Engaging Students More to Improve STEM Graduation NumbersNovember 27, 2011
A recent article in the Huffington Post addresses the importance of producing qualified graduates for STEM careers. While President Obama and the Jobs Council have recognized the importance of attracting more students to careers in science, engineering, and technology, they also note the challenge is to retain them. Nearly 40% of all college students planning to obtain a degree in science, technology, engineering, or math switch to a different degree or fail to obtain a degree at all.
Unfortunately, this has a major impact on innovation and economics. The author of the article, James Gentile, proposes we rethink how we address STEM education at the undergraduate level. Engaging students earlier on in the research process is one method. Cultivating learning is very important for engaging students, and is much more effective than traditional lecture formats. In other words, we need to make what students learn immediately relevant to society and the scientific field.
I think it is a fantastic idea to translate the rewards of being part of creating innovation early on. Being on the cutting edge of research is exciting and will serve as a reminder to students of what is possible in a scientific or technological career.
Engaging students is especially important to Hispanics. We are the largest minority group attending colleges, but there is a large number who do not graduate or finish their degree. Through better engagement, more Hispanic students can better understand the importance of their education and how it impacts the economy and society. Many mentoring programs geared towards providing interested students with a successful role model have had success in the Hispanic community. Continuing mentoring programs and engaging students more in STEM courses will have an impact on producing more STEM graduates.This entry was posted in Education and tagged STEM, undergraduate education. Bookmark the permalink. ← Using Role Models and Mentors to Encourage Hispanics Interested in STEM Hispanics and Mentoring Programs Are Critical in Filling STEM Positions →