STEM Program

What does it mean to be a nationally certified STEM School?

Hughes STEM High School is applying for STEM certification through AdvancED, which is a non-profit accrediting agency. What is STEM you ask? STEM is a curriculum that educates students in four specific disciplines—science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Our interdisciplinary curriculum provides students with the skills, knowledge, and thinking strategies that prepare them to be innovative, creative, and systematic problem solvers in their future schooling and careers.

Being STEM certified by AdvancED would:

  • lead to more opportunities for each student and advances in the way students learn, the way educators teach, and the way the community supports.
  • provide Hughes with a research-based framework for conducting continuous assessments and enhancements of the quality of its STEM educational program. STEM educational programs are in dire need of improvements nationwide, and AdvancED is ready to help.

Improvements are vital to the future technological advancement and economic success of the United States. By 2018, it is estimated that there will be a need for 8.65 million workers in STEM-related careers ( The need cannot be fulfilled if the United States stays ranked 29th in math and 22nd in science among other industrialized nations and if there is no dramatic increase in the 16% of high school seniors in the United States that are proficient in math and interested in a STEM-related career (U.S. Department of Education).

Why Hughes?

Hughes STEM High School is an educational institution that is rich in history and tradition and resides in the heart of Cincinnati. It has a strong liberal arts foundation and focus on project-based learning. The staff at Hughes provides students with the opportunities to earn college credit and gain real world experiences.

Throughout their studies and experiences, each student receives advisory support in order to ensure that they graduate college-ready and graduate with an assortment of sought-after skills and attributes. The mission of Hughes is to produce a 21st century learning community that will support, challenge, and empower students to become college-ready, engaged citizens and lifelong learners through an integrated STEM and liberal arts curriculum.

How do we get STEM Certified?

In December, two members of AdvancED’s STEM Certification Review Team will be on-site for two days to conduct a certification review of Hughes STEM High School. During the certification review, the two members will collect data via interviewing, observing, and examining additional evidence related to STEM and then they will analyze the data. At three different points, they will individually rate how much Hughes satisfies each of the eleven indicators of the STEM standards.