Texas Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (T-STEM)
Texas Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (T-STEM) Academies are rigorous secondary schools focusing on instruction through research-based best practices and advancing academic performance in science and mathematics-related subjects. The goal is to increase the number of students who study and enter STEM careers. Some of the careers that our STEM education program in Plano, TX, and Mesquite, TX, prepares students for includes careers as biochemists, material engineers, robotics technicians, VR engineers, computer programmers, and much more.
Aimed at helping students who have had a history of being disadvantaged, T-STEM Academies are able to do so by providing dual credit at no additional cost to students, reducing barriers to college access, and providing accelerated courses aligning to workforce needs in the Texas region. By providing one comprehensive umbrella system of support, students have access to customized assistance, the ability to follow a STEM career path proudly, cross model learning, and much more.
Both of Legacy PCA’s middle/high school campuses have previously received T-STEM Designation from the state of Texas through the Texas Education Agency (TEA). The Plano campus first received its designation in 2014. The Mesquite West campus first received its T-STEM Designation in 2015. This designation demonstrates our adherence to the T-STEM Blueprint, and functions as proof of our continuous project on the Blueprint continuum. Students can start a T-STEM program in middle school or high school at Legacy PCA as they pursue their future STEM college path.
The Texas Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (T-STEM) initiative focuses on the subjects most needed for career opportunities in Texas. Designed to improve the quality of teaching as well as the academic performance of scholars, T-STEM serves to prepare Texas high school scholars — especially first-generation and historically underserved scholars — for success in college and the workforce. T-STEM engages scholars and exposes them to innovation and design in real-world contexts.
The T-STEM Blueprint
The Texas Education Agency (TEA) supports T-STEM Academies through the provision of coaching, professional development, and technical assistance designed to improve scholars’ academic performance. The T-STEM Blueprint serves as a roadmap of benchmarks and program requirements, and supports the assessment of individual T-STEM campus growth. While we have included the T-STEM Blueprint for your in-depth perusing, some of the important design elements we adhere to at Legacy PCA include retaining highly qualified T-STEM academy teachers, counseling staff who support T-STEM students, and an open and transparent policy for all meeting agendas, minutes, etc.
The T-STEM Blueprint and the Designation Renewal process have both changed significantly for the 2018 – 2019 school year. Below, you will find links to a variety of documents as part of Legacy PCA’s submission for Designation Renewal for both the Mesquite West and Plano middle/high school campuses.
Benchmark 1: School Design
1. Annual training and professional development calendar and plan for teachers
2. Mentor/induction program plans
3. T-STEM leadership meetings and agenda notes
Benchmark 2: Target Population
1. Written admission policy and enrollment application
2. Written recruitment plan including a timeline of recruitment and enrollment events, recruitment materials for distribution at feeder schools and other appropriate locations in the community
3. Brochures and marketing in Spanish, English, and/or other relevant language(s)
4. Written communication plan for targeting identified audiences, parents, community members, school board, higher education personnel, etc.
Benchmark 3: Strategic Alliances
1. Meeting agendas and minutes, with action items and decision logs
2. Final, signed and executed MOU with IHE (Campuses must submit their final signed MOU to TEA when initially applying for designation or are provisionally designated)
3. Final, signed, and executed MOU with business/industry partner
4. A list of strategic partners with each member’s organization, title and role in providing work-based learning for students by grade level
Benchmark 4: Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
1. Four-year crosswalk documents
2. Master schedule
3. Curriculum alignment documents
4. Testing calendar and schedule for TSI, ACT, and SAT
5. Documentation detailing a minimum of three course of study examples that outline scholar pathways from high school to associate degree and/or to industry certifications and beyond
Benchmark 5: Work=Based Learning
1. Documentation of appropriate work-based learning experiences available for scholars at all grade levels (6-12)
2. Current dated regional high demand STEM occupation list
3. Aggregate data describing T-STEM scholar participation in work-based learning experiences as well as percentage of scholars earning industry certification and credentials by type
4. Samples of scholars artifacts such as writings, portfolios, presentations or links to digital content
Benchmark 6: Student Support
1. Bridge program calendar and curricula
2. Tutoring and other intervention/remediation program schedules
3. Calendar of family outreach events
4. Schedule of regularly scheduled counseling/advisory events and records of completion for these support services