their reputations as the “laboratories of democracy,” states like Indiana are demonstrating what works.

In Depth: Workforce Development

American businesses are increasingly worried about the quality of the workforce pool from which they will be hiring. Too few American students are graduating high school or college with the skills employers need. And while college is a pathway to career success for many students, it’s far from the only…

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