Using Collective Impact to Broaden Participation in STEM and CTE
In 2017, the National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity Education Foundation (NAPE) was awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation to implement the Intermountain STEM network (IM STEM). IM STEM included stakeholders from government, business, education, and communities across six states (Colorado, Idaho, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming) who represented science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education, career and technical education (CTE), and workforce development. IM STEM used a collective impact model to create systems changes in state-level agencies and organizations to provide diverse students access and opportunities for STEM and CTE success.
Five core elements characterize collective impact initiatives:
- backbone support,
- a common agenda,
- continuous communication,
- mutually reinforcing activities, and
- shared measurement.
Our attempt to use a collective impact model to build a network of state-level organizations working together to broaden STEM participation showed promise. We hope our lessons learned will help you as you consider using collective impact to create systems change.