Bills would allow STEM certification on Michigan diplomas

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Senator John Proos

Senator John Proos

State could be first in nation with such STEM certification

LANSING—Michigan students would get a leg up on earning a job in a high-skilled career or continuing their education under legislation turned in on Thursday.

The Senate and House measures 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.

“Michigan’s economy is growing and creating jobs, yet many of these positions remain unfilled. This initiative is the next step in ensuring Michigan students are prepared for success and to meet our growing skilled-workforce needs,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “We worked together to enact legislation last year that encourages schools to establish programs that award credit toward a college degree or an industry-recognized professional certificate.

“I am proud that we are giving students a chance to receive on-the-job training, and this certification is an excellent way to highlight a student’s accomplishments.”

Senate Bills 169 and 170 are sponsored by Proos and Sen. Phil Pavlov. Rep. Amanda Price is the bill sponsor in the House of Representatives.

If the bills are enacted, Michigan would be the first state in the nation to institute such a STEM certification opportunity.

“We recognize that education is unique to each child, and we have worked hard to ensure our schools give every student a chance for a successful career,” said Pavlov, R-St. Clair, chair of the Senate Education Committee. “Allowing students to earn this STEM certification and place it on their diplomas and transcripts helps them improve their college resume and their chances to land a well-paying job.”

Gov. Rick Snyder has repeatedly called for an increased focus on STEM education in Michigan.

“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.”

Proos said, “STEM education plays an important role in giving everyone an opportunity for success. It can also help provide students with the training needed to fill thousands of positions currently available in Southwest Michigan and throughout the state.”

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Editor’s Note: Audio comments by Proos are available on the senator’s website at www.SenatorJohnProos.com. Click on “Audio” under the Media Center tab.