Benchmark 1: School Design
The T-STEM academy must provide a STEM focused program serving students in grades 6-12 or grades 9-12 with an active relationship with the feeder middle school(s).
Annual training and professional development calendar and plan for teachers (Excel)
Benchmark 2: Target Population
The T-STEM academy shall serve, or include plans to scale up to serve, students in grades 6-12 or 9-12, and shall target and enroll students who are at risk of dropping out of school as defined by the Public Education Information Management System (PEIMS) and who might not otherwise go to college.
Written recruitment plan including a timeline of recruitment and enrollment events, and recruitment materials for distribution at feeder schools and other appropriate locations in the community
Brochures and marketing in Spanish, English, and/or other relevant language(s)
Written communication plan for targeting identified audiences, parents, community members, school board, higher education personnel, etc.
Benchmark 3: Strategic Alliances
Strategic partnerships with business and industry partners and Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) are formally articulated in writing and clearly define a variety of STEM careers.
Meeting agendas and minutes, with action items and decision logs
Final, signed, and executed MOU with IHE (Campuses must submit their final signed MOU to TEA when initially applying for designation or are provisionally designated)
Final, signed, and executed MOU with business/industry partner (Campuses must submit their final signed MOU to TEA when initially applying for designation or are provisionally designated)
A list of strategic partners with each member’s organization, title and role in providing work-based learning for students by grade level
Benchmark 4: Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
The T-STEM academy shall provide a rigorous course of study that enables students to receive a high school diploma and complete industry certifications, work-based learning experiences, and/or early college credit during grades 9-12.
Documentation detailing a minimum of three course of study examples that outline student pathways from high school, to associate degree, to industry certifications and beyond
Benchmark 5: Work-Based Learning
The T-STEM academy must offer students a variety of relevant, high-skill work-based learning experiences at every grade level that respond to student interest and regional employer needs contributing to students earning STEM-focused industry certifications and credentials.
Documentation of appropriate work-based learning experiences available for students at all grade levels (6-12)
Aggregate data describing T-STEM student participation in work-based learning experiences as well as percentage of students earning industry certification and credentials by type
Samples of student artifacts such as writings, portfolios, presentations, or links to digital content
Benchmark 6: Student Support
The T-STEM academy will provide wrap-around strategies and services involving multiple stakeholders (parents, teachers, counselors, community members, etc.) to strengthen both the academic and technical skills necessary for high school and college readiness, as well as provide academic, technical, and individual support for students to be successful in rigorous academic and work-based learning experiences.