8 Keys to Success

This week is the first week of classes at many of the Veterans in STEM partner colleges and universities. As co-principal investigator and project director, I would like to extend my welcome back to college/university.

Veterans in STEM addresses each of the ‘8 Keys to Success‘ for veterans. Our team is honored and enthusiastic to do our work each day. We want you to be part of our work and help other veterans reach success.

  1. Create a culture of trust and connectedness across the campus community to promote well-being and success for veterans. This fall, KC-BANCS Veterans in STEM is sponsoring workshops at UMKC, MCC, and KCKCC for faculty, staff, and administration on supporting student veterans.
  2. Ensure consistent and sustained support from campus leadership.
  3. Implement an early alert system to ensure all veterans receive academic, career, and financial advice before challenges become overwhelming. In addition to the early alert system at a college or university, the Veterans in STEM program, through academic coaching, can help students navigate higher education and career planning.
  4. Coordinate and centralize campus efforts for all veterans, together with the creation of a designated space (even if limited in size). Veterans in STEM supports all efforts of partner colleges to centralize campus efforts for veterans. While these efforts are in-process, Veterans in STEM can bring together resources for veteran college students related to degree progress and completion, financial aid, and career exploration.
  5. Collaborate with local communities and organizations, including government agencies, to align and coordinate various services for veterans. Each year, KC-BANCS hosts STEM Talks – a community conversation that brings together employers, educators, veterans, and college students, nonprofits, and colleges/universities to discuss and collaborate on important issues. Watch for the report of proceedings from June 2013 STEM Talks. KC-BANCS also serves on committees and task forces locally and at the state level to bring to the forefront what we are learning about how colleges and universities can be veteran-supportive.
  6. Utilize a uniform set of data tools to collect and track information on veterans, including demographics, retention and degree completion.
  7. Provide comprehensive professional development for faculty and staff on issues and challenges unique to veterans. Veterans in STEM shares information and best practices with campus leadership through several programs each year and quarterly newsletters. We highlight college students who are military Veterans and want to continue to focus on your accomplishments and success.
  8. Develop systems that ensure sustainability of effective practices for Veterans. Veterans in STEM works to leverage the investment made by the National Science Foundation in Kansas City colleges/universities to support more veterans to pursue STEM careers.
Posted in Community, Education, General, STEM, Transition Navigator | Tagged

STEMup! College & Career Bootcamp August 8

StemUp VIS Have you heard of Veterans in STEM?
Join us Thursday, August 8 for an open house recruitment event

Get involved in the final year of a groundbreaking project
Learn how to get started on a STEM career while finishing your degree
Meet other student veterans and learn how to make the most out of college
Bring a friend and you might qualify for a $20 Amazon gift card
Parking is free and light refreshments will be served

Register Online Today!

Thursday, August 8, 9:00 – 11:00 am

UMKC Institute for Human Development, 215 W. Pershing Road, 6th Floor, Bowman Room, Kansas City, MO 64108 (Parking & Directions)

Contact the KC-BANCS team at 816.235.1760 or kcbancs@umkc.edu

Posted in STEM

Continuing Education Resources for Veterans

If you are pursuing financial assistance for higher education as a veteran from the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill, this short but informative guide can help you navigate the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Continuing Education Resources for Veterans

Posted in Career Readiness, Education, Resources | Tagged , ,

STEM jobs account for about 1 in 5 Kansas City area jobs

recent article in the Kansas City Star has good news for students majoring in STEM:

About one in five jobs in the Kansas City area and nationally require specified knowledge in science, technology, engineering or math.

According to a study released Monday by the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program, half of all so-called STEM jobs nationally require a bachelor’s degree.

The percentage requiring at least a bachelor’s degree is slightly higher – 52.2 percent – for STEM jobs in the Kansas City area, partly because of the high percentage of engineering companies.

Based on 2011 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the new report said the importance of STEM jobs in the economy has been somewhat hidden. That’s because the growing need for technical expertise in “blue-collar” jobs sometimes has been left out of STEM economic impact studies.

“Many nonprofessional jobs in manufacturing, health care, construction and mining industries could be considered STEM jobs,” Brookings said.

The report said nearly one-third of STEM jobs were filled by “craft professionals,” such as workers in the construction or vehicle maintenance trades.

‘University attendance is not the only path to a STEM career,” said Jonathan Rothwell, the report’s author.

Nationally, there were about 26 million STEM jobs, with about 193,120 in the Kansas City area, the report said. Those jobs paid well compared to non-STEM jobs.

