Sustaining Oregon’s Cross-Sector Partnerships in STEM Education Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_projects/rb68xd55w

2016

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  • In recent years, state governments in the U.S. have promoted improvements to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education as a means to stimulate future economic growth and increase economic mobility into careers with higher earnings. Oregon’s STEM Initiative includes the creation and development of strategic public-private partnerships which aim to anticipate regional STEM education needs, promote best-practices for reaching underserved populations, and build local STEM learning ecosystems to achieve “collective impact.” Essential to the Initiative’s success is demonstrating that these partnerships are effective cross-sector collaborations with the capacity to develop mutually-beneficial relationships and consolidate programmatic goals. Using an illustrative case study of the South Metro-Salem STEM Partnership, I find that affiliated organizations share in its vision and benefit from partnership through increased access to cross-sector knowledge and increased organizational capacity. However, an institutional environment of shared beliefs only results in the realization of those benefits when each organization has its expectations for participation met and when resources are available for continued partnership work, which has implications for Oregon’s STEM Initiative.
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