Lawrence Technological University’s Blue Devil Scholars Program is an innovative partnership with the Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) that provides students pathways to successful STEAM careers.
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A CALL TO ACTION: OPPORTUNITIES FOR UNDERSERVED STUDENTSThe goal of the DPS/LTU Blue Devil Scholars program is to spark students’ interest in the exploration of STEAM subjects, nurture a college-bound mindset, prepare them for admission to Lawrence Tech, ease their transition to higher learning, and inspire them to consider STEAM-based careers.
Many students who have experienced social-economic barriers arrive in college without the academic preparation required for success in STEAM subjects. As a result, they spend their scarce personal resources on remedial classes that prolong their time in college and burden them with additional student debt. Through this partnership with DPS, LTU is providing an academic intervention at Sampson-Webber Leadership Academy (SWLA) a K-8th grade school. The new partnership will form an alliance of stakeholders – DPS, LTU, government, civic leaders and industry – to build a college pathway.
For more than 80 years, Lawrence Tech has provided programs to encourage high school students to pursue STEAM-related subjects. The DPS/LTU Blue Devil Scholars program innovatively broadens that outreach by starting earlier in the educational process.
The Blue Devil Scholars partnership will begin as a pilot program offering introductory experiences and instruction for all SWLA students beginning as early as kindergarten. Ultimately, it is expected to enroll some 300 students through 12th grade. Moreover, the goal is that as success is demonstrated, the program can be duplicated by additional partnering institutions.
Participating students will be provided age-appropriate activities and courses designed to strengthen their learning in STEAM subjects, and helping them complete high school with some college credits. Next, the students will be admitted to Lawrence Tech and receive scholarships supporting their completion of a STEAM-based degree.
THE DPS/LTU BLUE DEVIL SCHOLARS PROGRAM
The DPS/LTU Blue Devil Scholars program has four components designed to mitigate barriers to obtaining a STEAM-based college education – Academic Preparation, Scholarships, Teacher Professional Development and Support Services.
1. ACADEMIC PREPARATION
The partnership will develop an integrated educational plan that provides academic opportunities inside and outside the classroom. Included will be information about STEAM careers and skill-based learning in areas that will enhance student opportunities to secure careers in STEAM fields. At the end of 8th grade, the Blue Devil Scholars will be tested. Based on their test results, students will elect one of five academic STEAM tracks – Art, Design, Math/Science, Technology/Management or Engineering. Throughout high school, students will enroll in traditional, embedded and dual enrollment courses. The dual enrollment courses will be eligible for college credit. Upon completion of their elected tracks, students will earn certificates that represent 12-15 college credit hours.
Upon high school graduation, the Blue Devil Scholars will be admitted to Lawrence Technological University and receive a four-year scholarship contingent upon their pursuit of a STEAM major. The scholarship will be renewable annually based on academic performance as reflected by their grade point average and full-time enrollment.
3. TEACHER PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Sampson-Webber teachers are eligible to participate in workshops based on LTU’s award-winning pedagogical approach that emphasizes Project Based Learning (PBL) and Active Collaborative Learning (ACL). Professional development opportunities are important in preparing teachers to effectively teach STEAM subjects. Lawrence Tech graduate degrees can prepare educators to teach STEAM subjects more effectively by utilizing technological advances, computers, electronic communication, Web-based learning tools, streaming video, and hundreds of software and hardware configurations.
4. SUPPORT SERVICES
The goal of the DPS/LTU partnership is to provide students with services, experiences and programs that encourage and foster “college-bound” thinking throughout their K-12 experience and to ensure that they are well prepared to matriculate to LTU.
The services and experiences include:
After-school or summer employment opportunities will assist students in adapting a skill set of self-sufficiency and personal growth.
Blue Devil Scholars will have one-on-one access to Lawrence Tech students proficient in the subjects required.
Once a year during all four years of high school, Blue Devil Scholars and their parents will be invited to a workshop on pre-college planning. Topics will include the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), portfolio development, and academic planning.
Whether at DPS, LTU, or at an industry partner site, students will interact with individuals to advance their academic and personal growth. During their high school years, they will visit LTU’s campus to participate in co-curricular experiences that enrich and engage them in a technological environment. The visits will reinforce the skills and abilities they are acquiring in their certificate courses.
Planned experiences include:
Career Day – students will be coached on effective interview techniques and resume writing and provided employment opportunities.
Exploration Day – students will have opportunities to explore various academic majors during campus visits.
Summer Camps – students can select from a number of week-long residential and non-residential educational experiences.
IN THE NEWS
August 14, 2015... go to story
OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE
LTU and DPS launch comprehensive program to encourage students in STEAM
Enhanced STEAM program gives students in grades 6-12 clear pathway to college
SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – Detroit Public Schools (DPS) and Lawrence Technological University (LTU) have established an innovative partnership to enhance education in science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) for students at the Sampson-Webber Leadership Academy. The program is designed to continue through their high school and college careers.
