Governor's STEM Academies
Governor's STEM Academies are programs designed to expand options for the general student population to acquire STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) literacy and other critical skills, knowledge and credentials that will prepare them for high-demand, high-wage, and high-skill careers in Virginia. Each academy is a partnership among school divisions, postsecondary institutions and business and industry.
STEM literacy is an interdisciplinary area of study that bridges the four areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. STEM literacy does not simply mean achieving literacy in the individual strands. STEM classrooms shift students toward investigating and questioning the interrelated facets of the world.
Governor's STEM Academies can be viewed as the practical complement to academic year Governor's Schools. They may be new centers or existing ones where the standards are raised and efforts are refocused to align with Virginia's STEM goals. Academies are defined by program content, not location or delivery system. Courses may be held at a high school, technical center or community college campus or may be delivered online, or through other innovative methods. However, all programs must include opportunities for internships, job shadowing, mentorships, projects, service learning or a combination.A list and map of the 21 Governor's STEM Academies, including a brief focus on each academy.
Graduates of the Governor's STEM Academies complete the program by meeting one or more of the following benchmarks:
- Earning an industry certification or state occupational license;
- Demonstrating competency on an assessment recognized by postsecondary institutions such as College-Level Examination Program (CLEP), or college placement tests;
- Earning at least 9 transferable college credits as defined by the Early College Scholars program including dual enrollment and Advanced Placement; and/or
- Earning an associate degree.
Funding to support the initial planning and implementation of Governor's STEM Academies in Virginia is through the commonwealth's 2007 STEM grant from the National Governors Association.
- To maximize opportunities in preparing students for targeted careers, by breaking down barriers between traditional core academics and career and technical education (CTE); between high school and postsecondary education and training; and between education and the workplace;
- To raise student aspirations and attract more students to postsecondary education in preparation for technical careers; and
- To provide well-trained workers to support the recruitment of new businesses and industries to the commonwealth and to meet the workforce needs of existing business and industry.