Preparing students for jobs and careers, as opposed to simply granting students high school diplomas and college degrees, is one of the greatest educational issues in Pennsylvania. The debate is similar to the national debate, as many citizens believe that the schools are doing a lousy job preparing students for employment, but the educators believe they are doing a good job. The economy in Pennsylvania is weak and the job market is fiercely competitive. This reflects the national situation in most states as good jobs remain scarce, and about half of our college graduates are unemployed. When we add in that millions are underemployed, it becomes obvious that educating students for employment and careers is critically important.
How It Effects Me
As a conservative Republican I want to stimulate the economy and put the American people back to work. To accomplish this we need to bring back the manufacturing industry and provide decent jobs making items of value that people want to buy. An educational program that promotes science and technology would help us accomplish these objectives. Pennsylvania has this program.
The STEM Program at Temple University
Temple University in Philadelphia is taking the lead in this area as STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and management. The purpose of the program is to engage students who have limited opportunities in the STEM fields, and to motivate them to pursue these lucrative and high demand careers. They have two strategies. They provide engineering education including resources, training, mentoring and technical assistance to help develop after school engineering and technology clubs. The second strategy is to develop pilot programs, test for effectiveness and relevance, and offer specialized academies and summer camps. They have successfully established programs in biomedical research, computer science, naval engines and logistics, bioengineering, music, and technology. Eventually, Temple University provides teacher training and resources to help establish programs in schools that lack the expertise to develop effective programs on their own.