Why STEM Matters: A Conversation with Brian Kelly and the Ed Doody from the National Research Center for College & University Admissions (NRCCUA)
1. Why does STEM matter to your organization?
The United States currently faces a critical, economic crisis driven by a growing gap between the skill requirements of a 21st Century workforce and the resident skill sets of our youth. STEM education is the catalyst to prepare and transition students into this workforce. Our My College Options college and career planning initiative (www.mycollegeoptions.org) is designed to motivate students to achieve their dreams of higher education and successful careers.
2. What is your organization doing about it?
NRCCUA collaborates with the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA), the Alliance for Science & Technology Research in America (ASTRA) and STEMconnector to research high school student interest in STEM pursuits. In addition, we cooperate with after-school organizations to deliver outreach programs encouraging student interest in STEM careers.
3. Has your organization been successful at reaching its STEM goals?
NRCCUA delivers research on student interest in STEM pursuits and related trend metrics to our partner organizations. Hence, we are a conduit to success; the real win is the direct correlation, on a local level, of employer requirements and student skills.
4. If you could have three wishes granted by the STEM genie, what would they be?
a) Corporations and professional societies need to directly communicate their career opportunities featuring young, iconic professionals to inspire student interest in STEM.
b) We need to place a higher emphasis on effective extracurricular STEM programs.
c) We need to better link STEM curriculum to these consequential, extracurricular STEM initiatives.
5. Beyond your organization, what one thing should be done now to help solve the STEM crisis?
This is not a STEM crisis; this is a national economic crisis. We need to collectively focus on solutions, not on educational challenges. We need to emulate successful, local solutions nationally and broadcast the ROI derived from these successful programs.
About The National Research Center for College & University Admissions(NRCCUA®)
NRCCUA operates the nation¹s largest college and career planning program, My College Options (www.mycollegeoptions.org). NRCCUA is a non-profit educational research organization based in Lee¹s Summit, MO. For 39 years, NRCCUA has conducted the largest nationwide survey of high school students, which serves as a communications link between college-bound high school students and public and private colleges and universities. For more information, visit www.nrccua.org.
We would like to extend our gratitude to Co-chair, National Research Center for College & University Admissions. NRCCUA has been building educational bridges between college-bound high school students, high school educators and college admissions officers for almost 40 years. My College Options, the nation’s largest college planning program, gathers valuable information on student interest in college majors and career paths – millions of high school students participate each year.