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Mazama High School Students Celebrate Newest Class to Sign Commitment to STEM&M Collaboration with Oregon Tech

Apr 10, 2018
STEM&M is a unique program guiding Mazama High School students through pathways leading directly to academic programs at Oregon Tech

STEMM2018Twenty-nine students signed on the line Wednesday declaring their participation in the STEM&M program, a partnership between Mazama High School and Oregon Tech.

STEM&M is a unique program guiding Mazama High School students through pathways leading directly to academic programs at Oregon Tech. The collaboration focuses on dual credit courses that offer college credits, student and faculty visits, mentoring opportunities, and information sharing to benefit students.

Over the last two years, 90 students have declared their commitment to the program which encourages closer institutional ties between the schools and develops beneficial scholarships for students. With this third year of the signing ceremony, student participation exceeds 110 students, about 16 percent of Mazama’s 650 students.

The agreement began in 2016 with the intention of encouraging closer institutional ties between the schools and developing beneficial scholarships for students. The program, titled STEM&M, focuses on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, with the added “M” for Medical pathways.

“We now have Mazama students in each grades 10-12 participating in this program,” said Grace Rusth, Academic Partnerships Coordinator at Oregon Tech. “The seniors who signed up with the first class are preparing to graduate and many have enrolled at Oregon Tech for the fall. STEM&M presented them with an opportunity that too good to pass up, due in part to their familiarity with Oregon Tech and the scholarships available to them.”

“I think the biggest benefit to go to Oregon Tech over anywhere else is taking the Advance Credit Program classes and giving them a taste of the fact that hard work and trying new things can open lots of new doors for them,” said Laura Nickerson, science teacher and STEM&M director at Mazama. Ms. Nickerson shared with all of the students that the credits they would be taking as part of STEM&M could account for close to a whole year of credits at Oregon Tech. In other terms- they would be starting with enough credits to be at the end of their Freshman year, allowing them to possibly complete college in three years instead of four.

The collaboration focuses on dual credit courses, student and faculty visits, mentoring opportunities, and information sharing to benefit students. STEM&M faculty work together to create a collegial environment and sponsor multiple extra-curricular activities for participants each year. While in the pathway program, students will take field trips to tech centers in Silicon Valley and Portland, and hear from monthly guest speakers.

Students participating in the program will also have preferential access to specific Oregon Tech programs and STEM&M graduates who choose Oregon Tech for their college will each receive scholarships:

  • OWL scholarship: $1,500 freshmen year
  • Oregon Tech’s presidential scholarship: $2,000 renewable each year
  • Total: $9,500 in scholarships for college

Once accepted into the program, students must maintain a 3.0 GPA or better, be required to take specific STEM&M classes that are above what is required by the state of Oregon for a regular diploma, and they must earn 10 STEM&M points per year, which will be offered in a variety of ways, the first of which is an opportunity to be a summer counselor at a junior STEM&M camp. Progress of each student will be followed through a variety of ways, including text messaging, Facebook/website updates, and check-ins each semester. Parents are also encouraged to stay involved through these methods.

Mazama Vice Principal Randy Rose shared, “We’ve presented this program in Washington, D.C. at a national conference- it is a model that has been copied and mimicked throughout the Pacific Northwest. It’s a very positive program with longevity that I see getting bigger.”

District and school support at each signing has been very strong, with Klamath County Superintendent Greg Thede, Mazama High School Principal Steve Morosin and Oregon Tech Dean of Health, Arts and Sciences LeAnn Maupin all in attendance to celebrate the event.

“As a Klamath County native, Oregon Tech alumnus and current Oregon Tech administrator, I am so excited for this opportunity,” said Dean Maupin. “Partnerships such as this are a win-win for everyone.”

For more information, contact Marla Edge, Director of Academic Agreements, at 541.885.1034; marla.edge@oit.edu or visit the STEM&M program website at www.mazamastemm.com.
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