Energize Project Funds CS Praxis Training, Offers $350 Stipend, District Support, Multiple Cohorts for 1,000 Louisiana Educators

Published March 8, 2024

Northshore Regional STEM Center, led by Southeastern Louisiana University and LaSTEM, to assist in a broad initiative to enhance STEM education and career development opportunities statewide starting in March-June.

HAMMOND, LA / ACCESSWIRE / March 8, 2024 / The Louisiana Department of Education has awarded a $1.67 million contract to the Northshore Regional STEM Center, led by Southeastern Louisiana University and LaSTEM, to assist in a broad initiative to enhance STEM education and career development opportunities statewide. The project is led by Northshore Regional LaSTEM Center Director Wendy Conarro, Southeastern Interim Computer Science Department Head Bonnie Achee, and Dean of the College of Education Paula Summers Calderon.

The Energize Project provides funding for the development and delivery of 40 hours of computer science Praxis exam training and provides a $350 stipend to teachers who successfully complete the training program. Additional support may be available from the school districts to cover Praxis exam fee waiver, time, and expenses. Multiple cohorts are being offered to allow up to 1,000 sixth- through 12th-grade public school and public charter school educators to earn computer science teaching certification. Over 500 teachers from across the state have registered to "energize" computer science education in their schools and districts.

As part of the LDOE action plan to support education and industry through a multi-pronged "Ignite, Inspire, and Energize" STEM learning initiative across Louisiana, training sessions are being held virtually in March-May, with a hybrid cohort to follow in June.

"In Louisiana, the fastest growing industry is professional, scientific, and technical services, which is composed of much of the technology industry," said Conarro. "Software developers and network administrators are among the 10 fastest growing occupations in the state requiring a college education, yet the state is producing fewer than half of the graduates needed to fill computer science-related jobs."

According to the Louisiana Legislature Computer Science Education Advisory Commission and the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, the public would benefit from a comprehensive computer science education initiative that can ensure that Louisiana citizens have the expertise needed to perform the technological skills embedded in most professions and that the state can meet ever-increasing workforce demands in the technology sector. Accomplishing these goals will provide the people of Louisiana with a greater capacity to grow with the industry and capitalize on future technological advances.

Susana Schowen, Secretary of the Louisiana Workforce Commission, explained, "If we can provide opportunities for our Louisiana people, we can lift people out of poverty into economic stability. We can ensure ongoing economic stability for those who enjoy it now, and we can create jobs for our children and grandchildren in the future. This is how we make Louisiana better."

For more information about training opportunities available through the Energize Project, visit northshorestem.org/energize.

Contact Information

Wendy Conarro
Northshore Regional LaSTEM Center Director

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SOURCE: Northshore Regional STEM Center


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