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STEM certificate to offer new opportunities

Drake University and the Des Moines Area Community College are bringing a new teaching certification to their Schools of Education. The Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Certification, STEM, is a new feature of the schools that administrators are beginning to introduce.

Sophomore Alana Linde, a secondary education major with an endorsement in math and business, was actually one of the first to hear about STEM. She learned about it from her dad and researched more about the program for an open-ended class project. She recognized what a good opportunity it presented and was part of the reason she switched her major from business to education.

The goal of the program, said Linde, is “to make sure students can fill the fields they need.” She hopes that it will help get more students into traditionally high-need areas, like she sees firsthand in math. Well-rounded teachers means having well-rounded students, which is the long-term aim of the program.

“We really want to make sure students are whole, and have everything,” Linde said.

Though the program is still relatively new, it will be put into action when it gains enough momentum. This extra certificate, will not interfere with the regular major schedule and curriculum that must be completed, but it will give students an extra level of proficiency in the math and science fields, helping to make them more marketable after graduation.

The program is special in that it allows students to complete it through a combination of DMACC and Drake if needed. They can begin working on the certificate at DMACC, then transfer to Drake, take cross listed courses between the two schools, or complete the certification solely at Drake. Drake is working to spearhead efforts across Iowa to get more math and science in classes, and to do this by getting more students in those majors with certifications.

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