Gateway Technical College
Establishing a comprehensive STEM ecosystem requires a cooperative partnership between education and business. Gateway Technical College, located in Kenosha, WI has developed such a system. Gateway was founded in 1911 with the mission to serve local community needs for an emerging technical workforce. Today with over 60 associate degree programs and 100 diploma and certificates Gateway is a national leader in STEM career pathways. This case study will describe a disruptive innovative pathway that links LakeView Technology Academy high school to Gateway, partnering engineering universities and the business community.
Students are the catalyst for inspirational teaching and high level learning. Students at LakeView are building underwater robots, designing cars that achieve 200 MPG, viewing life through electron microscopes and operating industrial robotics. LakeView’s graduates leave high school with 20-30 Gateway Technical College credits or half of their associate degree. Others are entering four-year universities as a second-semester freshman. A clear pathway improves students’ ability to prepare and plan for their future. LakeView Technology Academy is located in a former industrial warehouse in the LakeView Corporate Park. This strategic location provides access to extensive business partnerships. Employers are clamoring for the skills that are directly aligned with industry. “The skilled workforce shortage is real and our response has been swift,” says Bill Hittman, principal of LakeView Technology Academy. While many Wisconsin school districts have implemented high-level curriculums in their applied engineering and technology programs, LakeView operates in many ways like a high-tech manufacturing facility with highly skilled employees at the controls. Students plan, design, manufacture and market products. The Kenosha Area Business Alliance Education Foundation provides financial support and scholarships to support students and links students to the business community. Partnerships like the one established between Gateway, LakeView and Snap-on Incorporated is one example that completes the circle of engagement. Snap-on supports LakeView with tools, technical expertise and program sponsorship. Through Gateway’s partnership with the National Coalition of Certification Centers (NC3) LakeView teachers have earned Snap-on industry certification in multimeter proficiency. This industry certification is now taught to high school students adding to their portfolio of knowledge and skills. Gateway’s network of Fab Lab colleges and universities also support high schools and build a STEM focus on additive manufacturing. The University of Wisconsin-Stout and Gateway are partnering to develop Fab Lab curriculum and teacher training for 3D printing and industrial design. Doug Landwer, manufacturing at R+D Custom Automation in Lake Villa, IL., Participates in career fairs at Gateway each spring demonstrating automated assembly systems designed and built by their company. Students at LakeView participate in these career fairs and gain industry perspectives on STEM careers. Sylvia Tiala, technology and engineering teacher education faculty at UW Stout states “delivering STEM requires high quality teachers with experience and the technological tools to inspire creativity.”
John Nelson, automated manufacturing instructor at Gateway confirmed that students with real world experience like that found in the LakeView curriculum improves academic achievement and college readiness. LakeView has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report.
Newsweek and Project Lead the Way as a national school of excellence. Students graduating from LakeView are college and career ready, earn college and university credits and are supported by a network of business and industry partners.
STEM is an educational pedagogy that transforms the education environment and contextualizes the learning experience. Students, teachers and the business community benefit from engaging community support that builds a foundation for college and career success. Gateway through its many partnerships has leveraged the STEMconnector® ®network to amplify the critical need for a rigorous talent pipeline that centers on STEM skills. Establishing STEM career pathways that align with education and training programs, including certificates,diplomas and degrees will increase job prospects for graduates and capacity for employers to remain competitive. This example of a proven model of success demonstrates that STEM teaching and learning touches all levels of education, transforms the learning environment and establishes graduate outcomes for students to ensure they are college and career ready. Gateway and Snap-on have made a commitment to leverage their core values and individual strengths to promote STEM education as a pathway for individual and national economic success.
Gateway Technical College Scaling STEM Success Media Contacts