Economists predict a need for nearly 1 million STEM professionals in the United States in the next decade. The education sector’s role is to provide and prepare students to enter the growing STEM, Science Technology Engineering and Math workforce. The STEM education program at TWU prepares educators to take on that responsibility.
After nine years of experience in the classroom, Graduate student Kacee Gardner sought to expand her education and experience at TWU in her pursuit of her goal of becoming a university professor to teach people science.
“My passion is now to further science education. I want to reach our future teachers,” Gardner said.
Students enrolled in STEM education programs at TWU earn a degree in their field with an Education minor. These graduates are qualified to enter the workforce teaching at the high school level. Gardner explains how this benefits the students in the classroom: “You have that Biology, Chemistry, or Math Background that will enable you to teach the content better to your students,” Gardner said. “Coming to a program like ours, you’re getting your content and you’re getting how to teach that content to other people.”
Those pursuing a career in education in a STEM field may also have greater access to stipends and student loan forgiveness. Texas is using these incentives to promote these fields.
Gardner encouraged students who struggled in STEM content areas to pursue education in those content areas because of their unique ability to break down complex issues to those who do not understand as easily.
“[Students] think ‘I’m not good at math, I’m not good at science so I can’t teach it.” In fact, those make the best teachers. People who were not good at math tend to reach those students who are not good at math,” Gardner said.
Gardner also encourages those with passion for the sciences to bring their background into education to teach students.
“You have these classes, you have this background, you have this passion for this subject, you can take that into education.”
For more information about STEM education programs offered at TWU, Gardner will be available for questions at a booth for Pioneer Preview Day on Fri., Feb 25.
“The field of education is the most influential in the world,” Gardner said. “I want to inspire others to be life-long learners.”