Informational meetings will start in August and run through October. Sampson-Webber Leadership Academy currently has a limited number of openings in this program for students in grades 6-8. Families interested in enrolling should call (313) 240-4377.
Fifty middle school students will become the first Blue Devil Scholars at Sampson-Webber, and 50 additional students will join every year. These students will continue in the program through 12th grade. They will earn college credits and be eligible to attend LTU with scholarship support if they so choose.
Lawrence Tech is making a $3.5 million scholarship commitment to attract larger numbers of DPS students and prepare them for opportunities in STEAM fields.
More than a dozen LTU faculty members will be involved in this partnership with DPS, and the university together with DPS will provide additional resources and funding throughout the life of the project.
“This is an exciting new chapter in Lawrence Tech’s ongoing involvement in Detroit,” LTU President Virinder Moudgil said. “We want to encourage more students from Detroit to attend Lawrence Tech, and this program is designed to prepare them for success both at the college level and in their professional careers in STEAM-related fields.”
The Blue Devil Scholars program is designed to provide a systematic approach to enhance STEAM education for Sampson-Webber students starting in sixth grade and continuing through high school. In the future, the program will expand to grades 3-5, and eventually the process of preparing students for STEAM education will begin in kindergarten.
“Innovative partnerships such as the one created between DPS and LTU are key to the District creating an educational system that is academically competitive,” said Detroit Public Schools Emergency Manager Darnell Earley. “As we move forward with the transformation of DPS, we will continue to seek out partnerships/programs that enhance our curriculum and provide our students with a clear pathway to success.”
The partnership will also have a professional development component for the teachers selected to participate in this program, including workshops on project-based learning (PBL) and active-collaborative learning (ACL).
Student preparedness will be assessed in middle school. Once the data is evaluated, modules with STEAM content will be created that can be embedded in existing middle school courses. Tutoring by Lawrence Tech students proficient in science and math will supplement the STEAM modules.
In addition to a strong academic component for each year along the way, the program will include extracurricular activities to support and enhance the educational process.
When the Blue Devil Scholars move to high school, they will choose one of five STEAM tracks – art, design, math/science, technology/management or engineering. The students will earn college credits in embedded and dual-enrollment courses taken at LTU and will graduate with a certificate for 12-15 credit hours that will be transferrable to Lawrence Tech.
The Blue Devil Scholars who choose to attend Lawrence Tech will receive scholarship support as long as academic performance standards are met.
The components of the program include:
- Sampson-Webber students selected as Blue Devil Scholars will continue through 12th grade at DPS’s Detroit Collegiate Prep at Northwestern High School with specific curricular and co-curricular activities that foster knowledge about STEAM subjects, STEAM careers and skill-based learning in STEAM areas;
- Parents will be engaged in the programming from the beginning to ensure their full support;
- Later in the program the Blue Devil Scholars will receive a personal computer and instruction on how to use it;
- During their high school years, the Blue Devil Scholars will also participate in co-curricular experiences at LTU that will lay the groundwork for completing college successfully and then moving into a good-paying, STEAM-related career.
Lawrence Tech already has several programs to encourage high school students to pursue STEAM-related subjects. However, this is the first LTU program that takes a comprehensive approach and starts earlier in the educational process.
“We are confident that students who successfully complete the Blue Devil Scholars program will be well prepared to do well in challenging college courses as soon as they arrive on campus as freshmen,” Moudgil said. “Lawrence Tech is the perfect university for Detroit students to attend for STEAM-related education because we have specialized in those areas for so long.”
For more information about the Blue Devil Scholars program, go to www.ltu.edu/ltu/blue-devil-scholars.asp
Detroit Public Schools offers Neighborhood-Centered, Quality Schools at 97 campuses with a mission to provide a comprehensive, well-rounded, engaging learning experience. Educational advantages include Individualized Learning Maps for all students, research-driven pre-kindergarten classes to prepare the District’s youngest learners, expanded fine and performing arts, music and sports programs at all grade levels, and 21 Community Schools offering extended services to support families. Ongoing advantages include Parent University at the district’s eight Parent Resource Centers, enhanced safety initiatives, and DPS-authorized charter schools led by educators with proven track records of raising achievement. In 2015, DPS graduates earned $164 million in grants and scholarships. To learn more, visit detroitk12.org or call 313-240-4DPS.
Lawrence Technological University, www.ltu.edu, is a private university founded in 1932 that offers more than 100 programs through the doctoral level in Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Engineering, and Management. The Brookings Institution ranks Lawrence Tech fifth nationwide for boosting graduates’ earning power, PayScale lists it among the nation’s top 100 universities for graduates’ salaries, and U.S. News and World Report places it in the top tier of best Midwestern universities. Students benefit from small class sizes and a real-world, hands-on, “theory and practice” education with an emphasis on leadership. Activities on Lawrence Tech’s 102-acre campus in Southfield, Michigan, include over 60 student organizations and NAIA varsity sports.