Two new bills unanimously approved by the state Senate could offer Michigan students the chance to have a special endorsement placed on their diploma if they earn enough credits in science, technology, engineering and math. The endorsement would also be a part of student transcripts for use in future technical training, community college and college application review.
The endorsement would be the first of its kind in the country and supporters say it would benefit students who are working toward STEM careers in addition to boosting their college resumes.
“Michigan’s economy is growing and creating jobs, yet many of these positions remain unfilled. In fact, there will be more than 250,000 STEM-related jobs in Michigan in the next two years,” said Sen. John Proos, R-St. Joseph, who co-sponsored the legislation. “This initiative is the next step in ensuring Michigan students are prepared for success and to meet our growing skilled-workforce needs.”
Proos went on to say that Senate Bills 169 and 170 are follow-ups to legislation introduced last year that asks schools to create programs that would give credit toward college degrees or to an industry-recognized professional certificate.
In order to earn the endorsement, students would need to meet the current requirements for high school graduation in addition to six credits of math, six credits of science, at least a half credit involving technology and at least a half-credit involving engineering, writes Jonathan Oosting for Michigan Live.
Students who are home-schooled or attend a non-public school would be eligible for the endorsement if their parents or principal determine the student “has met substantially the same requirements.”
The two bill package, sponsored by Sens. Proos and Phil Pavlov, is on its way to the House for consideration.
“We recognize that education is unique to each child, and we have worked hard to ensure our schools give every student a chance for a successful career,” said Pavlov, R-St. Clair, chair of the Senate Education Committee. “STEM fields of education are rigorous areas of study that are critical to our national defense, our strong automotive industry, our economy and in preparing future generations for success.”
Governor Rick Snyder has continuously made an effort to encourage an increased focus on STEM education.