BHEF Receives $400,000 in Grants to Support its STEM Higher Education and Workforce Project
Northrop Grumman Corporation, Science Applications International Corporation, Washington University in St. Louis, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation provide foundational support for new project
Contact: Alex Sittig 202-367-2393
Washington, DC (January 31, 2012) — The Business-Higher Education (BHEF) announced today that it has received grants from three of its members—Northrop Grumman Corporation ($150,00), Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) ($100,000), and Washington University in St. Louis ($100,000)—and from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation ($50,000) to support the launch of BHEF’s STEM Higher Education and Workforce Project.
The grants from the three BHEF members will provide multi-year support as BHEF develops its complementary national and regional strategies to attract and retain undergraduates in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, and link college-level STEM learning to emerging workforce needs. The Sloan Foundation grant supports the planning for a BHEF STEM pilot in Maryland with the University System of Maryland and BHEF members, to be the first in a series of regional pilots around the country focused on developing innovative university-industry partnerships to significantly enrich undergraduate STEM education.
“BHEF is very pleased to receive these generous awards from our members Northrop Grumman, SAIC, and Washington University in St. Louis, and from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, to support the STEM Higher Education and Workforce Project,” said BHEF Chief Executive Officer Brian Fitzgerald. “These grants provide vital financial resources that will help drive this important work and demonstrate new models of how business and higher education can effectively collaborate to address workforce needs while enhancing undergraduate STEM education.”
In November 2011, BHEF announced the launch of the STEM Higher Education and Workforce Project, a five-year effort to increase the retention of students, particularly women and members of underrepresented minority groups, in STEM fields, deepen STEM learning, and better align college-level STEM with workforce needs. The project will leverage resources of BHEF member corporations and universities, and other partners, in regional efforts to increase the relevance of undergraduate STEM education to real-world challenges and prepare the workforce of the future. In doing so, it is expected that students’ persistence in STEM fields will increase as they see the application of their studies to careers in STEM. Among the kinds of strategies the project will explore include research-based courses for first-year students; internships in corporate and government facilities; redesigned courses and new methods of teaching STEM; and early career advising, mentoring, and academic support.
As part of the national dissemination and scaling strategy, BHEF will partner with organizations such as the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA), a trade organization representing major defense and aerospace companies, and the Association of American Universities (AAU). AAU has announced that it would undertake a five-year initiative to improve the quality of undergraduate teaching and learning in STEM fields at its member universities. AAU will work closely with BHEF and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities on its project.
In June 2011 BHEF was awarded a $401,639 grant from the Office of Naval Research (ONR) to adapt the BHEF U.S. STEM Education Model, a system dynamics model of the STEM pipeline that was developed by engineers at the Raytheon Company and donated to BHEF, to identify the most effective strategies for increasing the number of STEM-proficient graduates for the Navy's workforce. The grant will also support piloting those strategies in cross-sector collaborations involving higher education institutions, business, and the Navy.
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BHEF's STEM Initiative, launched in 2005, has spawned: (1) innovative modeling tools, including BHEF's U.S. STEM Education Model, a unique simulation model developed by Raytheon Company and donated to BHEF, which allows users to examine ways to improve the number of students who are interested in and prepared for STEM careers; and BHEF's Metropolitan College Learn & Earn Model that enables users to explore how current workload, workforce expansion, and participation in Learn and Earn programs affect workforce composition, employee productivity, and employer benefits; (2) an issue brief and program profiles on Professional Science Master's programs that prepare individuals for STEM careers in business and government by providing interdisciplinary graduate level coursework that combines education in STEM disciplines with training in management and workplace skills; and (3) major reports, including A Commitment to America's Future: Responding to the Crisis in Mathematics and Science Education; and 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.
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); and the Securing America’s Leadership in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Initiative. 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.