Evan Tighe

STEM Premier Spotlight: Nickie Daves

We’ve recently been spotlighting some of the incredible K-12 educators we have had the privilege of working with. These are energetic, forward-thinking, and fun individuals who have implemented the STEM Premier platform in their schools, districts, and counties.

Nickie Daves is a health science teacher who encourages her students to utilize STEM Premier to help gain access to scholarships and internship opportunities. Let’s check out what she has to say!

                            Nickie Daves, RN, CCRN                      Floyd. D. Johnson Technology Center                                York School District                                York, South Carolina

                            Nickie Daves, RN, CCRN

                     Floyd. D. Johnson Technology Center

                               York School District

                               York, South Carolina

How did you get into education? What drew you to the profession?
I am actually a registered nurse, by trade. For Health Science, a healthcare professional is requested to teach the course. Being a nurse involves educating patients on a daily basis. I found that I really enjoyed that portion and knew that I would one day transition into education. I love seeing the light bulb going off and being able to help the learner take charge of the information that they learn. I never thought I would teach students in the secondary field, but I love it very much.

What is your favorite thing about education?
I enjoy working with the next generation of healthcare professionals. I love building the relationships with the students which will continue on in future courses.  

Tell us about your school!
I work for York School District One in the Floyd D. Johnson Technology Center. Our technology center and high school are together within the same building, which decreases many barriers that would exist if the two sections were not comprehensive. A student can leave their English class and then go straight to a building & construction class.

How is STEM Premier helping/will help your school or district?
It’s a wonderful asset offered to the students in the way of scholarship opportunities, internships, and showcasing their accomplishments. All sophomores and juniors are exposed to STEM Premier and create an account. They are encouraged to keep their accounts up-to-date and utilize them to highlight themselves for post-secondary opportunities.

Any neat stories so far?
Students are always so excited to let the staff know that certain schools have viewed their account or that they have been offered internships!

How did you implement STEM Premier? Are there any suggestions you would have for  other schools on how to best implement STEM Premier?
I teach courses within the Health Science cluster, which are classified as elective courses. Despite this, I always encourage my students to complete community service projects, continue to build their resumes, and to search constantly for scholarships. Our community has a poverty rate of over 70%, so it is imperative that students have the ability to attend schools once they are accepted. I give numerous assignments for the students to submit proof of scholarships completions to me. Most of the students go through STEM Premier to do so.

What is your favorite part of the system?
The ability to export all of my profile data into a ready-to-use resume.

What is the future impact that STEM Premier will have on your school or district?
I believe its social media-like functionality will keep it relevant with the current generation who will soon be entering the workforce. During my advisory meetings - which include healthcare members within my community - I have recommended that their companies utilize STEM Premier to help reduce the impact of the impending nursing shortage.

Looking Closer: Student Interest in Visual and Performing Arts

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In recent posts, we shed some light on some of the career interests of STEM Premier student members. Now we’re delving deeper into select industries to see exactly what careers students have on their radar. Today, we’re looking at the visual and performing arts industry.

In the modern U.S. economy, much ado is being made about technological skills and STEM proficiency. But it seems like almost nobody is talking about occupations and careers in the arts. According to the National Endowment for the Arts and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, arts and cultural production contributed over $700 billion to the U.S. economy in 2013; a 32.5% increase over 1998. During that same 15-year span, consumer spending on the arts increased annually by 10%. It’s safe to say that society will always appreciate art, music, and entertainment, so this industry will always have occupations requiring new talent. In fact, many of these occupations require proficiency in STEM disciplines (such as math and computer-aided design)!

Here’s just a few examples of the visual and performing arts occupations which have captured the attention of STEM Premier students:

  • Art Directors
  • Choreographers
  • Fashion Designers
  • Illustrators
  • Musicians
  • Photographers

Is your school or organization looking for these kinds of students? If so, join STEM Premier today and start connecting.

A New Year Brings New Possibilities

Yet another year is upon us, and that means new resolutions and new possibilities. As we reflect on 2017, we are encouraged by the many milestones STEM Premier has achieved.

As 2018 begins, the STEM Premier platform is now home to more than 315,000 students across the nation, representing all fifty states.

We have forged new partnerships with highly-respected organizations such as the National Society of High School Scholars, a prestigious international academic organization, and Precision Exams, a visionary testing partner dedicated to promoting industry-aligned CTE exams.

