Monday afternoon, officials with the Socorro Independent School District (SISD) announced that Americas, Eastlake and Pebble Hills high schools will be receiving a two-year college readiness program from the National Math and Science Initiative, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Defense and benefits students at military-connected schools.
“Socorro ISD is excited to receive the NMSI grant that will serve our students in our highly military connected campuses Americas, Eastlake, and Pebble Hills high schools. This funding enables Socorro ISD to advance STEM education and provide opportunities for our students to reach their highest potential as problem solvers,” said Carmen Crosse, Socorro ISD assistant superintendent of high schools.
“At SISD, we are committed to transforming our community by preparing students for college level courses and creating pathways that will eventually establish equitable and sustainable change in the El Paso County. Funding often follows industry, and El Paso is limited in that infrastructure so this grant will empower students and families with greater opportunities.”
The program first launched in Team SISD in November 2019 at El Dorado High School and is expanding now to three more high schools in the district. It is designed to assist military-connected students and give all students at the campuses more opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) learning.
The college readiness program will enhance students’ preparation for a successful future in college and careers, especially in the math and science fields, which is a steadfast focus of Team SISD’s Operation College Bound efforts.
According to officials, after one year in NMSI’s CRP, students at military-impacted schools average a 45 percent increase in mastery of college-level concepts in math and science — compared to the national average increase of 5.6 percent. That increase is 81.5 percent for Black students, 34 percent for Latinos and 38.4 percent for females.
Students with family members serving in the military move an average of six to nine times while they’re in elementary and secondary school. NMSI’s CRP leverages the College Board’s proven Advanced Placement framework, preserving local control and creating consistent learning across all schools. That means students are on pace from their first day in a new school – making all those moves a little easier.
“NMSI College Readiness Programs encourage more students to pursue a career path in the growing field of Math and Science,” said Col. Stuart M. James, Fort Bliss Garrison Commander. “In providing rigorous coursework and advanced academic content, students are gaining the knowledge and skills needed to succeed. The advanced framework provides military connected students with continuity and excellence in education that makes them competitive with their peers nationwide.”
As a nonprofit whose mission is to advance STEM education so all students, especially those furthest from opportunity, can reach their highest potential, NMSI has served more than 250 U.S. schools that have significant enrollment among military-connected students.
“Availability of academic choices such as the National Math and Science Initiative College Readiness Program are exactly the type of opportunities military families look for when choosing their assignments,” said Anthony Lovett, Director of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, Fort Bliss. “Education is a quality of life cornerstone for military families and that the community, the school district, and NMSI are providing these valuable, portable skills to students further demonstrates the significance of partnerships in enhancing quality education.”
NMSI is a member of the Defense STEM Education Consortium, which is committed to helping the department improve access for all students to pursue STEM careers and to consider Defense laboratories as places of employment.