Paving Smoother Pathways for All Students: Systemic Undergraduate STEM Reform

Sunday, 15 February 2015: 8:00 AM-9:30 AM
Room LL21F (San Jose Convention Center)
With the persistence rate of undergraduate STEM degree aspirants regularly around 40 percent, it is clear that students are not consistently receiving the support they need to succeed. The National Research Council and National Academy of Engineering consensus study on two- and four-year STEM degrees takes a student-centered view of the barriers to earning a STEM degree and the opportunities to improve persistence among degree-seekers. The report includes new analyses of who STEM degree aspirants are, the pathways students take to earn their degree, the barriers that students face, and successful reform efforts. In addition, research is explored on barriers such as poor undergraduate instruction, the “weed-out” culture of STEM courses, ineffective remedial courses, confusing and inconsistent articulation across institutions, and inadequate mentoring. The report includes recommendations for how departments, institutions, states, and the U.S. federal government can work together to create clearer and smother degree pathways. This session will include an overview of the report’s conclusions and recommendations, an example of a successful system for student transfer from two- to four-year institutions, and an evidence-based perspective on creating lasting and meaningful reform. After the presentations and remarks by discussants, the audience will form small groups to consider relevant ideas and questions before opening the session for discussion with the panel and a summary by the discussant.
Martin Storksdieck, Oregon State University
Michael Feder, National Research Council
Martin Storksdieck, Oregon State University
Linda L. Slakey, AAU, APLU, AAC&U
Shirley M. Malcom, AAAS Education and Human Resources
Barriers and Opportunities for Completing 2- and 4-Year STEM Degrees
Adrianna Kezar, University of Southern California
Research Findings on Implementing Change in Higher Education
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