In last month’s newsletter I talked about the importance of STEM subjects for our students and the ways that the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement (DDCE) works to boost student achievement in the STEM areas. We also work with high school teachers in three of our Pre-College Academic Readiness Programs. This week we had teachers who participate in our ChemBridge program on campus for professional development. ChemBridge is a partnership between DDCE, the College of Natural Sciences and seven school districts. The teachers are offered hands-on professional development twice a year, taught by Dr. Cynthia LaBrake who teaches in the Chemistry Department here at UT Austin.
This type of professional development is invaluable for classroom teachers—whether they have taught for years or just a few semesters. Dr. LaBrake brings exciting new lessons and experiments for the teachers to use in their classroom and shares the necessary science and critical thinking skills students need to attend the university. Sharing professional knowledge to help improve the academic success for students from underserved high schools is just one of the ways DDCE works to increase the number of first-generation college students and students from low-income backgrounds in the higher education pipeline. What starts here really does change the world.