We have taken our existing partnerships to the next level, such a our collaboration with Future Business Leaders of America, who now has official FBLA digital badges available on STEM Premier. We’ve also continued our great relationship with ACT, who has made STEM Premier the only app where talent can request and earn their ACT WorkKeys Digital Badge, an accolade which indicates that the recipient has earned their National Career Readiness Certificate.

Many fantastic colleges such as Georgia Southern University, Pittsburg State University, and Charleston Southern University have joined the STEM Premier platform to find and recruit talent to their respective institutions.

We’ve connected students to great companies like Cummins Turbo Diesel, BMW, Boeing, and many others. In fact, as of 2018, over 270 colleges and companies have joined STEM Premier!

We know 2018 holds much more in store for everyone involved with STEM Premier, and we wish our students and partners a prosperous and successful new year!

STEM Premier Spotlight: Arizona

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Quick Facts:

  • STEM Premier Secondary-Level Students: 3,000+
  • Top College Interests: Arizona State University, University of Arizona, Northern Arizona University, Grand Canyon University, Stanford University
  • Top Intended Majors: Nursing, Pre-Med, Computer Science

 Our next state spotlight takes us across the Grand Canyon for a closer look at the state of Arizona. Arizona is well-known for its tourism industry, but the state’s economy is much broader. Its utility, transportation, financial, and healthcare industries are also major components of the state’s economic foundation.  Arizona is also home to one of the nation’s top STEM Schools: BASIS Tucson North

 Arizona’s largest population of STEM Premier students is concentrated in the state capitol of Phoenix. Other hubs of students exist in Tucson - home of the University of Arizona, Flagstaff, and Yuma.

 Medical fields dominate the top occupational interests of Arizona’s students, and include surgeons, nursing, pediatrics, and physical therapy.

 ACT’s 2016 Condition of STEM Report on Arizona shows that overall STEM interest among the state’s students remains steady at 48%, which mirrors the national average. However, particular interest in the mathematics and computer science fields has increased, while medical and healthcare interest has sunk a bit.

 Learn more about STEM in Arizona by checking out ACT's full report.

ASM International and STEM Premier Team Up

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Sometimes Christmas comes early, and for us at STEM Premier, nothing brings us more holiday cheer than establishing a new partnership with yet another distinguished organization.

ASM International - the world's largest and most established materials information society - and STEM Premier have joined arms in promoting their members and the field of materials science. With an organizational history dating back to an era of blacksmithing, ASM International seeks to benefit the materials community by providing scientific, engineering and technical knowledge, education, networking and professional development.

ASM International is headquartered at Materials Park - a 45-acre engineering marvel - outside of Cleveland. The organization boasts thousands of members across the globe and more than 80 chapters worldwide, which provide opportunities for students and professionals to network and learn from each other. Additionally, it offers a plethora of educational resources including classroom and lab instruction, online interactive courses, loads of research materials, and much more.

To meet the challenges of the future, the ASM Materials Education Foundation expanded its mission to engage the next generation of students interested in engineering principles and STEM topics. ASM Materials Camp is a unique team-based, intensive problem solving science experience for students entering their junior and senior year. ASM Materials Camp has grown into an award-winning program in which thousands of students have participated.  

Through STEM Premier, ASM members and other individuals who have participated in ASM/ASM Materials Education Foundation programming can request a digital badge to display on their STEM Premier profile. ASM Membership, ASM Materials Camps, and ASM Materials Education Foundation Scholarships are just some of the programs credentialed through STEM Premier.

Are you an ASM International participant? Join STEM Premier and request your digital badge today!

New Business Spotlight: Tidelands Health

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Tidelands Health is committed to more than just its patients. It is also committed to its employees and communities. Comprised of three hospitals, more than fifty outpatient locations, and over 2,000 employees and physician partners, Tidelands Health is one of coastal South Carolina’s largest healthcare systems. It is also one of the newest organizations to join STEM Premier's growing network as it seeks to build relationships with South Carolina students interested in pursuing the healthcare vocation.  . 

Tideland Health’s mission of helping people live better lives through better health began more than sixty years ago in Georgetown, SC. In 1946, citizens of Georgetown committed to constructing a hospital to serve the local community. That commitment came to life in 1950, when the first patient was admitted at Georgetown County Memorial Hospital - later to become Tidelands Georgetown Memorial Hospital. Since then, the hospital has expanded and two additional hospitals have become a part of the system: Tidelands Waccamaw Community Hospital and Tidelands Waccamaw Rehabilitation Hospital. Over its sixty-year history, the system has provided healthcare to countless patients.

