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A message from our founder

Since we last connected through our work, I am leading a new effort. After developing many programs, and through nearly a decade of research, conferences, and policy events, I became aware that there is no common understanding of the many aspects of STEM education and the kind of leadership that is needed to define those qualities. Responding to the widespread demand for STEM standardization, several colleagues and I founded the International Association for STEM Leaders (IASL) to respond to the expressed needs of STEM leaders. IASL was designed to be the umbrella organization to identify STEM leadership attributes and people who understand and promote those attributes. We have developed a draft of common STEM language to brand STEM education as a student outcome and believe this must start with STEM education leaders.

Throughout the world, public school and higher education leaders, instructors, teachers, and corporate program managers are developing STEM programs, curriculum, courses and schools. Some have established STEM academies; others have created state standards or goals for STEM education. Some administrators include STEM instruction as a separate part of the school day or as after-school enrichment. Still others are less structured, visiting classrooms to excite students about STEM careers. After speaking to many leaders and visiting many programs, my team realized there was no single cohort of committed STEM professionals who wanted to share ideas and learn how others are succeeding in advancing STEM curriculum and careers.

We applaud those who have grown STEM curriculum on their campuses or within their systems. Some program leaders have chosen prepackaged curriculum, contests, etc. and others have had to rely on their own internal ingenuity and human resources, spending considerable time on the details of STEM program development. In all cases, there seems to be a need for more information, the next technological breakthrough around the corner, the next career path being created because of the "flattening of the world," due in part, to the proliferation of the Internet. Now more than ever, mentoring and coaching for administrators and other STEM school leaders is critically needed. Whether you are in the beginning stages of development or several years into it, there needs to be a NETWORK for STEM leader that is internationally recognized.

I have spoken to many leaders in STEM research and program development, and the world needs to know who they are, recognize what they have achieved, and learn what they are doing to support access to careers in a STEM field. We will have the leading STEM experts to work with us to develop STEM certification that will be both consistent and internationally recognized. In that way, programs anywhere that meet these certification requirements can be recognized as STEM Programs of Excellence.

We hope you will send this information to anyone you believe should be considered for STEM certification and for a STEM award. The following link takes you to a short survey that we are asking you to fill out. Once we receive a completed survey, we will enter that person and institution into a database that will allow us to assess their level of readiness for STEM certification. Those who are accepted will become charter members of IASL and receive all the benefits of membership. Finally, we are working with national STEM groups to create a who's who of STEM leaders who will be included in a book of best practices in STEM. I hope you will seriously consider this invitation to actively participate and call or write me directly about this valuable opportunity. Join me in identifying the top STEM leaders in the world, and let's work toward a common understanding of STEM Leadership and Excellence.

All my best,

Carole

Carole Cameron Inge, Ed.D.
STEM Certification Division
International Association for STEM Leaders (IASL)
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