Center for Promoting STEM
The Center for Promoting STEM (CPS) is providing programs and activities for students and faculty and for area high school students and teachers that are increasing the number of students who pursue studies and receive postsecondary degrees in STEM disciplines. CPS builds and expands upon previous successful activities. 1. Promotion: High school and college students annually attend or participate in events to increase their awareness of and interest in STEM disciplines and careers, as follows: student clubs organize academic, career and social activities; a CEO, Scholar and Expert Forum features distinguished speakers in STEM fields; the Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering Competition; Tech Tracks, a technology open house at Oakton; and faculty outreach to local high schools. 2. Retention: a) STEM Success Seminars include topics such as study skills, time management, stress management, transfer to a 4-year college, career exploration, communication skills, and problem-solving techniques. b) Students who place into remedial math and those with limited English proficiency are selected for the STEM Enrichment Program where they receive intensive academic support to increase achievement and motivation. Classroom time integrates technology, real-world practice problems, and industry field trips. c) Study Sessions help students master course content and develop learning and study strategies by engaging them with their peers outside of class in regularly scheduled sessions facilitated by honors students. d) The Mentoring Program recruits students who are matched with a faculty mentor and receive a fellowship after one semester in the program. e) The STEM Internship Program provides training for: (1) Peer Tutors for excellent high school students to participate in tutoring STEM at the college; (2) STEM Lab Assistants to work in one of the STEM labs at the college; and (3) Worksite Internships funded by a state grant at area businesses and industries. f) The STEM Faculty Leadership program improves teaching and leadership skills of college STEM faculty and produces innovative modules that enhance teaching and learning in STEM courses. g) Student-Industry-Teacher Simulations (SIT-SIMs) augment STEM instruction in high schools and community colleges with hands-on, contextualized learning modules developed by teams of industry professionals and Oakton STEM faculty.