∼ Hot Topics ∼
Answering the Challenge
"The future of Silicon Valley's economy depends upon a work force that is proficient in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Because we can no longer rely on foreign talent to fill the jobs that make up our region's unique economy, we must educate a wide range of students to succeed in STEM-related subjects. Moreover, we need to help them develop critical-thinking and problem-solving skills, and encourage communication, collaboration, creativity and innovation to enable them to fill the jobs of the future."
"Foothill College is answering this challenge through a bold new initiative that will prepare today's generation for tomorrow's demands. The Foothill College Science Learning Institute will present an innovative model based on educational research and best practices for the successful teaching and learning of science, technology, engineering and mathematics at all levels. With your help, the institute can make a pronounced and positive influence on our students' -and California's-future." - Judy C. Miner, Ed.D. President, Foothill College
There is greater demand for science and mathmatics training for jobs but fewer degrees are being awarded in these fields. As a result the US is becoming less competitive globally. To address this issue there is a push to involve Community Colleges by retraining laid off workers and by creating curriculum to educate more transfer students in the sciences. But as enrollment has grown funding has declined to the point of not being able to keep up with demand.
- Many future jobs will require science or mathematics training to successfully compete for a job.
- In 2001, only 8% of all degrees awarded in the US were in engineering, mathematics or the physical sciences.
- The US ranks 20th internationally on number of graduate degrees awarded in engineering, computer science, and mathematics.
- If current trends continue, 90% of all scientists and engineers will be living in Asia.
- Community colleges serve nearly three times as many undergraduate students as UC and CSU combined.
- California community colleges enrollment has grown 44% in the past 15 years.
- Per student funding in 2009-10 was lower than in 1995-96, adjusted for inflation.
- Due to lack of funding, California community colleges project an inability to serve as many as 670,000 students who are seeking an education in 2011-12.
- Currently 48% of UC’s bachelor of science degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics are earned by transfer students from community colleges.
- With California’s high unemployment rate, record numbers of students are turning to community colleges for job retraining.