Georgia Tech's plan for sustainable development

Georgia Institute of Technology — Goal 2 Initiative Georgia Tech's plan for sustainable development

Georgia Tech's new strategic plan sets the university's ambition to "Be an anchor institution, partner, and catalyst of sustainable development in our city and our state." Central to amplifying impact as an anchor partner in the community are relationships with the PreK-12 community. This initiative will expand on Georgia Tech's existing PreK-12 STEM programs to amplify the university's impact by identifying, engaging, and developing PreK-12 students (and their educators) to cultivate early interest and aptitude in STEM. This effort will help to elevate the socio-economic status of local communities by measurably increasing the number of Pre-K-12 students from financially vulnerable situations who strengthen their knowledge and skills in STEM. The initiative aims to increase graduation and postsecondary attendance rates in partner school districts, cultivate a pool of in-state talent in STEM fields who will continue to contribute to the local economy into their adulthood, and create a cadre of highly skilled and proficient PreK-12 educators across the state who demonstrate the ability to ignite and excite students in STEM subjects.

Georgia Tech will be a catalyst for synergistic partnerships across state and local government programs, other higher education institutions, community organizations, and PreK-12 educational systems and schools. The initiative builds on lessons learned from the past 15 months to expand reach and impact to those who have limited physical and digital access. It will build on the Career Alliance model to include an ongoing program for middle and high school students with an annual residential component.

Initiative Differentiators

The initiative will sharpen and grow Georgia Tech's focus on investing in the development of talent in financially vulnerable and historically underrepresented communities. It will work to build community momentum through the students, creating a call-to-action for students to be advocates for STEM in their communities.

Georgia Tech will build on the school's track record for PreK-12 STEM education to innovate, scale, and accelerate impact through new and refined programs, and strengthen teacher professional development to increase their efficacy in developing students enthusiastic and informed about STEM disciplines.

The initiative will leverage current programs, such as dual-enrollment to build student capabilities while also reducing student costs of education. It will engage faculty and students to be key contributors to this effort, further strengthening their sense of purpose and contribution. 

Throughout the program, Georgia Tech will engage, support and nurture family involvement in their student's pursuit of STEM excellence.

Key Interventions and Milestones

This initiative will be a state-wide, year-round endeavor that engages schools, teachers, students, families and communities in developing STEM knowledge and skills. Teachers will be empowered to develop and implement innovative, effective STEM curricula at all levels from preK-12. School districts and communities will be supported to create extra-curricular STEM programming to promote after-school and summer learning for all age levels. A summer, residential program component at Georgia Tech will be offered for middle and high school students who demonstrate a commitment to the program throughout the year. Assessment will be a key component. The initiative will work to continuously improve current programs, while expanding and scaling efforts that have been proven effective at Georgia Tech and elsewhere by partnering with other Institutions. Partners include federal, state and local government agencies; other universities (such as those schools in the Atlanta University Center and Georgia State University); non-profits; social impact investors; community and economic development entities.

Expected Impact

The initiative will increase the number, geographical distribution, and demographics of both students and teachers actively participating in each aspect of the initiative. It will raise the percentage of participating students who experience greater learning, strong interest in STEM, and postsecondary attendance. Feedback will be gathered from students and parents about the quality of their experience in an effort to expand adoption of STEM curricular innovations by region of the state, grade level, subject area.

This initiative can create extracurricular STEM opportunities by region of state, grade level and subject area, and expand partners in higher education, government, industry and community engaged in the program. It will allow students and families to alleviate the amount of student debt by helping them find creative ways to pay for college.