|College Readiness Initiative|
When looking at key indicators of scientific productivity long dominated by Americans, the United States is losing ground compared to other countries in scientific journal articles authored, patents awarded, and Nobel Prizes won. In addition, in a post-9/11 world, fewer international students and scholars are choosing to come to the United States to work and study, partly due to stricter U.S. immigration policies and increased competition for top students.
The erosion of America's competitive edge in the world marketplace is attributable to a number of factors: low interest and student performance in mathematics and science, the lack of sufficient coordination and alignment between the K-12 and higher education systems in the STEM disciplines, a poorly prepared and poorly rewarded teaching workforce, and a weakening federal commitment to basic research and development. These factors are set against the backdrop of heightened investment and achievement in education, research and development (R&D) by our international competitor nations. Left unaddressed, these signs point to weakened economic growth and U.S. competitiveness.
In support of its goal to strengthen US leadership in STEM, BHEF fosters collaboration among the various components of the education system, government, business, and society-at-large to recruit and prepare students for STEM careers and obtain more support for federal R&D. Our work focuses on six priority areas:
- Priority 1: Science and Math Culture and Achievement. Increase student awareness, interest and achievement in mathematics and science.
- Priority 2: STEM Pipeline. Attract and graduate more students in the STEM disciplines, particularly women and underrepresented minorities.
- Priority 3: Institutional and Systemic Reform. Advance learning methods and systemic reforms that facilitate greater student achievement in mathematics, science, engineering and technology.
- Priority 4: Teaching Workforce. Foster new methods of recruiting, training, supporting, and collaborating with K-12 teachers proficient in mathematics and science.
- Priority 5: STEM Policy. Advance policy and programs that enable U.S. higher education, private industry and government agencies to compete in the global search for the best STEM talent.
- Priority 6: Advocacy and Action. Stimulate national dialogue and local, grass-roots initiatives through alliance building and collaboration among business, education and government.