HOUSTON — March 30, 2016 — As science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) jobs continue to grow, the U.S. Department of Education has set a priority to increase the number of students and teachers who are proficient in these fields. Yet, as school districts launch STEM schools and programs, there has been no easy way to certify that they are actually prepared to teach STEM — until now. Accelerate Learning today announces the formation of the National Institute for STEM Education (NISE).
Headquartered in Houston, NISE was conceived by practicing educators and is based on thousands of hours of research, professional development, curriculum design and educational leadership. Using an online learning platform and unique digital portfolio, NISE offers a STEM certification program for campuses and districts, as well as teachers. Through the self-paced, competency-based programs, participants can learn and apply their proficiency in the key domains of STEM teaching that are essential to creating effective classrooms that increase student achievement. For campuses and districts, the program leading to the National Certificate for STEM Excellence helps participants develop an in-depth understanding of what it takes to transform into a STEM campus or district of excellence. The process includes building leadership capacity, certifying teachers, validating authenticity through observation and learning through data-driven professional development.
For teachers and educators, it certifies that individuals are incorporating the 15 key teacher actions necessary to create a STEM classroom of excellence. Participants are guided by academic coaches to ensure the proper support for successful completion of the program and their portfolio artifacts, which demonstrate proficiency in the 15 action areas.
Teachers who successfully complete the National Certificate for STEM Teaching will also have access to an affordable and accelerated Master of Education in STEM Leadership with the globally recognized American College of Education (ACE). Regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, ACE is a top choice for working educators, with an alumni base more than 10,000-strong. The STEM master's program was designed in conjunction with NISE and Accelerate Learning, developer of the STEMscopes™ digital STEM curriculum for preK-12 classrooms.
"We're excited to partner with NISE and Accelerate Learning to offer educators a high-quality yet affordable master's program in STEM Leadership that's grounded in relevant application," said Lee Tincher, Ph.D., academic dean at ACE. "We have always been passionate about helping educators incorporate digital resources into their curriculum, and through this program they'll learn to do this, as well as develop the best methods to empower students to excel in these sometimes difficult-to-master subjects."
"NISE bridges the gap between theory and practice in STEM education," said Vernon Johnson, president and CEO of Accelerate Learning. "It provides a clear, consistent path to ensuring quality STEM classrooms, campuses and districts, which until now is something that was not available to K-12 educators."
About Accelerate Learning Inc: Founded at Rice University, Accelerate Learning has grown from a single product, STEMscopes in 2007, to a brand that now offers a variety of curriculum and professional development solutions which support early learning, NGSS, and state-aligned curriculum.
About American College of Education: ACE was founded by educators, for educators. It offers online master's, doctoral, and specialist degrees as well as certificate programs for educators and paths to new teacher licensure. As the fourth largest conferrer of Master of Education degrees in the nation, it has more than 20 programs to choose from based on educators' interests and career aspirations. For information, visit http://www.ace.edu.
About the National Institute for STEM Education: NISE supports excellence in STEM with online STEM certification programs for individual teachers, and for campuses and districts. Through these self-paced, competency-based programs, participants learn and apply the three domains of STEM teaching, and build an understanding of the pedagogy necessary to create effective STEM classrooms that increase student achievement. For information, visit http://www.acceleratelearning.com/nise.