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T-STEM Academies



Texas Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (T-STEM) Academies are rigorous secondary schools focusing on improving instruction and academic performance in science and mathematics-related subjects and increasing the number of students who study and enter STEM careers. T-STEM Academies are demonstration schools and learning labs that develop innovative methods to improve science and mathematics instructions.

Prior to the 2011-2012 school year, the only path to become a T-STEM Academy was a T-STEM Academy grant through the Texas Education Agency or one of the private partners in the Texas High School Project.

Beginning with the 2011-2012 school year, a second pathway was created. Campuses, using local or other sources of funding, that are implementing the T-STEM Design Blueprint with fidelity may apply to be designated as a T-STEM Academy. T-STEM campuses are designated based on a rigorous designation process. Once a campus is designated, professional development and technical assistance are provided to designated T-STEM academies to serve as demonstration schools and learning labs to showcase innovative instruction methods which integrate technology and engineering into science and mathematics instruction. Designated T-STEM campuses serve students in grades 6-12 or 9-12.

Proven Dropout Prevention Strategies

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) focuses state and federal resources on identifying and replicating proven strategies for dropout prevention and recovery. T-STEM Academies encourage rigorous and relevant instruction to better engage students in learning academic and social skills necessary to complete high school and to prepare them for postsecondary success.

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School districts or open-enrollment charters may apply for a campus to be awarded T-STEM designation if certain criteria are met.  Campuses awarded T-STEM designation are provided technical assistance and professional development to ensure implementation of the T-STEM Blueprint with fidelity.  Sample designation criteria are below:

  • Target and enroll students who are at-risk of dropping out of school
  • Be a school of choice with no requirements for enrollment such as test scores, essay questions, etc.
  • Serve grades 6-12 or grades 9-12 with an active relationship with the feeder middle school(s)
  • Implement the T-STEM Blueprint and demonstrate progress on the Blueprint continuum.

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Operating T-STEM Academies: 65 (five of which are T-STEM/ECHS blended models)

  • 26 campuses grades 9-12
  • 39 campuses grades 6-12

Over 35,000 students served 


  • School-within-school (SwS)
  • Stand Alone Models

T-STEM Blueprint Benchmarks:

  • Mission-driven leadership
  • T-STEM Culture
  • Student Outreach, Recruitment, and Retention
  • Teacher Selection, Development, and Retention
  • Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
  • Strategic Alliances
  • Academy Advancement and Sustainability


  •  9th grade T-STEM students had higher likelihoods of passing Algebra I than peers in comparison schools
  •  10th grade T-STEM students scored higher than comparison students in TAKS Math and had higher likelihoods of meeting or exceeding TAKS standards in all subjects
  • T-STEM students had a higher attendance rate than those in comparison schools

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Funding Information

  • 2012-2013 biennium Texas Education Agency (state funds) $1,730,000
  • 2008-2011 biennia Texas Education Agency (state funds) 32 Operating Academies - $23,583,456 
  • Communities Foundation of Texas Funding (FY 2008-2010) 19 Operating Academies - $15,410,949
  • Prior to 2008-2009 biennium (state funds) $13,890,873

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T-STEM Academies Grantees and Funding

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Laws and Rules

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Federal & State Education Policy
1701 N. Congress Ave.
Austin, TX 78701

Stacy Avery

Page last modified on 6/20/2013 10:17:43 AM.