For the metro area, the report said, the average pay for STEM jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree was $80,680, compared to $64,128 for non-STEM jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree.

Also, for STEM jobs requiring an associate’s degree or less, the average pay was $52,680, compared to similar non-STEM jobs’ average of $32,801.

Brookings researchers put those numbers in context, noting that the 2011 median household income for the Kansas City area was $53,376. (The median means that half of the area’s households earned more and half earned less.)

“Job growth, employment rates, patenting, incomes and exports are all higher in STEM-oriented economies,” Rothwell said.

His report ranked the Kansas City area as the 26th largest location of STEM jobs out of 100 metro areas in the nation. STEM jobs, as a share of total metro Kansas City area employment, ranked 39th out of the 100 areas studied.

For the Kansas City metro area, the ten largest STEM industries were, in descending order: Health diagnostics and treatment; computers; finance; construction; engineering; health technology; business operations; operations specialties; vehicle and mobile mechanics, installation and repair; and “other” management.

The report said more than 99,000 jobs in the Kansas City area required specified knowledge in engineering. In general, engineering jobs provided the highest average wages among STEM occupations requiring specified knowledge.

By a wide margin, the most common STEM occupation requiring less than an associate’s degree was in the nursing field.

Posted in Career Readiness, Employment, STEM | Tagged , , ,

Maker Faire KC this weekend!

Maker Faire


Maker Faire: Kansas City celebrates things people create themselves — from new technology and electronic gizmos to urban farming and “slow-made” foods to homemade clothes, quilts and sculptures. This family-friendly event demonstrates what and how people are inventing, making and creating. It brings together Makers, Crafters, Inventors, Hackers, Scientists and Artists for a faire full of fun and inspiration. Come see what others are making and be inspired to tap into your own creativity!
Posted in Community, General | Tagged , ,

Veterans in STEM program featured on KCUR

Props to KC-BANCS Co-PIs Dr. Alexis Petri and Dean Kevin Truman for raising awareness of student veteran issues during their outstanding interview on KCUR’s Central Standard. They did a great job promoting STEM education and the Veterans in STEM program.

Listen to the podcast here: http://www.kcur.org/post/program-helps-vets-get-stem-education

Posted in Community, Education, KC-BANCS, STEM | Tagged ,

Memorial Day 2013

memorial day

Image | Posted on by | Tagged

Want to make Kansas City a better place?


On June 1 and 2, join fellow coders, artists, organizers, writers, and makers to code, draw, organize, envision and plan out how to make a better Kansas City.

Saturday, June 1, 2013 9:00 AM until Sunday, June 2, 2013 5:00 PM
Union Station
30 W Pershing Rd Kansas City, MO 64108

This is a free event!
To register: http://hackkc.eventbrite.com/

We need coders, artists, organizers, writers, and makers … anyone who wants to volunteer a weekend to meet other cool people and make a better Kansas City. The National Day of Civic Hacking fits perfectly into the Kansas City spirit: roll up our sleeves, get involved, and work together to improve our metro. No coding skills are necessary!

Where & What
The festivities will be held at Union Station. There will be two main components to the event running 9 am to 5 pm both days:

  • Civic Tech Expo
  • Civic Hackathon: Write about your neighborhood, design something beautiful, code something awesome—all for a better KC!

Click here for more information

Posted in Community, Education, General, STEM | Tagged , ,

Countdown to STEM Talks: Register Today

Join us for STEM Talks 2013, a KC-BANCS event taking place on Tuesday, May 21. STEM Talks is an invitation-only event bringing together students, veterans, STEM employers, KC area higher education, and student support services for a day of learning and dialogue.

This year’s focus is 21st Century Skills – what they are, why they matter, and how higher education can help.

The 3-hour program will feature a series of student and business speakers followed by community conversations.

Register at: www.kcstemalliance.org/stem-talks-2013/registration

Questions or suggestions? Contact the KC-BANCS team at 816.235.1760 or kcbancs@umkc.edu.

STEM Talks 2013

Tuesday, May 21
9:00 am to 12:00 pm
ArtsTech Event Space
1522 Holmes Street
Kansas City, MO 64108
(Free off-street parking)

Continental breakfast will be served

Posted in Career Readiness, Community, Employment, KC-BANCS, STEM | Tagged , , , ,

Running with the Big Dogs

Running with the Big Dogs

Paxton in His New Suit (Donated by Dress for Success)

@ Kansas City-ESGR Employment Event on March 22nd, 2013

ESGR Website:  http://www.esgr.mil/.  

Dress for Success Website:  http://www.dressforsuccess.org

Posted in STEM | Tagged , ,