ICHE awards $2.4 million to ICI and CELL for STEM teacher courses

The Indiana Commission for Higher Education (ICHE) has awarded $2.4 million to Independent Colleges of Indiana (ICI) and the Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning (CELL) to continue their successful STEM Teach initiative that aids high school teachers needing graduate-level courses in STEM discipline areas to meet the Higher Learning Commission requirement for teaching dual-credit courses by 2022.

“STEM Teach V comes at an important juncture, as the demand for highly trained teachers in our K-12 schools is at an all-time high and as schools and students look to rebound from the challenges of the pandemic. At CELL, we know how important it is to help develop teachers who can cultivate interest and passion across the sciences, mathematics and technology fields in education, and we look forward to partnering with educators across the state and the Independent Colleges of Indiana to advance STEM education for Hoosier students.” said Carey Dahncke, executive director of CELL.

The General Assembly created the fund in 2013 to increase the number and quality of teachers in key subject areas where many school districts experience shortages. This is the fifth time STEM Teach received the grant.

“We look forward to continuing to serve high school teachers so that schools can provide ample dual credit opportunities in STEM fields to their high school students. This round of funding will not only provide the needed graduate courses in a specific content area for credentialing, but also the opportunity to complete a master’s degree if needed.” said Trish Wlodarczyk, director of strategic initiatives, STEM Teach and Teach Dual Credit Indiana, CELL.

In-service teachers will begin applying for acceptance into the program through an online application in October 2021. Teachers who successfully completed courses in previous iterations of STEM Teach will not need to reapply for this opportunity. Registration for courses for teachers accepted into the program are available based on each teacher’s priority status and will occur several months before each semester begins.

“We are grateful for ICHE’s continuing support of this important program because it provides key resources to Indiana teachers so that their students can take advantage of dual-credit opportunities in the growing STEM field,” said Dr. David W. Wantz, president and CEO of ICI.

About STEM Teach V

STEM Teach was designed to offer ICI members and public higher education institutions the opportunity to work together to increase the number of qualified dual-credit teachers of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in Indiana. Tuition, books, and materials for these courses will be offered at no cost to teachers employed in Indiana schools by utilizing funds available through the STEM Teacher Recruitment Fund to pay participating colleges and universities for these expenses.

About Independent Colleges of Indiana

Independent Colleges of Indiana serves as the collective voice for the state’s 29 private, non-profit colleges and universities. ICI institutions employ over 22,000 Hoosiers and generate a total local economic impact of over $5 billion annually. Students at ICI colleges have Indiana’s highest four-year, on-time graduation rates, and ICI institutions produce 30 percent of Indiana’s bachelor’s degrees while enrolling 20 percent of its undergraduates. 

About CELL

Created in 2001, the Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning (CELL) at the University of Indianapolis has served as the leading convener, catalyst and collaborator for innovative education change. CELL’s mission is for all people in Indiana to experience meaningful and high-quality education. CELL partners with schools and communities to improve outcomes for students of all ages by leading sustainable educational innovation and transformation across Indiana. Providing leadership that is both cutting-edge and action-oriented, CELL unites districts, schools, communities, universities and businesses to build a sense of urgency and form innovative collaborations for statewide educational and economic improvement.