A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is an agreement between your campus and a business or an institute of higher education (IHE). It is a contract which describes the terms and services provided and/or exchanged by both parties for a specific period of time. MOUs can be with an IHE, and address a dual-credit agreement and/or college supports and experiences. Or it can be with a business partner that provides student internships or other work-based learning experiences.
In addition to being a roadmap for T-STEM Academies, the Blueprint contains helpful information for all schools that are trying to increase rigor and college readiness. The Blueprint provides guidance on how to develop partnerships with local businesses and colleges in order to increase students' exposure to college and career rigor. The Blueprint also contains guidelines and examples of Project-Based Learning (PBL), which builds students' problem solving and higher order thinking skills (both of which are necessary for our increasingly competitive global economy).
The T-STEM Academy Design Blueprint is intended to serve as a road map for benchmarks, program requirements, and indicators to facilitate individual STEM Academy growth. The Blueprint provides resources such as benchmarks, program requirements, and key elements for success, and artifacts allowing campuses to see their status along the rubric continuum.
STEM education is inherently grounded in scientific inquiry which is a fundamental skill needed for problem solving and the development of higher order thinking skills. Also, STEM education is the doorway to economic opportunity. A recent study from Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce found that traditional STEM jobs have grown faster than job growth overall for decades, and this trend will continue at least through 2018.
Benefits of designation include recognition as an approved T-STEM Academy; membership in the T-STEM and College and Career Readiness School Models Network; invitations to convenings (special events hosted by TEA and Educate Texas); access to professional development, technical assistance, and research-based best practices.