Business-Higher Education Forum Receives Funding from Sloan Foundation to Bolster Professional Science Master’s Programs
Will advocate for greater employer support and collaboration with universities
Washington, DC (December 7, 2010) — The Business-Higher Education Forum (BHEF) has been awarded $57,972 by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to build employer awareness and support for Professional Science Master’s (PSM) programs.
The grant will allow BHEF to leverage its successful Securing America’s Leadership in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Initiative to focus on building support for the PSM as a key component of developing a dynamic STEM workforce. PSM programs are designed to prepare students with the scientific training necessary to advance and excel in science and engineering, while simultaneously developing highly valued skills in business and management. In addition to rigorous coursework, most PSMs require an internship component and the active participation of employers in designing the program.
“The PSM prepares students for exciting and well-paying careers in industry, government and the non-profit sector in high-demand fields such as biotechnology, clean energy, applied computing, and forensic science,” says BHEF Executive Director Brian K. Fitzgerald.
While PSMs have been hailed as the “21st Century MBA” and have grown dramatically since they were introduced in the 1990s, their continued growth faces some key challenges, including the fact that many employers are unaware of the PSM and the unique skills that PSM graduates possess.
“In order to continue to ensure a highly skilled innovation workforce, it is crucial to foster new collaborations among business and universities to establish and grow these programs. Doing so will result in a ‘win-win’ for universities, employers and students,” Fitzgerald adds.
“The rapid growth of PSM degrees around the country over the past few years demonstrate that U.S. higher education can respond energetically and directly to employers' expressions of interest in sophisticated science professionals with high-level scientific and business and management skills. We hope this BHEF project will continue to expand understanding and appreciation of the PSM at the senior leadership levels of major employers and universities,” says Sloan Program Director Michael S. Teitelbaum.
BHEF’s STEM Initiative, launched in 2005, has spawned major reports and tools focused on strengthening STEM education, including: A Commitment to America’s Future: Responding to the Crisis in Mathematics and Science Education; An American Imperative: Transforming the Recruitment, Renewal, and Retention of our Nation’s Mathematics and Science Teaching Workforce, a seminal report on recruiting, renewing, and retaining America’s STEM teaching workforce; and the BHEF U.S. STEM Education Model, a unique simulation model that allows users to examine ways to improve the number of students who are interested in and prepared for STEM careers.
About the Business-Higher Education Forum
BHEF is the nation’s oldest organization of senior business and higher education executives dedicated to advancing innovative solutions to U.S. education and workforce challenges. Composed of Fortune 500 CEOs, prominent college and university presidents, and other leaders, BHEF addresses issues fundamental to our global competitiveness. It does so through two initiatives: the College Readiness, Access, and Success Initiative (CRI), addressing college- and work-readiness, access, and success; and the Securing America’s Leadership in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Initiative, promoting America’s leadership in STEM. BHEF and its members drive change locally, work to influence public policy at the national and state levels, and inspire other leaders to act. Learn more at www.bhef.com.