Texas Regional STEM Degree Accelerator


The Texas Regional STEM Degree Accelerator (STEM Accelerator) initiative is focused on supporting regional teams of education and workforce partners to increase the number of students who will earn a STEM credential. To accomplish this goal, Educate Texas has provided grants for regional teams to:

1. Provide faculty professional development
2. Align math pathways from k-12 to higher education to workforce
3. Develop next generation sector partnerships between education and workforce

To expand the number of students with STEM credentials, IHEs and their partners must work together to analyze data, introduce interventions that improve curricula, and provide support for students. This project is designed to facilitate data-informed decision making that results in the use of existing practices based in research and evidence.

The Texas Regional STEM Degree Accelerator initiative is developed in alignment with priorities for education and workforce outlined by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Texas Workforce Commission. This initiative is funded through the generosity of The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, The W.W. Caruth, Jr. Foundation, Council for Regional Economic Expansion and Educational Development, Greater Texas Foundation, JPMorgan Chase, and The Kresge Foundation.

Project Background

Over the past decade, our nation and state’s educational systems have been under tremendous pressure to increase the number of students who are prepared to meet our dynamic workforce demands.  Analysis suggests that 1 out of every 5 jobs in 2011 required a high level of knowledge in a STEM field. According to national research, approximately 8.6 million jobs will exist in STEM fields across the U.S. by 2018. In the coming years, we will need 1 million additional STEM graduates beyond current projections. Half of the available STEM jobs require less than a four-year degree (i.e. middle skills careers), and pay an average of $53,000.

Texas is projected to have approximately 9% of the nation’s future STEM opportunities, the second highest in the country.  At the same time – according to research supported by the Houston Endowment and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board – the state’s rapidly changing demographic mix will pose challenges as Texas’s growing, economically disadvantaged, minority populations have less than a 10% postsecondary completion rate.  Therefore, the urgency to identify policy and programmatic strategies to meet this need is critical.  Local and state institutions play an integral role in developing solutions to help accelerate the number of our students who will graduate with postsecondary STEM credentials.

Planning Grants were provided to eight regional teams in spring 2015, and the 5 regions below were selected to implement this work in fall 2015. Each team includes partners representing education (K-12, two-year, four-year) and workforce (investment boards and employers).

Additional Questions?

For any questions about the project please contact Kelty Garbee by email at kgarbee@cftexas.org.


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