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ACT works alongside NLGA to support STEM Scholarship Program

 By: John Clark, senior director for ACT state government relations

ACT has collaborated with the National Lieutenant Governors Association (NLGA) to support the inaugural year of the NLGA Lieutenant Governors’ STEM Scholarship Program. The collaboration aligns with ACT’s commitment to help people achieve education and workplace success and parallels our long-standing belief that all students should have access to rigorous course-taking, including the opportunity to learn valuable skills in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to be competitive in college and career. In addition to math, the ACT has always provided a dedicated science test measuring STEM-associated skills like analysis, reasoning, and problem-solving, which indicate a student’s readiness for postsecondary STEM majors. ACT’s more than 30 years of workforce research also confirms that being able to apply these types of skills is essential for success in a vast and growing number of jobs across the U.S. economy.

Ensuring that students are prepared to be successful in college and career means that all students have access to a STEM education; however, access continues to be a barrier for many Black and Latinx students, as well as the 6.5 million students living in rural areas. Yet, STEM occupations are projected to grow more than two times faster than the total for all occupations in the next decade. In funding the NLGA STEM scholarship, ACT is hoping to make STEM programs a little more accessible to students, regardless of their postsecondary path, providing states and school districts more opportunities to deliver hands-on STEM learning. In 2022, the collective scholarships allowed the NLGA to provide direct STEM education to more than 3,000 students from pre-K-12, in a vast array of programming in STEM education including robotics, aquaponics, aviation, and agriculture, among others. 

Leading with purpose and living our mission is important to ACT as a national leader in education and workforce. We, like NLGA, know that championing bipartisanship issues, like access to STEM learning, can positively affect outcomes for students, districts, and states that are critical to our country’s future success. In ACT’s collaboration with NLGA, there is an even greater opportunity to share insights to ensure that public policy will positively effect student career success and academic achievement. Working together with NLGA to solve problems and improve the lives of students helps ACT deepen relationships and expand education and career opportunities for all.