While its patients are always the #1 priority, Tidelands Health also prioritizes and invests in its employees. “We are focused on creating an environment where professional development is encouraged, innovation is rewarded and a healthy work-life balance is nurtured,” explains Busy Kimball, Manager of Talent Acquisition at Tidelands Health.

That's why Tidelands Health wants to be known amongst South Carolina’s students - and future healthcare professionals - so that they consider it when planning their futures. “We are excited to partner with STEM Premier and believe it will help us deepen our relationship within the region by introducing Tidelands Health to members of the community at a young age,” says Busy. “Though this partnership, we will provide financial support and educational opportunities to prepare young people in our area for a future in health care.”

These educational opportunities include internships, mentorships, and shadowing so that students can get first-hand experiences of what it’s like to work for Tidelands. The goal is to connect interested young students with experts in health-related fields and introducing them to the large variety of career paths available in healthcare.  

Busy says that prospective employees of should be self-driven and open-minded. “Tidelands Health is looking for self-motivated individuals with an interest in health care, a positive, customer service-focused attitude and a sense of pride in their work,” she explains. “In addition, we choose to support and hire individuals who demonstrate an openness to diversity and project a sense of inclusion for individuals unlike themselves.”

By prioritizing these criteria in their hiring process, Tidelands Health has built a network of professionals who are ready and willing to engage outside of the workplace. For prospective employees, becoming part of Tidelands Health also means becoming a part of the community. “Beyond our hospitals,” says Busy, “we partner with the community to deliver health and wellness services. Through the Tidelands Health Sports Medicine Institute, for example, we fund athletic trainers in area high schools...and our Tidelands Community Care Network, a regional collaborative of more than 30 community service organizations, churches, associations and state agencies, connects our region’s uninsured and underinsured residents with medical care and critical services such as food, housing and transportation.”

STEM Premier is excited to welcome Tidelands Health to our network, and we look forward to the enhanced engagement it will provide for students pursuing professions in healthcare; such as those involved with our partner HOSA.  

STEM Premier Powers SME's SOUTH-TEC Rising Stars Day

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We at STEM Premier always love a challenge. 

In October, we were asked by our friends at SME to help them identify and connect with the top STEM and CTE high school talent in the South and invite them to apply for an inaugural recognition event called Champions of Tomorrow: Rising Stars Day - a day recognizing outstanding STEM and CTE students from South Carolina and North Carolina.

The event would occur at SME's SOUTH-TEC - A multi-day event which attracts manufacturers, distributors and equipment builders from across the world, SOUTH-TEC is a hub of industry evolution and innovation. It also presented an excellent opportunity to shine a spotlight on these industries, and specifically on the young students of today who will be industry leaders tomorrow.

The annual event is hosted by SME in partnership with AMT, and supported by our friends at SC FutureMakers and SkillsUSA in Greenville, SC.

With over 300,000 of the best and brightest in the country on STEM Premier, SME knew the fastest way to find and engage students fitting to be Rising Stars was through our virtual platform.

The application process was hosted through STEM Premier, and was a huge success. Within a few days, SME received a large number of applications from many deserving students in North and South Carolina. On October 24, thirty-four high school juniors and seniors were honored in front of industry leaders and representatives. It was an exciting moment for both the students and professionals.

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The day included a panel discussion on workforce development featuring prominent leaders from both private and public sectors, including SkillsUSA Executive Director Timothy Lawrence, South Carolina Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman, and BMW’s Community and Government Relations Manager Max Metcalf. Also providing remarks were SME CEO Jeffery Krause and STEM Premier Co-Founder Casey Welch.

STEM Premier even helped SME design a special digital badge recognizing the Rising Stars and proudly displays on their STEM Premier profiles alongside their other skills, talents, and achievements.

We were proud to play a role in such a prestigious event, and we wish the best of luck to each and every student recognized as a Rising Star.

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Looking Closer: Student Interest in Media and Communications

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In recent posts, we shed some light on some of the career interests of STEM Premier student members. Now we’re delving deeper into select industries to see exactly what careers students have on their radar. Today, we’re looking at the media and communications industry.

As the U.S. continues its transition into a knowledge economy, media and communications professions are becoming increasingly prevalent as they are necessary for the generation, curation, translation, and dissemination of information. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts that media and communication occupations will grow six percent from 2016 to 2026, resulting in approximately 45,000 new jobs.

According to CollegeFactual.com, the top universities in the U.S. for media and communications include Stanford, The University of Pennsylvania, American University, University of Southern California, Northwestern, and Emerson College (MA).

