STEM Certification

Empower your educators to inspire learners in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Discover a holistic STEM certification model for early learning and K–12 students.

Recognizing innovation

As the leader in quality education standards and third-party evaluation, our Cognia STEM Certification program recognizes schools, systems, and programs that demonstrate a strong and effective STEM focus. Over 400 institutions in 35 states and across 15 countries rely on Cognia to assess and validate the quality, rigor, and substance of STEM education programs.

STEM certification from Cognia empowers your early learning, K–12, and postsecondary institutions to:

  • Convey to parents and staff your commitment to high-quality STEM education
  • Build awareness in your community and increase expectations for STEM education
  • Encourage enrollment with a unique differentiator
Having a STEM program that has been recognized by Cognia is something that we felt would be of value to our parents.”
Kate Latham
Head of Education and Community Relations
Primrose School of Burlington, Primrose School of Chelmsford, and Primrose School of Woburn (MA)
Member since 2016

Start your STEM certification journey

STEM certification is available to Cognia accredited institutions and those interested in accreditation.

Throughout this improvement journey, you’ll enjoy support from our team of experienced educators. Evaluators, including specialists in the STEM disciplines, will guide the certification process as they look for hallmarks of quality as described in the Cognia STEM Certification standards. These standards, which Cognia identified through robust research and extensive observations, focus on characteristics like problem-based experiential learning and the integration of STEM thinking into a broad range of activities and learning opportunities.

Unlock the power of STEM
“STEM is a recipe for student success, not just an ingredient.” Dr. Dil Uswatte, Rocky Ridge Elementary (AL)

Frequently asked questions

The Cognia Accreditation process evaluates an institution’s overall ability to meet the needs of learners. Cognia STEM Certification evaluates whether and how a school or program has built a STEM learning ecosystem that embodies the practices and characteristics of a quality, relevant, and age-appropriate STEM education.

Cognia Accreditation is a prerequisite for Cognia STEM Certification. New members seeking certification may earn it alongside accreditation, with a simultaneous review. The institution will be due for reaccreditation and recertification at least every six years.

Institutions already accredited by Cognia may seek initial STEM certification outside of the accreditation term by hosting an “off cycle” certification review. Once initially certified, the STEM certification and accreditation terms will align.

If your institution is accredited by another U.S. regional accreditor, you may request a transfer of your current accreditation to Cognia and then seek STEM Certification. As part of the Cognia global network, you’ll receive unsurpassed resources, including observation tools, surveys, and access to our online professional learning platform.

Being recognized with both Accreditation and STEM Certification from Cognia validates Concept Schools' commitment to excellence in education. These accolades underscore our dedication to providing a holistic learning environment that fosters innovation, critical thinking, and academic achievement. Through the accreditation and certification process, we've not only refined our educational practices but also strengthened our ability to prepare students for success in an ever-evolving world. Our continuous improvement journey will be much more productive and meaningful.”
Michael Kuran, Ph.D.
Chief Academic Officer
Concept Schools (IL)
“The (Cognia-provided STEM) rubric gave us an outline of what we needed to be doing, and it also let us know that we were already doing great things.”
Laura Gowan
STEM coordinator
Forest Heights STEM Academy (AR)

Ready to get started?