Texas Tech Part of Consortium to Increase STEM Degrees in West Texas

Doctoral students from the College of Education will study the factors that go into the completion of STEM degrees among community college students.

Two Texas Tech University education professors are principal investigators for a grant aimed at increasing the number of students who study science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) in West Texas.

At an announcement today (Feb. 11) at Odessa College, one of the partner schools, representatives from the 13 organizations that make up the Texas Regional STEM Degree Accelerator (TRSDA) gathered to begin grant activities. Western Texas College in Snyder is the lead institution.

Valerie Paton

Valerie Paton

College of Education professor Valerie Paton, who along with Todd Little is heading up Texas Tech's portion of the grant activities, said the consortium decided the best way to increase STEM studies was by focusing on community colleges. Doctoral students from Texas Tech will investigate the role of developmental math and STEM degree attainment. The students will present their research at a workshop March 30 at Texas Tech and will continue to study student persistence and the completion of STEM degrees at community colleges for the duration of the grant.

The TRSDA is a statewide project convening teams of education and workforce partners to expand the number of students with STEM credentials that meet identified regional workforce needs. The other members are:
• Cisco College
• Howard College
• Midland College
• Ranger College
• Texas A&M University
• Roscoe Independent School District
• Snyder Independent School District
• Workforce Solutions of Concho Valley, Permian Basin and West Central Texas
• Sweetwater Enterprise for Economic Development
• Region 14 Education Service Center

College of Education

The College of Education at Texas Tech University offers a full range of programs, including 9 doctoral degrees, 10 master's degrees, two bachelor's degrees and numerous specializations which can lead to careers in public or private education as teachers, professors, administrators, counselors and diagnosticians.

Programs in the college are housed in three departments.

The Department of Curriculum & Instruction offers advanced degrees that prepare leaders, researchers, and professors with the knowledge, skills, and practical application experience needed to analyze, construct, and evaluate curricula in ways that create optimal learning conditions for all learners. Language and literacy, bilingual education and STEM education are just a few of the specializations offered by C&I.

The Department of Educational Psychology & Leadership consists of a diverse group of academic programs that equip students with a comprehensive knowledge of learning, motivation, development, and educational foundations. The disciplines of counseling and school psychology are housed within the EP&L department as are programs to prepare future college administrators, primary and secondary school and district leaders, as well as practical and academic educational psychologists.

The Department of Teacher Education focuses solely on teacher preparation, ensuring that teacher candidates are ready for the classroom on day one. The Teacher Education Department is home to TechTeach, an innovative teacher preparation program that puts teacher candidates into public school classrooms for a full year and requires that students pass teacher certification tests prior to entering the classroom. Various paths to teaching careers, including fast-track distance programs statewide and alternative certification options, are also housed in this department.