To get a better idea of some of the media and communications occupations which STEM Premier students are interested, here is a small sample:

  • Broadcast Technicians
  • Editors
  • Interpreters
  • Public Relations Specialists
  • News Analysts
  • Reporters

Is your school or organization looking for these kinds of students? If so, join STEM Premier today and start connecting.

STEM Premier Spotlight: Colorado

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Quick Facts:

  • STEM Premier Secondary-Level Students: 2,400+
  • Top College Interests: University Of Colorado - Boulder, Colorado State University, Colorado School of Mines
  • Top Intended Majors: Computer Science, Nursing, Bioengineering

Our next state spotlight takes us to the scenic Rocky Mountains for a closer look at the state of Colorado. Home to a bevy of federal military and scientific establishments including North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), The United States Air Force Academy, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), there’s quite a lot of action in the Centennial State.

Colorado’s largest concentrations of STEM Premier students are located in Denver, Colorado Springs, and Ft. Collins. Other notable areas of student presence include Grand Junction, Vail, La Junta, and Pueblo.

The top occupational interests of Colorado’s students include nursing, mechanical engineering, biomedical engineering, and aeronautical engineering.

ACT’s 2016 Condition of STEM Report on Colorado has shown a slight decrease in overall STEM interest among the state’s students over the past year. This decrease seems to be caused by a shift of interest areas from the medical science and engineering disciplines to computer science and mathematics; not necessarily an unexpected shift in the modern information age. Interest in the medical sciences has lessened by 2% over the past five years and - at 35% - lags behind the national average of 41%. But - as mentioned above - interest in general science outpaces the national average by 3%, and interest in computer science and mathematics is ahead by 1% of the national average.

 Learn more about STEM in Colorado by checking out ACT's full report.

Making an Impact: SC Future Makers

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In 2016, we embarked on a journey with the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance (SCMA) to launch SC Future Makers, an ambitious initiative to connect South Carolina’s business and the state’s talented students.

Powered by the STEM Premier platform, SC Future Makers provides a powerful resource for students, schools, and businesses to learn about each other and connect in meaningful, productive ways. And within just one year of its implementation, it’s clear that it’s making an impact throughout the state.  

Already 43% of South Carolina’s high schools across 53 of the state’s 81 districts have adopted the SC Future Makers initiative, resulting in over 44,000 new student profiles on STEM Premier. This rapid growth is attributed to the flexibility that the initiative's online nature provides. “Unlike a career day,” explains James Richter, SCMA Director of Workforce Development “SC Future Makers profiles are available 24-7 and can be updated.”

And because high schools serve as the conduit for this opportunity, students can equally participate regardless of geography or socioeconomic background. As with all STEM Premier student profiles, registering and maintaining an account is free, allowing students to establish their presence and immediately begin connecting with employers.

“Companies and colleges need to reach students online, but do so in a relevant way,” says Richter. “Oftentimes social media posts are not the most effective way to communicate a larger story to students because that's their personal domain. By empowering students to showcase their interests in professional profiles and connect to opportunities, we're working in their domain in a different way.”

But despite this early success, STEM Premier and SCMA are not resting on their laurels. We’ve set new goals, intending to implement SC Future Makers in virtually every South Carolina high school and technical college while reaching 100,000 student profiles.

New College Spotlight: York College of Pennsylvania

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From day one, York College of Pennsylvania has been on a mission to prepare its students for purposeful and productive lives. A private liberal arts university located a stone’s throw away from the scenic Susquehanna River, York College prides itself on providing the large college experience combined with small college warmth.

And as one of the newest institutions to partner with STEM Premier, they know exactly the type of student they are looking for.

For York College, It all starts with proactivity.

“Students come to York College of Pennsylvania because they want to take action,” explains Andy Shaw, Director of Operations and Enrollment Communications. “They want internships or paid co-operative learning that lead to jobs. They want to conduct research with faculty or have a professor who will meet with them one-on-one. They want to get engaged right away.”

Larger institutions may have difficulty in managing these types of expectations, but York College strives to provide hands-on instruction and engagement for each of its 4000 students. Its 15:1 faculty-to-student ratio provides the opportunity for meaningful relationships to develop and grow between professors and their pupils. “It is not uncommon for a student to spend an hour kicking back with a professor about their career path, trends in the field, and more,” says Shaw.

