Saddleback’s STEM Core Initiative (SCI) has grown out of the DOL-funded Bridge2Engineering (B2E) grant which has received national attention. Our workforce intermediary partner, Growth Sector, brought the original B2E grant to us and helped the college implement the original B2E cohort model which included accelerated mathematics, work-based and contextualized learning, faculty mentoring, intensive student support, and summer internships at JPL and other engineering firms.
Saddleback’s B2E cohorts experienced a 20-30% increase in math course success rates, with 65% of students advancing to calculus-readiness in 2 semesters compared to only 4% of students in the comparison group.
This model has evolved into a national effort called a STEM Core Network. Originally led by Growth Sector, the National Laboratories (e.g. JPL and Lawrence Livermore), and Aspen Institute’s John Colburn, this network garnered national attention from national policy leaders such as Department of Education’s Mark Mitsui. Growth Sector has secured funding from Chase Bank Foundation, and possibly some other foundations, and is pursuing funding from the Helmsley Foundation, to execute the model on a national scale. Representatives from Saddleback College participated in a STEM Core convening in the Bay Area last year and Saddleback hosted a convening in 2015. San Jose Evergreen CCD is now leading a $15 million CPT grant in collaboration with Growth Sector to implement the STEM Core in numerous Bay Area community colleges.
Saddleback’s STEM Core Initiative (SCI) grant includes 13 CA Community Colleges, Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce, UCLA’s Higher Education Research Institute (HERI), Growth Sector, and the Baltimore Community College District. Saddleback is eligible for a $12M Alliance grant to expand and replicate the model across the nation.