NACOGDOCHES, Texas — To better reflect its mission and scope, Stephen F. Austin State University’s STEM Research and Learning Center has been renamed the STEM Education and Research Center. This name change marks an exciting new chapter in the center's commitment to serving the educational needs of local school districts in deep East Texas.

The STEM Research and Learning Center has long been a place for academic support and resources for educators and students alike, hosting well-known STEM field days each year for regional K-12 schools. Its evolution into the STEM Education and Research Center is a natural progression that aligns with its expanded focus on fostering excellence in science, technology, engineering and mathematics education within the region.

Serving as the outreach arm of the College of Sciences and Mathematics, the center is designed to advance STEM learning, pedagogy and practice.

“The decision to rebrand comes at a pivotal moment as the STEM Education and Research Center reaffirms its commitment to advancing the college’s vision: To empower the next generation of STEM professionals to lead and serve in a changing world,” said Dr. Kimberly Childs, dean of the College of Sciences and Mathematics and executive director of the center. “Through the STEM Education and Research Center, we strive to inspire and challenge students to achieve the college vision for their lives.”

JacksTeach, an academic program designed to equip students majoring in mathematics, biology, physics or chemistry with the necessary tools to obtain a teaching certification for secondary education, will now be housed within the center, consolidating resources and amplifying its impact. JacksTeach is a replication of UTeach, a nationally recognized STEM teacher preparation program, and a partner of the university’s educator preparation program in the James I. Perkins College of Education.

“JacksTeach is able to provide our students with extensive and meaningful classroom experiences through strong partnerships with local school districts,” said Dr. Jane Long, director of JacksTeach and co-director of the center. “We are very excited for new avenues to support the schools that make our work possible through the new STEM Education and Research Center.”

Through its continued collaboration with local school districts and educational stakeholders, the STEM Education and Research Center remains steadfast in its mission to foster talented STEM students into lifelong learners and innovators.

“We embrace the opportunity to unite the STEM Education and Research Center and JacksTeach,” said Dr. Jana Redfield, co-director of the center. “As one unit, we will strengthen institutionalized programs while developing new and innovative STEM offerings that will positively impact the future of K-12 students, educators and the SFA community.”

The STEM Education and Research Center will hold an open house from 4 to 6 p.m. May 7 in the Cole STEM Building. 

For more information, visit the STEM Education and Research Center website.

Stephen F. Austin State University, the newest member of The University of Texas System, began a century ago as a teachers’ college in Texas’ oldest town, Nacogdoches. Today, it has grown into a regional institution comprising six colleges — business, education, fine arts, forestry and agriculture, liberal and applied arts, and sciences and mathematics. Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, SFA enrolls approximately 11,000 students while providing the academic breadth of a state university with the personalized attention of a private school. The main campus encompasses 421 acres that include 37 academic facilities, nine residence halls, and 68 acres of recreational trails that wind through its six gardens. The university offers more than 80 bachelor’s degrees, more than 40 master’s degrees and four doctoral degrees covering more than 120 areas of study. Learn more by visiting the SFA website.