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SLREA Receives Focus St. Louis Award

May 14, 2009

A program developed by St. Louis Community College-Florissant Valley to create a technical work force and build a regional asset to recruit new and retain existing science/technology/engineering/mathematics industry companies in the area has been recognized by FOCUS St. Louis.

 

The St. Louis Regional Engineering Academy (SLREA) received the "What’s Right with the Region" Award for fostering regional cooperation.

 

In order to meet the critical shortage of skilled engineering and engineering technology professionals in business and industry both locally and nationally, STLCC-Florissant Valley in 2002 developed this regional partnership. SLREA is comprised of area colleges and universities, industry members (known as the St. Louis Regional Engineering Industry Council), and area high schools.

 

"The academy has brought together representatives from secondary and postsecondary education, and business and industry such as Boeing, GKN Aerospace, Tyco-Mallinckrodt and AmerenUE, and developed a model for how key community stakeholders in industry and education can work together to effectively improve science and technical education and prepare a local work force with strong science literacy skills in fields that have a critical need for employees," said Ashok Agrawal, dean of the Mathematics/Science/Engineering/Technology division at STLCC-Florissant Valley.

 

SLREA’s purpose is to expand and enhance technical education in high schools, to encourage students to explore engineering and technical career fields, and to identify and pursue academic prerequisites for college engineering programs. It also aims to attract minority and female students to pursue careers in math, science, engineering and technology. It accomplishes this through its Project Lead the Way curriculum, which requires rigorous college prep math and science courses throughout four years of high school. Students who participate in the PLTW courses are better prepared for college engineering programs and are more likely to be successful, thus reducing the attrition rate in these programs.

The St. Louis Regional Engineering Academy and Project Lead the Way curriculum began in 2002 with one school, and now has expanded to 20 area high schools with 1,271 students enrolled in the PLTW curriculum. Of those, 188 are female and 311 are minorities. Additionally, the program has been expanded to middle schools, and now more than 4,000 students are enrolled in the middle school "Gateway to Technology" curriculum. 

The SLREA was selected as one of the nation’s "best practice" programs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics and was showcased at the 2006 Bayer Best Practices in K-12 STEM Education Compendium.