Texas Tech University

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

Heidi Toth

February 11, 2016

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