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NISD’s military connectedness earns grants for college readiness

NISD’s military connectedness earns grants for college readiness

Northwest ISD is proud to announce it has earned grants from the National Math & Science Initiative and Department of Defense STEM Education & Outreach Office for their student population’s military connections. With dedicated funding from the DoD, the NMSI has launched its College Readiness Program – or CRP – at NISD’s three comprehensive high schools: Byron Nelson, Eaton and Northwest. Photos from a presentation of the grant can be found on Northwest ISD's Flickr page.

In addition, Steele Early College High School and all seven NISD middle schools benefit from the grant as math and science teachers from across the district participated in NMSI training this past summer, bringing content knowledge and strategies back to their classrooms.

The NMSI has already begun providing additional training to more than 30 Northwest ISD teachers and administrators, and costs for AP tests will be reduced for students. Students in AP STEM courses will also be eligible for scholarships through the program.

Because Northwest ISD’s high schools have a student population that maintains a roughly 10% connection to the United States military branches in active duty, guard or reserve roles, the high schools will see additional benefits to their AP and honors classes in STEM fields. Though the program is based on the schools’ military connections, all students in eligible AP STEM programs will receive the same benefits from the grant.

Dr. Michael Griffin, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction at NISD, said the program has already provided dividends. 

“Our district already partnered with the National Math & Science Initiative for industry-leading training for teachers and administrators, and thanks to the Department of Defense’s grant, we’re now able to receive that training at no cost,” she said. “Students benefit when teachers have the opportunity to acquire deeper content knowledge that this grant funds. Reducing the cost of AP tests on top of what our district already pays for also makes acquiring college credit more attainable.” 

Students with family members serving in the military move an average of six to nine times during elementary and secondary school. NMSI’s CRP leverages the College Board’s proven Advanced Placement framework, preserving local control and creating consistent learning across schools. That means students are on pace from their first day in a new school making each move easier.

“NMSI’s College Readiness Program has proven to be exemplary in engaging students in STEM, especially students who are historically underrepresented in these subject areas,” said Louie Lopez, DoD STEM Director. “The Department of Defense offers unique and immersive internship and career opportunities across the defense laboratories and centers, including uniformed civilian roles. STEM skills, such as critical thinking and problem solving, are required for those opportunities and set the foundation for success across other careers and professional endeavors.”