2000 CEOSE Biennial
Report to Congress

Executive Summary

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  A Growing Demand; An Inadequate Supply
 
  Barriers To A Competitive SMET Workforce
 
  Signs Of Progress
 
  Recommendations
     Recommendations

CEOSE is providing a series of recommendations for addressing the challenges laid out in its biennial report. Five of these are presented below.

1. NSF should create programs that encourage minorities, women, and persons with disabilities to enter SMET fields and address the barriers to their entry.

Action Steps:

  • Fund research on barriers to minority graduate degree attainment and design programs to address the identified barriers.
  • Assess the impact of discontinuing the Minority Graduate Fellowship Program and pursue new strategies to provide support to minorities at the graduate level.
  • Increase funding of intervention programs for women, minorities, and students with disabilities at the graduate and undergraduate levels.
  • Fund incentives to provide supplemental support that allows individuals with severe disabilities to participate in the workforce. These could include training programs in workplace-based equipment such as voice recognition systems, automated Braille printouts, robotic devices, and the new information technologies that allow research to be carried out virtually or through remote access.

2. NSF should raise the visibility of the need for the minority, female and disabilities audiences to participate in SMET fields.

Action Steps:

  • Actively promote and sell SMET by defining and highlighting occupations, developing economic data on availability of positions and professional tracks, and developing salary structure information and comparisons.
  • Collaborate extensively with the U.S. Department of Education and other Federal agencies to further develop math and science enrichment programs.
  • Institute an award to recognize exemplary achievement of SMET workplace diversity by employers in business, government and academia.
  • 3. NSF should establish partnerships with elementary and secondary schools and colleges and universities to improve the quality of science and math
    education at all levels.

    Action Steps:

    • Increase funding and support to programs that improve the skills and teaching capabilities of K-12 science and mathematics teachers across the nation, particularly in urban schools.

    • Adopt and implement at the state level comprehensive school standards concerning mathematics and science curricula, mathematics and science teacher qualifications, physical infrastructure, technological assets, built environments, and assistive technologies.

    • Fund aggressive, focused intervention efforts targeting women, underrepresented minorities and students with disabilities at the high school level, at the transition into post-secondary education, and at the transition from community college into four-year degree programs.

    4. NSF should become the model for a diversity-based workforce in order to demonstrate what can be accomplished when barriers are lifted.

    Action Steps:

    • Seek equitable distribution of underrepresented minorities, women and persons with disabilities at all staff levels throughout NSF.

    • Collect demographic data on review panelists and Committees of Visitors in an effort to maintain diversity of review panels and ad hoc reviewers.

    • Target research funding to provide eligibility to nontenured-track principal investigators to achieve a higher level of female and minority participation.
    • Continue the policy of embedding diversity at all levels and in all programs throughout NSF, and delineate strategies for implementing this policy and establishing measures of accountability.

    5. NSF should create accountability and measurement systems to measure progress in the various programs it supports.

    Action Steps:

    • Require written comments on electronic proposal submissions that address the intellectual merit and broader impacts of the proposed activity.

    • Implement an annual NSF-wide quantitative assessment of the effectiveness of proposal criteria implementation.

    • Establish clear lines of responsibility and define effective accountability mechanisms for each program in the diversity continuum.

    America’s exceptional SMET workforce is at the core of the economic prosperity of the last decade and of U.S. technological leadership. Sustaining the quality, productivity and creativity of this critical human resource in the years ahead will require new ways of thinking about meeting the need for SMET professionals. NSF recognizes – as outlined in the CEOSE Report – that women, minorities and persons with disabilities represent a huge source of underutilized talent that can help meet this critical need.

    Effective use of this resource base creates enormous challenges for NSF and other leaders in business, government and education. A partnership among all of the involved parties is of vital importance to moving this process forward. NSF intends to take a leadership role in more effectively bringing women, minorities, and persons with disabilities into the SMET workforce and ensuring that America will retain its competitive edge in the global economy of the 21st century.

     

     

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    Last Modified: Jan 24, 2013

     

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