Initial Publication Date: May 18, 2016

VSTEM Collaborative Mission and Vision Process

Regina Toolin, Vermont STEM Collaborative - VSTEM, University of Vermont and State Agricultural College

Development of the VSTEM Collaborative mission and vision statements began in the Spring 2013. Participants included faculty from UVM and other VT colleges (Norwich, Johnson and Lyndon), UVM graduate students, K-12 teachers, VT Agency of Education staff, and STEM business and non-profit professionals. The goal was to conduct a series of focus group discussions that centered on STEM education needs in Vermont and begin the visioning work for the VSTEM Collaborative. These discussions spanned a period of one year and resulted in a mission and vision statement that was adopted by the VSTEM working committees in March 2014.

To coordinate, energize, and advance STEM learning and career opportunities across Vermont that foster sustained curiosity and learning.

Vermonters will be STEM competent and prepared to work in STEM careers, able to integrate STEM principles across a variety of disciplines/professions and make informed decisions about STEM issues and questions in their lives.


  1. Increase STEM literacy, achievement and career opportunities for Vermont's students.
  2. Broaden participation of Vermont's in-service and preservice teachers and their students in STEM disciplines and careers.
  3. Increase capacity and foster collegial relationships amongst faculty, administrators, VT AOE and state government representatives and agencies, teachers, students and businesses.
  4. Promote diversity within the STEM fields through work force development, business partnerships and cross-disciplinary collaborations.

Over 70 professionals have been actively engaged in focus group and steering committee meetings, generating a number of valuable recommendations and initiatives. Within these recommendations, a number of specific initiatives were identified related to the development of the VSTEM Commons Portal and preparation for Next Generation Science Standards implementation over the next 3-5 years.


Center Profile: Vermont STEM Collaborative - VSTEM - University of Vermont and State Agricultural College