Listen to Caroline VanIngen-Dunn speak on the Expert Lounge
March 19, 2015
What is a STEM Pathway?
STEM Pathways offer students multiple opportunities to explore, prepare for and pursue STEM careers, expanding the notion that the only pathway to success is through a four-year university. Community colleges function as conduits between high schools and universities and high schools and jobs. Examples of community college-led programs include outreach to K-12 students, technology-driven academic curriculum that lead students to industry-recognized credentials, and early college options for high school students who earn transferable college credits toward STEM certifications and degrees. All STEM Pathways programs are integrated with industry to keep the programs current, offer students real world experiences through outreach programs and internships, and give hiring preferences to students with nationally-recognized credentials. Science Foundation Arizona (SFAz) originally developed the STEM Pathways model in collaboration with Cochise College to describe all the components that support a community college-led STEM Pathway. This collaboration was supported with funding from SFAz and the National Science Foundation (NSF) and led to the development of an online STEM Pathways Guide.
What is the STEM Pathways Guide?
The STEM Pathways Guide is based on the STEM Pathways Model. It is a strategic framework that provides an easy to use roadmap for researching, planning and implementing STEM Pathway programs. The Guide walks adopters through setting up a planning and assessment team, performing an online assessment to determine gaps, identify priorities, and define actions to address those gaps, and developing a STEM Pathways Plan. It also provides guidance for funding, examples of successful STEM Pathways programs, and Collaborations among Community Colleges, K-12 Education and Industry. SFAz is collaborating with Rural Arizona Community Colleges and Hispanic Serving Community Colleges across the country to adopt components of the Pathway into their communities.