Electrical Technology Wins National Award for Outstanding STEM Education

    09.29.20 |

    The Electrical Technology program at Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology has been named a winner of the Excellence and Equity in Community College STEM Award by the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program and the Siemens Foundation.

    Eight winning programs across the country are receiving this award for not only providing outstanding preparation for high-demand jobs in advanced manufacturing, energy, healthcare, or information technology, but also for their intentional outreach and support of diverse populations that typically are underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers.

    Winning colleges receive $50,000. Half will be allocated for program development, and half will be allocated as scholarships for outstanding students, known as Siemens Technical Scholars.

    As part of the award, Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology, in partnership with the Aspen Institute, has selected four students to be recognized as Siemens Technical Scholars. Each student will receive a scholarship of $6,250 toward continuing education or to pay student loan debt. These diverse scholars will share their stories with their peers to demonstrate the economic opportunity available in STEM careers. Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology has named the following sophomore students as Siemens Technical Scholars:

    • Aislyn Eberhard – Pottstown; Technical College High School / Owen J Roberts High School;
    • Charon Navarro – Coatesville; Octorara Area High School; Intern at Tyson Foods summer 2020;
    • Chedlar Laurent – Lancaster; JP McCaskey High School; Intern at Can Corp of America Summer 2020;
    • Micah Whitesel – Mifflintown; Juniata High School.

    Thaddeus Stevens College Electrical Technology Professor, Jon Kramer, pointed to the College’s “Stevens Grant,” as the cornerstone of the College’s passion for equity in higher education. “The College targets Pell-eligible, minority, female, and veteran candidates, strategically targeting recruiting efforts toward school districts with high percentages of low-income and minority demographics. Pell-eligible students attend the College on the Stevens Grant, which covers tuition, books, tools, room and meals, essentially providing a free education to Grant students. In Fall of 2018, more than 41 percent of the Electrical Technology students attended on the Stevens Grant,” he explained. “And more than 27 percent of Electrical Technology students were underrepresented minority students. Recruiting this population remains key to achieving our Founder’s vision for the College.”

     “We are honored and proud to receive this national award recognizing the outstanding education we provide at Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology,” stated President Pedro Rivera. “Thaddeus Stevens College has always offered, and will continue to offer, a unique educational opportunity that is mission-focused on ensuring equitable access to a higher education resulting in employment at a family-sustaining wage,” he added.

    President Rivera also credits the Electrical Technology faculty and staff, including Jon Kramer, Fred Bube, Andrew Jacobs, and Brian Kochan, along with Rene Alshouse and Patricia Meley who work closely with program faculty as advisors to the Electrical Technology students.

    Overall, U.S. jobs in STEM fields are projected to grow at almost double the rate of non-STEM occupations. More than half of all STEM jobs across the United States require no more than an associate’s degree and pay wages that average more than $50,000 annually.

    The community colleges honored with the Excellence and Equity in Community College STEM Award are playing a unique role in working to meet this demand. The selection committee identified exemplary programs that deliver exceptional training for jobs that require strong STEM technical skills, some classroom hands-on training, and a postsecondary credential below the four-year degree. Importantly, these programs are successful in reaching and supporting populations that are under-represented in STEM fields, such as students of color, low-income students, and females.


    “Community college STEM programs are a strong pathway to job security and financial success for many students—whether that means heading right into a great-paying job or getting a more advanced degree,” said David Etzwiler, CEO of the Siemens Foundation. “This award recognizes the colleges that provide an excellent STEM education and develop talent from every community.”


    About the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program: The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program aims to advance higher education practices, policies, and leadership that significantly improve student outcomes. The program is part of the Aspen Institute, a global nonprofit organization committed to realizing a free, just, and equitable society.

    About the Siemens Foundation: The Siemens Foundation has invested more than $122 million in the United States to advance workforce development and education initiatives in science, technology, engineering and math. The Siemens Foundation’s mission is inspired by the culture of innovation, research and continuous learning that is the hallmark of Siemens’ companies. Together, the programs at the Siemens Foundation are closing the opportunity gap for young people in the U.S. and igniting and sustaining today’s STEM workforce and tomorrow’s scientists and engineers. For further information, visit http://www.siemens-foundation.org/ or follow @sfoundation.

    About Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology. Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology is a nationally-recognized, fully accredited two-year residential technical college offering 24 high-wage majors focused on technology, advanced manufacturing and construction trades, and several short-term certificate programs. Founded in 1905 by bequest from the will of Thaddeus Stevens, a US Congressman, PA attorney, and abolitionist, the College continues to provide no-cost education to eligible students, and is traditionally one of the lowest priced institutions in Pennsylvania for those who pay tuition.  Learn more about the Electrical Technology program at Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology by visiting our website at stevenscollege.edu.