State Organizations Join National STEM Effort

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Three Indiana organizations are part of a national network to better prepare students for science, technology, engineering and math careers. WGU Indiana, the Indiana Department of Transportation and the University of Indianapolis have been named partners in the effort established by President Barack Obama, the U.S. Department of Education and its Secretary Arne Duncan. February 5, 2014

News Release

INDIANAPOLIS (February 5, 2014) – WGU Indiana and its parent institution, Western Governors University, have been named a partner in 100Kin10, a multi-sector network of nearly 200 partners unified by a single goal: to prepare all students with the high-quality science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) knowledge and skills to equip them for success in college and the workplace.

As part of 100Kin10, started by President Obama, Secretary Duncan and the Department of Education, the online university will work alongside influencers such as the Gates Foundation and Google. Locally, WGU Indiana joins the Indiana Department of Education and University of Indianapolis, which are also committed partners of the group.

"Like the rest of the nation, Indiana needs more high-skilled STEM teachers to meet the needs of our shifting economy now and in the future. The emphasis WGU Indiana has placed on STEM-related educational offerings is bold and shows leadership that will benefit the tech sector and entrepreneurship," said Mike Langellier, president and CEO of TechPoint. Langellier is also a member of the WGU Indiana Advisory Board.

Organizations are accepted as 100Kin10 partners following a rigorous vetting process conducted by a team of partner reviewers and the University of Chicago. Reviewers are looking for organizations that bring innovation, boldness, and a proven track-record to their commitment(s) toward expanding, improving, and retaining the best of the nation’s STEM teaching force, or building the 100Kin10 movement. WGU is the nation’s leading producer of math and science teachers in rural America, making it ideal for this network.

“On both a state and national level, there is a need for qualified STEM educators. Helping to meet that need through our competency-based programs is a priority for WGU Indiana,” said WGU Indiana Chancellor Allison Barber. “We’re excited for the opportunities this partnership will provide as we join with other institutions that share our commitment to increasing the number of high-quality STEM educators.”

WGU’s innovative, competency-based education model, which earned the university a spot in Fast Company’s 50 Most Innovative Companies of 2013, measures learning rather than the time a student spends in a classroom seat. Students earn their degrees by demonstrating mastery of subject matter, completing coursework online at any time convenient to their lives. Designed to meet the needs of adult learners, competency-based education allows students to take advantage of prior learning and experience to move quickly through material they already know so they can focus on what they still need to learn.

To learn more about WGU Indiana’s Teaching College, call 877-214-7014 or visit indiana.wgu.edu/education/online_teaching_degree.

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About WGU Indiana

WGU Indiana is the state’s nonprofit, online university established by the State of Indiana to expand access to higher education for Indiana residents. Using a competency-based model that allows students to proceed at their own pace and curriculum developed with input from leading employers, WGU Indiana offers more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in Business, Education, Information Technology and Healthcare Professions, including Nursing. In 2012, the Indiana Commission for Higher Education recognized WGU Indiana in its Reaching Higher, Achieving More agenda for its excellence in academic quality. The university was also recognized as one of Fast Company’s 50 Most Innovative Companies of 2013.

About 100Kin10

100Kin10 is a multi-sector network that responds to the national imperative to train and retain 100,000 excellent science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) teachers by 2021. As 100Kin10 partners fulfill their ambitious commitments and work together to spark innovation, they have access to exclusive opportunities—including competitive research opportunities, solution labs, collaboration grants, a growing research and learning platform, and a funding marketplace. Each of these is designed to foster collaborative problem-solving and support partners in fulfilling their ambitious commitments. A complete list of partners is available on the 100Kin10 website.

In the first two years of the effort, 100Kin10 partners who have committed to increase the supply of great STEM teachers have recruited and prepared 12,412 teachers. They are projected to prepare just shy of 37,000 teachers by 2016, five years into the project’s ten-year timeline. The network’s continued growth (through organizations such as those announced here) will add to this total number. In addition, nearly 75 partners are working to support and improve existing teachers so that more of them stay in the profession, with the goal of over time reducing the need for so many new teachers entering the workforce.

Source: WGU Indiana