June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
Educational Research and Methods
12.1004.1 - 12.1004.10
TechSTEP: Stem Talent Expansion Program
Introduction and Background
According to the National Science Board’s Science and Engineering Indicators 2004, enrollment in undergraduate engineering and science programs decreased sharply during the 1980s, followed by slower declines in the 1990s. Since 2000, enrollment numbers have begun to increase again; but the report also indicates that, of those students who do enroll in engineering and science programs, fewer than 50% earn an engineering or science degree within six years. Clearly, there is a continued need for increased enrollment and retention in science and engineering. In The Science and Engineering Workforce: Realizing America’s Potential, the Board strongly recommends national-level action to provide an adequate number of science and engineering graduates to ensure competitiveness in the ever-changing global economy (NSB, 2003). Furthermore, Preparing Our Children (NSB, 1999) urges partnerships between universities and local schools to increase the mathematics and science abilities of high school graduates. TechSTEP directly addresses these concerns.
“the University”’s STEM Talent Expansion Program (TechSTEP) has two major components that will yield increased numbers of graduates in engineering, mathematics, and science. One component is a high school partnership program focused on recruiting new students into our STEM programs, while the other component is a summer enrichment and mentoring program focused on increased retention of first-year college students. The recruiting component is an expansion of pilot programs funded by the College, alumni and industry. One of the programs (Bridges to Engineering) was conducted during the 2005-06 academic year and another is being conducted during 2006-07. Successful elements of TechSTEP are adaptable at other schools with similar demographics. The College of Engineering and Science at “the University” has already been very successful at increasing enrollment, retention, and graduation in recent years. Yet, further improvements are attainable. Our overall goal is an annual increase in STEM graduation rates – from Figure 1. Students working during the Bridges to approximately 220 students per year to a Engineering pilot. sustainable 300 students per year – 36% above our current levels.
At “the University” all STEM programs, with the exception of biology, are housed in the College of Engineering and Science. This has fostered a truly collaborative environment that has led to significant innovations in the classroom and in curriculum development, including our Integrated Engineering Curriculum and Integrated Science Curriculum. We have thirteen undergraduate degree programs including seven engineering programs, two technology programs, computer
Crittenden, K., & Turner, G., & Boudreaux, A., & Nelson, J. (2007, June), Latechstep: Louisiana Tech University's Stem Talent Expansion Program Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/2175
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