April 20, 2017
“Computer Science Is Tough Sell to Women” (U.S. News, April 11) casts a much-needed spotlight on the shortfall in women earning degrees in STEM disciplines like engineering and computer science. The STEM degree deficit hardly just affects earnings. A dearth of diversity creates a headwind for discovery and innovation, too. A growing body of research has found that diverse teams are more innovative than homogenous ones, especially within STEM contexts. Compared exclusively to male teams, for example, mixed-gendered teams generate 40% more technology patents.
October 19, 2016
David May is the project director for Advancing Mathematics Pathways for Student Success, a project sponsored by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. Organizers are attempting to coordinate efforts among colleges around the country that are trying to guide more students into statistics. Colleges in at least 15 states have joined the movement. He said the effort in Maryland has made it a "model state." "I think Maryland is going to be one of the places that we will point to as a place where they've gone about it in a good way, getting the faculty involved, getting the state involved, and not having it be a college-by-college effort," he said.
September 19, 2016
When Brandon Ruotolo started looking for academic jobs, he knew one thing for certain: He wanted a tenure-track position. Ruotolo spent five years as a postdoc in England, which does not offer tenure. So he knew he wanted the job protections and academic freedom that tenure offers. But he also knew about the downside. The chemist had heard the tenure horror stories of seemingly competent colleagues who got turned down after long, behind-closed-door deliberations.
July 29, 2016
Over the next five years, underrepresented student enrollment in postsecondary education is projected to climb 25 percent. But will the biomedical sciences and STEM workforce experience the same demographic shift? The Coalition of Urban Serving Universities, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities and the Association of American Medical Colleges hope so: the group published a report with recommendations for ways to increase underrepresented student enrollment in biomedical sciences and STEM graduate programs.
April 11, 2016
Math is a stumbling block for many students, and instruction may be part of the reason why. Introductory math courses that serve as gateways to majors in science, technology, engineering, and math can be stultifying bores, a presidential council has said, leaving students "with the impression that all STEM fields are dull and unimaginative." The council’s members have even suggested assigning faculty members from physics or computer science, for example, to teach the subject. Meanwhile, according to a recent critique, math curricula overemphasize abstract subjects like trigonometry and calculus over more-practical ones, unnecessarily demoralizing students and costing the nation human potential.
January 12, 2016
- The $1.5 trillion spending measure that just passed in Congress is particularly good news for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which will see its budget increase by $2 billion, or 6 percent, the largest increase in over a decade. In recent years, the agency, and the research universities across the country that receive significant funding from it, have struggled with funding cuts and a failure to keep up with inflation that has hindered their work.
April 13, 2015
Now that the Common Core State Standards in English/language arts and mathematics have been adopted in much of the country, states are busy with their implementation. We have no doubt that, over time, these new K-12 standards will produce larger numbers of college-ready (and career-ready) students—as promised. College-bound freshmen can expect to head off to their colleges of choice ready for the deeply engaging learning experiences that await them.
December 4, 2014
The Obama administration is once again gathering hundreds of college presidents here today for a second White House-run summit that will promote new commitments to help low-income students. Administration officials said they had won some 500 promises from college leaders, states, higher education associations, nonprofit organizations and other entities.
December 4, 2014
Higher-education leaders from across the country are pledging to take steps to widen college opportunity and help more students finish degrees, an initiative President Obama will promote at a gathering in Washington on Thursday. The event will build on a summit Obama hosted in January at which he gathered similar commitments for college access from more than 100 colleges and 40 related organizations.
November 12, 2014
Even in higher education, where knowledge-sharing is prized, institutions have a tendency to take a protective approach to adapting to change. But what if colleges' and universities' collective expertise in a particular program area were harnessed toward meeting a common challenge? That's essentially the thinking behind an unusual cross-institution partnership now working to improve the preparation of middle and high school math teachers for the changes wrought by the Common Core State Standards for mathematics. The Mathematics Teacher Education Partnership, or MTEP, a project of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities.