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STEM Higher Ed Council Formed to Increase America's STEM Talent Pipeline

STEMconnector has announced its newest initiative - the STEM Higher Education Council -- a national forum for college and university leaders.

STEMconnector has announced its newest initiative - the STEM Higher Education Council (HEC) -- a national forum for college and university leaders to address America's need for STEM talent through innovative education, training and strategic partnerships with business and industry.

Rob Denson, president of Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC), will chair the council with Martha Kanter to serve as its senior advisor. Kanter is the Distinguished Visiting Professor of Higher Education at New York University, having previously served as U.S. Under Secretary of Education from 2009 until 2013. In addition, Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, will play a key role at the council's first summit on Oct. 8, 2014.

Denson and Kanter will guide the design and implementation of the Council's vision, goals and accomplishments.

Iowa Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds, co-chair of the Governor's STEM Advisory Council and chair of STEMconnector's Food & Ag Council, enthusiastically supports the HEC, "we're pleased Rob will take his passion and leadership to STEMconnector's Higher Education Council as its new chairman. Rob is an engaged member of the Governor's STEM Council and will help drive the message that great careers await students who obtain the STEM skills to fill the jobs."

The STEMconnector Higher Education Council mission is to bring focused energy to higher education's leading high impact practices, increasing the emphasis on STEM pipeline-to-jobs (and what we call STEM 2.0). The HEC will inventory and integrate current efforts whenever possible, building on the energy of others in support of boundary-breaking collaborations between higher education (two and four year institutions) and industry to achieve significant results that can be recognized and scaled-up.

An Impact Summit will be held October 8, 2014. The Council will kick off with its first Summit "From Opportunity to Impact" in New York City. Business and higher education leaders will showcase pioneering examples of partnerships that ensure student success in college and careers. Participants will share best-in-class STEM models of workplace learning through internships, co-op programs and mentorships, especially focused on engaging underrepresented populations in STEM fields leading to employment. A variety of face-to-face and virtual meetings and events will be held each year to encourage game-changing collaboration between higher education, government and industry.

Other activities will be announced with the strategic plan. Achieving impact is the organizing principle of the STEM Higher Ed Council by assembling key thought leaders to inform decision makers from business, government and higher education to improve access to viable STEM career pathways for students and optimizing their success. A unique characteristic of the Council will be its composition of 2 and 4-year colleges and universities focused on bridging early excitement in STEM to success in higher education and careers. HEC members will stimulate dialogue, collaboration and innovation between diverse stakeholders from industry, state and local government, federal agencies and non-governmental organizations to improve STEM outcomes. The Council will couple student preparation with highly dynamic workforce demands driven by the rapidly changing global marketplace.

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