Albright College has been named one of only seven recipients across the state to earn an Aspire to Educate STEM-CS grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Education and one of four grant recipients to earn an “implementation” grant to bolster a pre-established program. The college has been awarded $244,440, to be used over the next two years (2023-2024).
The state’s Aspiring to Educate grants were created to address both a teacher shortage and lack of diversity in the teacher workforce. And the goal of the Aspire to Educate STEM-CS grant program is to increase the number, diversity and cultural awareness of science, technology, engineering, math and computer science teachers.
According to the state’s Aspiring to Educate website, “since 2013, the number of people seeking teaching certification has shrunk by more than 65%. In addition, while Pennsylvania has more than 120,000 teachers, 96% are white, making the state’s educator workforce the least diverse in the country.”
The four Aspire to Educate STEM-CS “implementation” grants support already-established partnership-based interventions that increase diversity and cultural awareness in the STEM-CS teacher pipeline. Albright is currently working with Berks County K-12 school district partners in Reading, Governor Mifflin, Wyomissing, and the Diocese schools of Berks to create a pipeline and educator fellowship initiative to increase diversity and cultural awareness in STEM-CS.
“Total Experience Learning incorporates exploration, investigation and innovative classroom practices across all disciplines,” said Adelle Schade, Albright College’s dean of pre-college and summer programs and founder of Total Experience Learning. “Berks educator feedback and passion is driving the movement creating a world-class educational community in the Innovation Corridor of northeast Reading.”
Through Total Experience Learning, Albright College has trained more than 170 K-12 teachers and administrators in Berks County since 2021.
“The Reading School District is delighted to learn that Albright College’s Total Experience Learning (TExpL) has been awarded a PA Aspire to Educate implementation grant,” said Jennifer Murray, Ed.D., superintendent of Reading School District. “The district’s partnership with TExpL is an innovative environment that empowers learning at every level. We look forward to the great things this grant will enable the TExpL team to accomplish.”