SAP Canada Leading the Way in STEM
As a technology company, consistently pushing limits and remaining on the cutting edge reigns king. In 2012, SAP’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) realized that a technology skills shortage is a very real concern in North America. Not only is there a shortage of young people pursuing technology education relative to job market demands, but Canada also has a low retention rate of graduated science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) talent.
From this need, SAP CSR’s signature initiative was born with a goal to create direct laddering pathways between high school, post-secondary, and technology careers. September 2014 marked the launch of the first two programs, including one at Templeton Secondary School in Vancouver.
Templeton STEM will see students enter the program in grade 8 and participate in interdisciplinary, project-based curriculum to develop an enhanced understanding of STEM principles. Throughout the program, students will be paired with a mentor from SAP to support them through goal setting and career planning while participating in workplace experiences, skills camps, and job shadowing. Upon graduation, students in the program will be eligible for reserved seating and scholarships within the British Columbia Institute of Technology’s (BCIT) School of Computing, with plans to scale this to other programs at BCIT.
Unique Program Leads the Way
Why are we so excited about this program? And what makes it so unique?
The strength of this program lies in its three partnerships that span secondary and post-secondary education, as well as its ties to the technology industry.
All partners have a vested interest in the success of the program. SAP is committed to creating a pipeline of talent for the technology sector. BCIT is committed to maintaining its reputation for creating career-ready grads in relevant disciplines. The Vancouver School Board is committed to giving students the best education possible.
While the steering committee helps to set the overall direction, the teachers have led the program from pedagogy to execution. The teachers are passionate about their subject areas and profoundly committed to student success. CSR has identified this as a key facet in ensuring we create a program that lives on long after the founding players.
The STEM program is the first of its kind in Canada, and SAP is leading the way. It’s early days yet, but momentum is already building and we’re excited to continue along this path towards a success story that is truly Made In Canada.
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