Friday, July 13, 2012

Can the US Keep Up With STEM Demand?

Reports that US students are falling behind students from other countries in science and math have highlighted a growing problem in the US. If we are going to compete globally, we must do a better job of preparing and graduating STEM students.

In a recent Chronicle article, S. James Gates Jr. and Chad Mirkin discuss the recent report from the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, which calls for producing one million additional college graduates in STEM-related fields. Noting that approximately half of college graduates who initially express an interest in gaining a STEM degree end up with a non-STEM degree at graduation, Gates and Mirkin provide several suggestions for dealing with the call for more STEM graduates. They emphasize the need to retain those students who were initially interested in STEM degrees. Some of their suggestions include active-learning teaching approaches in introductory STEM courses and discovery-based labs.

Read more recommendations on retaining STEM students by linking to the article.

What strategies do you use to retain STEM students? Where do you see trouble spots, and what can institutions of higher education do about them?

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