Texas Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Initiative (T-STEM)

Texas Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (T-STEM) Academies are open-enrollment 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 programs:

  • Enroll historically underserved students, targeting at-risk and economically disadvantaged 
  • Provide dual credit at no cost to students
  • Improve STEM instruction and the academic performance of students 
  • Engage students and expose them to innovation and problem-solving in real-world contexts
  • Offer rigorous instruction and accelerated courses
  • Provide academic and social support services to help students succeed
  • Increase college readiness
  • Align to regional workforce needs, guiding students into high-demand, high-wage careers
  • Partner with Texas institutions of higher education (IHEs) to reduce barriers to college access 

The T-STEM Blueprint provides foundational principles and standards for innovative partnerships with colleges, universities, and industry. The T-STEM Academy (grades 9-12) must implement before serving students. Additionally, outcome-based measures in Access, Attainment, and Achievement provide guidance for program implementation and continuous improvement efforts. 


T-STEM Designation:

Under the authority of Texas Education Code (TEC) §39.235 and Texas Texas Administrative Code (TAC) §102.1093, the TEA developed a designation process for the Texas Science, Technology Engineering and Mathematics Initiative. The designation process ensures that districts and colleges operating T-STEM campuses maintain the integrity of the model, which was researched and designed to target and serve students who might not otherwise attend college. 

    Nearly 47,000 students are served by T-STEM campuses.Texas is home to 95 state designated T-STEM Academies and has 1 planning year campus for the 2019-2020 academic school year. Access the CCRSM interactive map to locate T-STEMs across Texas HERE

    Designation Process 

    To launch a T-STEM program, a district must submit a Planning Year Application to be eligible to open a new T-STEM Academy, become a member of the TEA's official planning year cohort, and begin serving students the following academic year. 

    The T-STEM Planning Year Application is open throughout the fall semester. Eligible Districts are notified of their status in the spring to provide 12-18 months of T-STEM planning. Over the course of the planning year, the T-STEM leadership team will receive technical assistance to meet T-STEM Blueprint requirements via an assigned technical assistance coach. By the end of the planning year, all design elements contained in the six Benchmarks should be embedded into school structures. 

    After meeting the design elements of the T-STEM Blueprint, the T-STEM is ready to serve students an may apply Provisional Designation. New T-STEMs remain Provisional for four years and are held accountable to Provisional Outcomes-Based Measures (OBM) during this time. The TEA will provide technical assistance the T-STEM leadership team to promote implementation of the T-STEM model with fidelity. Each year, the TEA will provide OBM data for informational purposes, throughout the Provisional phase so that T-STEMs can respond to challenges and be ready to meet Designated T-STEM OBM criteria. 

    At the end of the 4th year, the T-STEM must apply for Designation status and must meet the state's Designated OBM criteria. TEA requires Designation renewal annually for each T-STEM Academy. 

    Note: TEA is currently in a phase-in process for the new T-STEM Blueprint. All Data are for information and planning purposes only. This information will not be used to determine designation status. 


    Laws and Rules

    The following laws and rules related to T-STEM programs are available below:


    T-STEM Blueprint Redesign

    During the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 school years, TEA engaged with stakeholder groups across Texas to provide recommendations to the T-STEM Blueprint and Designation process. Feedback was received through public comment period which was open Thursday, February 15, 2018 - Wednesday, February 28, 2018. The TEA has incorporated those recommendations and included Outcomes-Based Measures (OBMs) which are included in the current T-STEM redesigned Blueprint.

    TEA anticipates launching a comprehensive revision process of the T-STEM Blueprint in 2021-22 and will seek broad stakeholder input. For more information on the timeline for future T-STEM Blueprint revisions, sign up for our CCRSM Newsletter.

    Contact Information

    College, Career, and Military Prep
    Postsecondary Preparation Programs
    1701 N. Congress Ave
    Austin, TX 78701
    Email: CCRSM@tea.texas.gov