Michigan Diplomas Could be First in U.S. for STEM Certification

WNDU-TV

Proos CTELegislation sponsored by Sen. John Proos and Rep. Amanda Price would help give Michigan students a leg up on getting a job in a high-skilled career or continuing their education.

Senate Bills 1109 and 1110 and House Bills 5904 and 5905 would allow a student to receive a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) certification on their high school diploma. The STEM endorsement would also be visible on student transcripts for future technical training, community college and college application review.

“This initiative is the next step in ensuring that we are doing all we can to help prepare all Michigan students for success and also meet the skilled workforce needs of a growing economy,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “The governor recently signed my legislation to strongly encourage schools to establish programs that award credit toward a college degree or an industry-recognized professional certificate – giving students on-the-job training. Putting this certification on a student’s diploma and transcript will help improve their college resume and their chances to land a well-paying job.”

According to Proos and Price, if the bills are enacted, Michigan would be the first state in the United States to institute such a STEM certification opportunity.

“The Legislature has worked hard to ensure that our students can pursue their own career opportunities in high school and beyond, because we recognize that education is not one-size-fits-all,” said Price, R-Park Township. “By giving students the option to pursue this certification on their high school diplomas, we are helping them take the next step in their educational careers and encouraging them to pursue their own brighter futures.”

Gov. Rick Snyder has repeatedly called for an increased focus on STEM education in Michigan schools — objectives advocated by Proos and Price.

Proos’ bill, now Public Act 288 of 2014, requires the Department of Education to post online information on how schools can work with local businesses, public-private partnerships, trade organizations, universities and community colleges to provide quality STEM education.

“I recently celebrated the second-annual Manufacturing Day with local business leaders and students to recognize area manufacturers for their innovation and growth,” Proos said. “They are expanding and creating jobs, and they support increased efforts to help students earn the training needed to fill thousands of positions currently available in Southwest Michigan.”

Last year, Proos sponsored Senate Resolution 90 declaring Oct. 4, 2013 as Michigan Manufacturers Day. This year’s Manufacturing Day event was held on Oct. 3 at Mach Mold in Benton Harbor and offered an opportunity for lawmakers to interact with area manufacturing leaders about the industry.

SBs 1109 and 1110 and HBs 5904 and 5905 will be formally introduced and referred to their respective committees when the Legislature returns to session.

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Back-to-School Tips for Both Students and Parents

Proos_Teaching Mischlers ClassSummer is winding to a close and another school year is about to start. As parents, it is time for us to play our important role of ensuring that our children are prepared to learn.

A good education is critical for children to become tomorrow’s skilled workers and strong leaders, and an active parent can have a huge impact on a child’s desire to learn.

Research has shown that students whose parents are involved in their school work are more motivated and set higher career goals than students with less-involved parents. While helping our children understand classroom material at an early age helps improve their chances for success, visiting a child’s school has also been cited as a key factor in a student’s development.

I encourage all Southwest Michigan parents to try and make time to help and support your young students. The Michigan Department of Education has many helpful resources in the “Parent Engagement” section of its website at: http://www.michigan.gov/mde.

To parents of first-time students, this time may seem daunting, but the best thing you can do to ensure a child’s academic success is simply to be there for them. Ensure they get plenty of sleep, arrive to school on time, complete their homework and eat healthy meals.

And remember that the framework to success also lies in building up a child’s self-confidence with positive reinforcement and encouragement.

I hope you have a great school year!

Back to School for Kids and Parents

Another school year is about to start, and it is important for us parents to fill our role to ensure our children are prepared to learn. In our modern, global economy, a good education is vital for children to become tomorrow’s skilled workers and strong leaders. Involved parents as well as proactive teachers have a huge impact on fostering a child’s desire to learn.

Research from Duke University found that students whose parents are involved in their school work develop more motivation and set higher career goals than students whose parents are less involved. While helping our children understand classroom material at an early age helps improve their chances for success in high school and college, the study also mentioned parents visiting their child’s school as a key factor in their development.

The Michigan Department of Education has valuable resources on its website at: http://www.michigan.gov/mde. It includes links to numerous programs as well as information on rights of students and parents.

To parents of first-time students, this may seem daunting, but the best thing we can do to ensure our child’s academic success is simply to be there for them. That begins with ensuring they get plenty of sleep, arrive to school on time, complete their homework and eat healthy meals. It also means building our children up with positive reinforcement that will empower them in the classroom.

This school year, as parents let’s put our children’s education first. It is one of the most important things we can do to prepare our kids for the future. I hope you have a great school year!