This project focuses on state policies that affect undergraduate education in science, technology, engineering & mathematics (STEM) and how strategic partnerships within states can provide new policies, incentives and funding structure for its improvement. The participants are addressing two urgent problems: (1) designing and delivering undergraduate STEM courses and programs that better engage students in learning; (2) preparing citizens to address global challenges (e.g., energy, environment, health, food) that also can be coupled with strong economic development. Research indicates that both problems can be addressed by infusing real-world issues into college STEM courses, especially those with large enrollments at the introductory level. The first meeting held in July 2012 brought teams from 5 states (California, Colorado, Maine, Maryland and New Mexico) that have begun to change content and pedagogy in undergraduate STEM courses in ways that support their long-term objectives. Teams included representatives from higher education, government, and business/industry seeking to align STEM education with their states’ priorities for global sustainability. Subsequent meetings will identify strategies and the people and data that can make these strategies a reality.