June 15, 2021 — Denver, Colo. — MindSpark Learning® (MindSpark™), a nonprofit that delivers extraordinary and sustainable learning experiences for educators and professionals, announced today the acquisition of Couragion, a leading provider of STEM career literacy and workforce development solutions.
Couragion works with educators to provide inclusive, work-based learning experiences that prepare students to be future ready. With intentional impact-first methods to encourage the participation of underrepresented students, Couragion advances student intention, motivation and confidence rates to pursue rewarding career pathways.
Together, MindSpark and Couragion have a long history of driving STEM education and educator preparation programs. Their collaboration led to the development of STEMpath – a 24-credit graduate program proven to boost the capability and diversity of STEM and Computer Science (CS) teachers – ultimately driving a systems-level change that increases the number of students entering the STEM workforce.
The companies will continue to work together with educators and administrators, industry partners, and communities to reengineer education into a high-impact sector that solves society’s biggest challenges. The combined teams and technology platform will offer their customers and partners more accessible and equitable solutions on a global scale.
“Today marks a significant day in MindSpark history. We’re excited about our expansion into the education technology market with Couragion’s powerful and relevant suite of software applications. Melissa Risteff, Laura Farrelly, and Mike Castillo created a brilliant and successful organization and we are honored to carry this vision and legacy forward. MindSpark and Couragion are the perfect pairing. Together we are accelerating what is possible and elevating education to a high-impact sector, ” said MindSpark CEO Kellie Lauth.
“Couragion amplifies diverse role models to build awareness of what’s possible and has demonstrated promising outcomes specifically for underrepresented and highly-impacted students. MindSpark’s global footprint will expand Couragion’s reach, accessibility, and influence on the education ecosystem. I am personally excited to join the MindSpark family to further the goal of empowering human capital and unleashing collective impact. We couldn’t have found a better forever home for Couragion,” said Couragion Co-Founder and former CEO Melissa Risteff.
Risteff joins MindSpark as its Chief Strategy Officer. With more than two decades of leadership and tech industry expertise, she will work across the organization on growth initiatives and new product development, while still providing visionary leadership for Couragion and STEMpath.
About MindSpark Learning
MindSpark Learning® (MindSpark™) is a nonprofit that empowers educators to solve society’s biggest challenges by providing transformative professional learning experiences. As social designers, MindSpark creates and facilitates professional development opportunities using a foundation of innovation, equity, entrepreneurship, and workforce literacy.
MindSpark has impacted more than 31,847 educators and 985,410 students in 3,472 schools across 50 states and 68 countries. MindSpark nurtures meaningful relationships with more than 650 industry and community partners. For more information, please visit www.mindspark.org.
Couragion provides STEM career literacy and workforce development solutions for educators, students, and advocates. With a nationwide call for improving the accessibility and quality of STEM education, Couragion strongly believes that Workforce and Career Literacy should be integrally woven into STEM education experiences to improve classroom relevance, better inform student choice, and increase retention in high growth career paths. Couragion works with educators to take their STEM teaching and learning to the next level with contextualized, work-based learning initiatives. Couragion’s workforce analytics generate insights about the perception of careers to understand how to better cultivate a STEM talent pipeline. Couragion is an educational technology social enterprise generously supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), AT&T Aspire, and the Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade. Learn more at www.couragion.com and their blog STEM Crossings.
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