ABOUT TAG EDUCATION COLLABORATIVE (TAG ED)
Mission Statement: Strengthen Georgiaâ€™s future workforce by uniting Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) resources with leading education initiatives while emphasizing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
Background: Formerly The TAG Foundation, The TAG Education Collaborative is a 501c3 non-profit organization which was formed by the Technology Association of Georgia in 1999. In 2009, the organizationâ€™s name was changed to The TAG Education Collaborative to facilitate a rebranding that would enable it to be a catalyst for Georgiaâ€™s K-12 education system to become a leaders and innovator for STEM related education.
The STEM Challenge in Georgia: â€œWe are not producing, in this country, the United States of America, enough young people going into science, technology, and engineering â€“ the fields that are going to be essential for entrepreneurship and innovation in the 21st centuryâ€ (Thomas Friedman: The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the 21st Century, 2005) Georgia, with its growing technology community, needs to enhance, upgrade and develop new activities, processes and programs to, not only, raise the quality of schools in general, but equally important, elevate the effectiveness of schools to produce more students pursuing STEM specific majors in institutions of higher education and ultimately STEM related careers.
A few points of concern:
1.Â In Georgia, the number of high school non-graduates in 2007 was 28,842. The lost lifetime earnings for this class of drop-outs are estimated to be more than $15 billion.
2.Â In 2007, only 60% of Georgiaâ€™s Hispanic students and 63% of economically disadvantaged students graduated from high school.
3.Â In 2008, over 4,000 new teachers were certified in Georgia, only 8 of these were chemistry teachers and 3 were physics teachers.
4.Â Georgiaâ€™s science and technology talent is rapidly approaching retirement age and our schools are not producing the required level of STEM talent to replace them.
Strategy: Establish the TAG Education Collaborative as the preeminent vehicle and clear catalyst through which the TAG community broadly participates in community service through leading STEM education initiatives, uniting TAG community service interests and resources with the organizations best equipped to drive success.
- Ensure that all TAG Premier Members fully understand the TAG Education Collaborative role and value proposition. Work with each of these Member companies to understand their community service goals and, when possible, influence these goals to focus on STEM education initiatives.
- Identify and â€œcertifyâ€ a leading group of STEM education initiatives which will be leveraged to fulfill the community service objectives of the TAG Premier Member companies.
- Work with the TAG Premier Member companies to connect them with the most relevant STEM education initiatives.
- Create awareness of the importance of STEM and design and implement a community vehicle that companies use to match their service programs with relevant initiatives. This includes facilitation of volunteer opportunities and donations, both financial and in-kind.
- Expand to the broader TAG community once a proper number of the TAG Premier Member companies are participating in STEM initiatives.