York offers over sixty bachelor's degree programs, all of which emphasize experience-based learning and involved faculty. York utilizes a program called Generation Next, a unique approach to academic curricula - which helps students create a system of courses that allow them to explore personal interests, as well as enhance and strengthen the skills and abilities valued by their major and potential employers.

With STEM Premier, York College is excited about having access to a diverse group of high-achieving students with a keen interest in STEM. In addition to a traditional liberal arts education, York also offers exceptional degree programs in engineering, healthcare, and other STEM disciplines. 

Beyond the classroom, students are provided with productive outlets for their work and ambitions, such as Elevator Pitch Competitions which have garnered the interests of organizations such as Apple and Google.

All in all, the student experience at York College is described as “friendly, supportive, and action-packed.”

“Students spend a lot of time in the Kinsley Engineering Center,” says Shaw. “There's even a built-in kitchen and lounge area, because they are always working on a project, fine-tuning their research, or talking with faculty.”

Of course, there’s also plenty of opportunities for students to unwind. “With 23 NCAA teams, a modern recreation and fitness center, and daily events, there's always something to do.” 

And with Baltimore, Washington D.C., and New York City all located within reasonable driving distance from campus, students at York are uniquely situated to take advantage of the recreational and professional opportunities offered by these large metropolitan areas. 

Learn more about York College of Pennsylvania.

STEM Premier Reaches 250,000 Student Members

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October marks an important moment for us as we continue our mission to build relationships between students, schools, and businesses.

That’s because this October was the month that our 250,000th student member decided to place their trust - and their future - in STEM Premier. That number continues to grow as more and more students are discovering STEM Premier as the one place they can really showcase everything that makes them special

The importance of this milestone is apparent to anyone who has studied the rise of online networking platforms. The value of these platforms is subject to a phenomenon known the Network Effect, whereby a technology increases in value with every additional user. The more individuals who share a platform increase the amount of potential connections which can result. 

For STEM Premier, this means that schools and employers are quickly gaining access to larger and larger numbers of young people all over the country who will be future students and employees of theirs. Our excitement is compounded by the fact that our 250,000 student members come from all 50 U.S. states and represent a wide variety of backgrounds, interests, skills, talents, and expertise.

At the end of the day, 250,000 isn’t what we care about. It’s just a number. Rather, we care about what that number represents.  

It represents a quarter-million unique stories.

It represents a quarter-million powerful ambitions.

But most importantly, it represents a quarter-million bright futures.

As Soft Skills Become Rarer, STEM Premier Provides a Solution for Employers

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July was a high-water mark for employment as U.S. job openings hit a record 6.2 million. On the other hand, actual hiring remains sluggish as employers struggle to find qualified candidates who meet all the requirements of these jobs.

Because of this, firms have begun to forego finding candidates who completely match their needs. Not doing so may mean turning a four-week hiring process into a twelve-week process. The need for expediency and practicality has replaced the desire for the ideal candidate.

One solution companies are utilizing is to hire candidates whose personality and soft-skills are a good fit for their organization, even if their technical skills may be lacking. In-house training programs are, subsequently, on the rise.

What does this mean for your organization and STEM Premier? You need talent who can thrive in your organization, and today’s job market is providing organizations with unique challenges. Finding a job candidate with a lofty GPA isn’t that difficult. But finding a candidate who can handle difficult clients is mostly luck-of-the-draw.

Grade-point-averages, standardized test scores, and even resumes can only tell you so much about a potential employee. That’s why STEM Premier student profiles are designed to give schools and employers a much more comprehensive understanding of the human being who created it. Of course, test scores and GPAs are a part of a student’s profile. But that’s just the beginning.

Need an employee who can organize a presentation or written proposal? Students can upload academic or professional projects to their profile in several formats such as .PDF and .PPT.

Looking for someone who has that gift of gab? The video upload feature allows students to showcase performances, presentations, or even just a personal testimonial.

Desire an employee who can be relied on to manage their time effectively? Check out their academic, athletic, extracurricular, and philanthropic involvements, and see if they've developed this vital skill.

The bottom line is that you need employees who can connect with your organization’s values, mission, and culture. It’s not the technical skills that are becoming rarer; students are flocking to STEM disciplines in large numbers. It’s those soft-skills and intangibles that are becoming the difference-maker in the job hunt. The problem is that soft-skills are called that because, well, they aren’t exactly measurable.

STEM Premier can help you find that talent who would otherwise go unseen amidst a stack of resumes.

 

What Students Are Saying About STEM Premier

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We are always striving to make the STEM Premier experience an incredible one for all of our users. Because of that, constant communication with both our student and organizational users is vital. Their input helps us ensure that the STEM Premier platform is the best it can be.

