February 22, 2019
While emerging technologies are creating wide open and lucrative careers for STEM graduates, a growing concern among those hiring is landing a diverse and inclusive workforce. According to the website for Benetech, a nonprofit tech company, the U.S. Department of Labor estimates 1.1 million computing-related job openings in the U.S. by 2024. But more than two-thirds of those jobs could go unfilled due to an insufficient pool of candidates.
January 2, 2019
A new report from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities shows that while the numbers of black and Hispanic students in engineering are going up, they still lag significantly in enrollments at the undergraduate and graduate level. For example, Hispanic students make up 19 percent of college undergraduates but only 11 percent of engineering bachelor’s degrees conferred in 2016, an 8-percentage point gap. Similar gaps are found for black students, and the gaps are even more pronounced at the graduate level.
January 2, 2019
According to a report from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), African-American and Hispanic students earning engineering degrees remain underrepresented despite an increase seen in recent years and a growing demand for workers in the industry. The APLU’s 2018 “Status Report on Engineering Education: A Snapshot of Diversity in Degrees Conferred in Engineering”, funded by the National Science Foundation, used data from all universities and colleges with engineering programs in the United States during the 2010-2011 and 2015-2016 academic years.
January 2, 2019
Growing demand for tech workers is fueling an increase in undergraduate engineering degrees. While underrepresented groups are experiencing those gains, too, the uptick is not sufficient to close the gap between their share of those degrees and their share of the college-age population in their state, according to a new report from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities.
September 19, 2018
Preparing a diverse STEM workforce requires engaging students at all levels. But the first round of Alliance winners is skewed toward higher education, specifically, running from 2-year community colleges through graduate training. In addition to Hodapp’s project, NSF gave $10 million to the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, based in Washington, D.C., and the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. They are pursuing a three-pronged attempt to improve the skills of STEM faculty members at dozens of universities in mentoring minority students, grow the ranks of minority STEM faculty, and promote diversity throughout academia. Another $10 million Alliance award, based at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, California, will help community college students in California and three other states overcome deficits in math as the first step into a STEM major. A fourth $10 million Alliance grant, based at the University of Texas in El Paso, will support expansion of a 12-year-old computing alliance among academic institutions that serve a large number of Hispanic students.
March 14, 2018
Across the country, scientists are watching with dismay as the months tick by without any appointment of a White House science adviser. The omission is "symbolically worrisome," said one of those researchers, Christopher F. D’Elia, dean of the College of the Coast and Environment at Louisiana State University. "We’d like to see scientists respected, and a scientist as the science adviser." But a less-visible, if arguably more consequential, White House absence is now compounding — or, to some minds, possibly easing — those anxieties in the university research community.
January 31, 2018
Math departments fail too many calculus students and do not adequately prepare those they pass. That is the message heard from engineering colleges across the country. Calculus has often been viewed as a tool for screening who should be allowed into engineering programs. But it appears to be failing in that regard, too. That is, it is preventing students who should be proceeding from going on, and it is letting students through who do not have the mathematical preparation that they need.
January 29, 2018
Once a week students in professor Cristina Villalobos’ Calculus I class form groups of four to solve math problems. They are encouraged to talk to each other, use their phones to create graphs and ask as many questions as possible. Since 2016, Villalobos and other professors in the Statistical Sciences department at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley have been rolling out the implementation of Active Learning in their introductory math courses, mainly Pre-calculus through Calculus II. The idea is to keep those who are entering STEM related fields — Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics — from becoming discouraged due to lack of understanding.
January 26, 2018
Math is widely seen as a barrier for students. When the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities announced this week that it will work with a dozen institutions to study various approaches for using active-learning techniques in introductory math courses, it called those courses “the most common roadblock to a degree” in the STEM disciplines. The project, which is funded by the National Science Foundation, is focused especially on helping students from underrepresented minorities succeed. By examining the 12 universities’ approaches, it aims to develop models “that can work at virtually any institution.”
January 22, 2018
A National Science Foundation-funded initiative aimed at expanding the use of "active learning" techniques in introductory mathematics courses is expanding from three to 12 universities, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities announced today. The project, known as SEMINAL: Student Engagement in Mathematics through an Institutional Network for Active Learning, has been led by San Diego State University, the University of Colorado at Boulder and the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, which have reworked their math curricula to improve student success in early courses, particularly students from underrepresented minority groups.