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
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Signs Of Progress

Despite the barriers, underrepresented minority groups are making progress in a number of areas. For example, students with disabilities are pursuing careers as scientists, engineers, and technicians. With special accommodations many of them can excel.

student in wheel chairMinority students are pursuing college educations in greater numbers than ever before. Between 1988 and 1998, the number of Hispanic students taking Advanced Placement (AP) exams and qualifying for college credit leapt 303%. African-American students also posted strong progress, with a 159% increase, according to The College Board, “1998 College-Bound Seniors, National Report.” (See figure 4 below.)

Early indications are that many of these students may become teachers; ideally, they will serve as mentors to other minority students. Of the 110,000 undergraduate and post-baccalaureate students currently in NSF’s Collaboratives for Excellence in Teacher Preparation (CETP) programs, close to 50% are minorities. By comparison, only 13% of today’s teacher workforce is made up of minorities.

Throughout the 1990s, women continued an established trend of increased enrollment in graduate SMET programs. In 1976, women represented only one-quarter of SMET graduate enrollment. By 1998, they accounted for 40%. However, there are still some fields in which the enrollment of women remains quite low.

Organizations charged with improving diversity and the quality of SMET education are also making strides in the right direction. NSF supports a number of programs designed to help underrepresented groups further their science and mathematics education, such as: student participating in advance placement exam

  • Program for Persons with Disabilities (PPD) supports projects to remove barriers to full participation in SMET coursework and careers by individuals with impaired hearing, vision, physical agility or dexterity, or learning disabilities.

  • The Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) encourages minority students to complete SMET baccalaureate degrees. About 20,000 participants receive degrees each year under this program.

Figure 4.
Students Participating in Advanced Placement Exams

Number Taking AP Exams Number Graduating AP Seniors

 
1998
1998
Increase
1988
1988
Increase
White
215,110
403,553
88%
113,632
216,406
62%
African-American
10,448
27,054
159%
6,691
15,085
125%
Hispanic
13,322
53,627
303%
7,665
25,240
229%
Total
288,372
618,257
114%
175,572
321,443
98%

 

Source: The College Board, “1998 College-Bound Seniors,” National Report. September 1, 1998,
(see http://www.collegeboard.org/press/senior98/html/980901.html).

 

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Last Modified: Jan 24, 2013

 

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