Munster High School is known for their outstanding academics and they’ve recently received an important accreditation for their science, math, technology, and engineering (STEM)-geared classes.
The accreditation is through AdvancedED, which uses reliable tools and training to ensure the STEM-Certified schools are always keeping up with advances in technology and making sure their students can function properly when faced with real-world STEM questions.
According to the AdvancEd’s Website, “AdvancED's STEM Certification provides institutions as well as programs within institutions a research-based framework and criteria for their awareness, continuous improvement and assessment of the quality, rigor, and substance of their STEM educational programs. The Standard and Indicators clearly define the qualities and components vital to creating and sustaining superior, student-centered K-12 STEM teaching and learning programs, as well as clear expectations for student outcomes and mastery of 21st-century skills.”
Munster is one of just 13 high schools to ever receive this STEM certification and the first high school in the Midwest.
The road to accreditation was an intense process of studying Munster’s STEM classes and compiling and presenting artifacts. There have been other science-focused schools that have not met the criteria; it is not an easy achievement. There was also an external review process, which included one person who actually wrote the literature that determines whether or not a school can be accredited.
Eleven indicators decide whether a school is qualified. According to the AdvancedED website “STEM students have the skills, knowledge, and thinking strategies that prepare them to be innovative, creative, and systematic problem-solvers in STEM fields of study and work.”
One of those indicators is whether the students create “real world content.” They currently do that by partnering with Community hospital to get students shadowing nurses and learning about real medical practice. In the future, Munster High School intends to expand this program to include Purdue University Northwest and allow students to learn from college professors to do advanced learning and research for the first two class periods of the school day. The accreditation will support Munster in that process.
“We’re really excited for this,” said Principal Mike Wells. “It was a team effort. We think when a college sees the Munster High School transcript, they already know that the curriculum was rigorous, but this accreditation will really bolster their application. We hope that even our high achievers have a better chance at Ivy League colleges.”
The teachers involved in the program include Jake Argenta, Nathaniel Thompson, Peggy Matanic, Larry Hautzinger, Principal Mike Wells, Lyndee Govert, Kim Peirick, Elena Lopez, and Samantha Ebert, Peter Gregory, Jim Davidson, and Dusan Vidovic.
Congratulations on this amazing achievement, Munster!