It’s always positive to hear what our users enjoy about the platform, and we’ve asked student users all over the U.S. to tell us what they like about the STEM Premier experience.

Here’s what they had to say!

Alex (Wallingford, PA) “The ability to create a profile for colleges to see and reach out to students with is - for me - the most important part of STEM Premier. If it weren't for this, I wouldn't be where I am now.”

Sydney (Chapin, SC) “It's helping me keep track of everything I need for my college applications. It'll be great to already have everything in one place, so I won't have to go searching around for it when this coming September rolls around.”

Ujwala (Columbus, IN) “It is a great place to display all of my credentials and to connect with amazing opportunities.”

Hezekiah (Columbia, SC) “The facility of organizing my information as well as the design of the website. I also appreciate how other people can view my profile and gain insight into my personality and accomplishments.”

Lydia (Fremont, CA) “The platform isn't just made for the student; it's also made by the student.”

Julia (Orlando, FL) “It's hard to know exactly what a good score on the ACT or SAT is. The STEM Premier dashboard color-codes your scores, and it is actually very helpful in determining whether or not retaking the test is the best option.”

Vy (Wichita, KS) "It helps me organize everything in one account! I can easily put down all the information they want colleges to know, such as experiences, achievements, and test scores. I can also share my profile with anyone, so it is way more efficient.”

Smriti (Troy, NY) “By updating information like my coursework and experiences, it matches me with opportunities.”

Akporesiri (Chicago, IL) “What’s there NOT to love?”

Lyndi (Sergeant Bluff, IA) “It gives me the opportunity to meet people and learn about colleges while showing them who I am, all in one spot. It make the college search a little less overwhelming.”

Austen (Round Rock, TX) “The connection it gives me with the STEM industry. After all, it is an industry known for designing and defining the future of the world; it’s nice to be able to get a glance at the future this early on.”

Are you a student - or know someone - who would benefit from the connections and opportunities STEM Premier has to offer? Create a free profile today!

New College Spotlight: Charleston Southern University

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In the vibrant Carolina lowcountry resides the newest STEM Premier institution: Charleston Southern University.

Founded in 1964, CSU is a Christian liberal arts institution which combines a faith-based approach and a mission of strong academic excellence. Its 60+ degree programs - offered both at the undergraduate and graduate level as well as online - provide a wide range of academic and vocational options for its 3,600 students. The academic programs are complemented by a NCAA Division 1 athletics program and an excellent student support apparatus.

Jameson Willey, Enrollment Services Programmer, explains that CSU’s unique mission means recruiting a special kind of student. “CSU looks for students that view their education as a priority,” he says, “students that want to be challenged and do their best.”

CSU knows these students are out there. However, their biggest recruiting obstacle is getting the CSU brand in front of them, especially when Clemson, the University of South Carolina, and the College of Charleston are also competing for attention.

“Our biggest challenge is getting on the radar of students so they can begin to have their eyes opened to us as a viable option,” Jameson says. “While other institutions in our state certainly have a unique appeal, we believe we have an appeal that is just as unique. CSU offers a lot of what these other institutions offer and, perhaps more importantly, a lot of what they cannot offer.”

“STEM Premier will help us to connect on a more personal level with students, allowing us to incorporate our intimate campus environment into our recruiting practices.”

Charleston Southern University boasts an impressive 14-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio which drives a more personalized approach to each academic program designed to develop critical problem-solving and communication skills.

“Our goal,” Jameson declares, “is to connect with students that will thrive in our unique environment.”

When asked to describe the student experience is like at CSU, Jameson didn’t shy away!

“CSU students enjoy a campus experience like no other! They benefit from a wealth of resources to help them succeed and have fun while they do it. From free tutoring and learning resources to NCAA Division 1 athletics and expansive extracurricular activities, we pride ourselves on our student-focus built upon a faith-based foundation. Not to mention, we are located minutes from historic Charleston, South Carolina.”

Learn more about Charleston Southern University.

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Looking Closer: Student Interest in Environmental Sciences and Wildlife

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In prior blog posts, we’ve shed some light on some of the career interests of STEM Premier student users. Now we’re delving deeper into select industries to see exactly what careers students have on their radar. Today, we’re looking at the environmental science and wildlife industries.

These industries generally utilize knowledge of the natural sciences in order to protect the environment and human health. They may clean up polluted areas, advise policymakers, or work with industry to reduce waste. More specifically, they may collect samples and data, analyze and determine threats to the environment, develop plans to address environmental issues, and execute environmental policy and procedures.  

