Online Programs

What is STEM?

STEM degrees online prepare teachers to promote academic excellence in the classroom

STEM refers to the academic cluster that includes the subjects of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Academic excellence in these subjects is important to America’s continued economic growth; however, the nation’s school systems have recently been put on notice for failing to meet national standards and falling behind in STEM global rankings.

Aurora University Online has taken the initiative to develop graduate-level programs geared toward preparing the nation’s next generation of academic leaders through rigorous curriculum and applicable, hands-on classroom experience in the STEM subjects.

A Look at the STEM Numbers

Students in today’s classroom are falling behind in STEM subjects. Furthermore, as America continues to lose its global competitive edge in the STEM subjects, the knowledge capital of the U.S., which powers its economy, continues to fall in accordance.

The STEM numbers paint a bleak picture for the American school system. Data collected by the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) shows that U.S. students recently finished 25 in math and 17 in science in the global academic rankings of 31 countries. NMSI data also illustrates a decline in college readiness in the STEM subjects, with just 45 percent of high school graduates ready for college-level math courses and just 30 percent prepared for college-level science courses. And, statistics show many classrooms are staffed with teachers who aren’t prepared to teach these core subjects. According to 2007 data collected by NMSI, about a third of public middle school science teachers either did not major in the subject or were not certified to teach it. The same could be said about 36 percent of the nation’s public middle school math teachers.

With American students struggling to keep pace with academic standards, it is important that schools provide the tools and resources needed to make up the ground and get on a level playing field.

STEM at Aurora University Online

Demand is high for qualified STEM teachers in America’s public school systems. A Business-Higher Education Forum report suggests the nation will need 280,000 math and science teachers by 2015 to become competitive in the global economy. Continued education and certification in STEM subjects will help prepare current teachers for the new academic outlook.

Aurora University Online offers three STEM degrees online for current teachers looking to build their knowledge and skills in the STEM subjects.

Each program is designed specifically for teachers and is developed alongside the national standards in both science and math. In the near future, Aurora University plans to open the John C. Dunham STEM Partnership School on its main campus in Aurora, Ill. to serve children in grades three through eight from the East Aurora, West Aurora, Indian Prairie and Oswego school districts. Teachers enrolled in a STEM graduate degree from Aurora University Online will staff a school to gain hands-on experience in the field and complete their graduate coursework.