The Texas STEM Centers were created with a multi-faceted focus including disseminating proven STEM practices across the state, supporting the T-STEM Academies and the State math and science initiatives, developing pathways to increase the number of available quality STEM teachers, creating STEM professional development and curriculum, and researching practices in the field. In order to effectively accomplish these initiatives, the 7 centers need to function as a "single" statewide center with multiple locations and entry points to develop a coordinated approach.
When STEM Centers were originally created, they were based on a competitive business model, the time has come to create a common governance to promote and support cooperation and collaboration to address the growing STEM needs across the state. Based on a common vision for STEM, they will provide guidance statewide in this endeavor. The proposed governance structure and standard operating procedures allow for each center to leverage their local expertise while sharing resources and research on common STEM efforts. The coalition design enables the centers to provide for comprehensive coverage across the state and allows them to leverage their resources in marketing, travel, representation at meetings, cluster meetings, trainings, fundraising, etc. The governance structure will allow the centers to respond more rapidly, to be strategic in their efforts, and to support a communication structure to promote shared knowledge and to address concerns.