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects this industry to grow eleven percent by 2024, which is a faster clip than the overall average for all industries. This rapid growth can be attributed to heightened public interest in the environment as well as the increasing stress placed on the environment due to population growth.

According to Ecology Project International, some of the top schools for environmental sciences in the U.S. include Amherst College (MA), Colby College (ME), Colorado College, Montana State University, and Pomona College (CA).  

To get a better idea of some of the environmental science and wildlife occupations which STEM Premier students are interested in, here is a small sample:

  • Environmental Scientists
  • Environmental Inspectors
  • Park Rangers
  • Wildlife Technicians
  • Conservation Scientists
  • Wastewater Treatment Operators

Is your school or organization looking for these kinds of students? If so, join STEM Premier today and start connecting.

STEM Premier Connections: Inspiring the Future of Healthcare

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STEM Premier isn’t just about recruiting. It’s also about helping students fulfill their dreams. Often times, connecting a student with a life-changing opportunity is more impactful than connecting them with a school or employer.

Smriti Moorjani, a student at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York, has never doubted her ambition to be a doctor. It’s a goal which inspired her to get involved with HOSA - Future Health Professionals when she was only fourteen years old. “A majority of upperclassmen in my high school were involved in HOSA,” she recalls, “they shared their experiences in this organization, which was really inspiring to learn about.”

Regular membership in the organization quickly led to more involved roles, as she eventually became the organization’s Historian for the entire state of New Jersey. She credits this role as having helped her develop as a leader.

It was Smriti's engagement with HOSA which led her to STEM Premier. “I was interested in applying for certain opportunities in HOSA, and the application was available through STEM Premier.”

One of those opportunities was applying to the HOSA 2017 Public Health Leadership Scholars Program, a unique one-week program through the US Department of Health and Human Services. By being selected, Smriti was able to spend a week in Washington D.C. with like-minded peers gaining knowledge about public health. She met with public health leaders, toured facilities, and discussed a variety of relevant and pressing topics.

“By exposing us to the many sectors within public health, this program helped us better understand the field and how we can incorporate public health in our future careers,” she explains. “At the end of the program, we created final presentations that summarized our experiences and what we learned from this program.”

Smriti also took advantage of STEM Premier to apply for a $2,000 National HOSA Scholarship, which she was awarded. 

She especially appreciates how the STEM Premier platform tailors her user experience based on her profile. “By updating information like my coursework and experiences, it matches me with opportunities.”

Her passion for health care doesn’t end with HOSA. Over the years, Smriti has become involved with a plethora of health-related organizations which have helped her refine her skills and knowledge through service, competition, and mentorship.

At such a young age, she is passionately committed to helping others. And there is a little doubt that she will soon be making an impact on a much larger scale.

Learn a bit more about Smriti in her own words:

Something you wouldn't know about me is...that I enjoy photography.

For fun, I like to….listen to music; it’s a huge stress-reliever!

If I could meet anyone in the world, past or present, I would want to meet…Dr. Sanjay Gupta. I am inspired by his dedication to the healthcare field and want to learn more about his experiences.

The best teacher I’ve ever had was….Mr. Pfeffer, my high school physical science teacher. He is both an outstanding teacher and amazing mentor.

The last app I downloaded on my phone was….Netflix.

In ten years, I see myself….completing my education and training to become a doctor.

My greatest dream is...to wholeheartedly contribute to improving others’ lives.

STEM Premier Spotlight: Wisconsin

Quick Facts:

  • STEM Premier Secondary-Level Students: 2,000+
  • Top College Interests: University Of Wisconsin, University of Minnesota, Marquette University, Milwaukee School of Engineering
  • Top Intended Majors: Biology, Bioengineering, Mechanical Engineering

 For this month’s STEM Premier Spotlight, we’re heading North for a closer look at the state of Wisconsin. Home of the University of Wisconsin, considered one of the top public university in the nation, the Badger State’s STEM Premier’s student base is a diverse and accomplished group of students. In fact, one of every ten STEM Premier student users in Wisconsin is a National Honor Society member!

 Wisconsin’s largest concentration of STEM Premier students is located in Milwaukee and its suburbs. Other notable areas of student presence are found in Madison, Green Bay, and the outskirts of Minneapolis-St.Paul on Wisconsin’s side of the border.

 The top occupational interests of Wisconsin’s students include mechanical engineering, biological science, biomedical engineering, pediatrics, and aeronautical engineering.

 ACT’s 2016 Condition of STEM Report on Wisconsin has shown a slight decrease in overall STEM interest among the state’s students over the past year. This decrease seems to be caused by a shift of interest areas. Interest in the medical sciences has lessened by 5% over the past five years and - at 38% - lags behind the national average of 41%. However, the opposite holds true for interest in the areas of computer science, mathematics, and engineering. Student interest in Wisconsin outpaces the national average in each of these three areas.

 Learn more about STEM in Illinois by checking out ACT's full report.

New College Spotlight: The Cooper Union

New York City is home to nearly one hundred universities and colleges spread throughout the vast metropolitan area. Some of them - like NYU and Columbia - you can probably name off the top of your head. However, the island of Manhattan is home to a bevy of exceptional schools that may not necessarily be household names outside of the Big Apple.

We’ve recently partnered with one such school, The Cooper Union, to help them sort through the city's and region’s college-bound students and personally connect with those whose academic aspirations match The Cooper Union’s mission.

The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art was founded in the mid-1850’s by industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper. Particularly known for its architecture, art, and engineering programs, Cooper Union envisions itself as an institution dedicated to preparing students to make enlightened contributions to society. True to this mission, the college awards every admitted student with a scholarship.

STEM Premier is excited to be working with such an esteemed institution. It is consistently recognized for its academic programs, and it was recently named #1 among Regional Colleges North by U.S. News And World Report. We recently caught up with Abby Davis, Assistant Director of Admissions at Cooper Union, who told us a bit more about the college and how they intend to utilize STEM Premier.

Tell us a little bit about The Cooper Union and its mission
Cooper Union was founded in 1859 with the radical notion that education should be accessible to everyone, regardless of race, religion, or gender, so that they could improve their employment opportunities.

What does The Cooper Union look for in prospective students?
Students need to know that they want to study one of the three majors we offer - architecture, visual arts, or engineering. Important traits include time management ability, maturity, and independence.

What is the student experience like on campus?
Students at Cooper Union are driven, focused, and passionate. With an enrollment of fewer than 1000 students, students get to know their classmates well and also get to work one on one with faculty members. It is an intimate experience in the heart of downtown Manhattan.

How will STEM Premier change the way The Cooper Union recruits?
STEM Premier can help us reach well-qualified students who live in places where Cooper Union is less well known.

There are a plethora of colleges, schools, and universities in Manhattan. How will STEM Premier help The Cooper Union stand out from the rest?
The personalized connection STEM Premier provides throughout the recruitment process mirrors the type of educational environment we foster at Cooper.

STEM Premier Connections: How Webb Institute is Finding the Perfect Fit

Last month, we put the spotlight on Alex Koziol, a high school senior from Wallingford, PA and a STEM Premier student user. Despite receiving acceptance letters from prestigious institutions like Carnegie Mellon and the United States Coast Guard Academy, Alex decided to commit to another school; a school he had never even heard of when he began his college search. He chose Webb Institute, a private undergraduate college located in Glen Cove, NY.

Webb Institute is solely dedicated to Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering. So it goes without saying that their pool of potential students is much smaller than the typical college or university. That means they have to dig deeper and recruit smarter in order to find their next class of all-stars, all the while competing against schools which have much more name-recognition.

So why did Alex choose Webb Institute? Lauren Carballo, Director of Admissions and Student Affairs, explains that "through STEM Premier, we had the opportunity to send personalized messages to students who we believed could be great fits for Webb Institute.”

By utilizing STEM Premier, Webb was able to hone in on prospective students - including Alex - who matched the type of matriculate they were looking for. Once they found them, they were able to recruit and communicate with them in such a way that made other colleges seem impersonal.

“One student in particular caught our attention,” Lauren continues, “who we thought would be a great addition to our community.”

That student was Alex.

“I actually first noticed Webb because of a message from them on STEM Premier,” says Alex. “Its reference to my activities rather than simple academic talent piqued my interest.”

That simple message was powerful enough to drastically alter Alex’s college plans.

“He responded to our message, set up a visit and fell in love with Webb,” says Lauren. “We're so excited that Alex will be part of the Class of 2021!"  

Alex couldn’t be happier with his unexpected change of plans. “I was fortunate to have the choice between some amazing schools,” he says, “but I chose Webb because it fit my interests and personality the most closely...I didn't start out obsessed with ships, but in the month since my decision, I sure have gotten there!”