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ERIC Number: ED556763
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Oct
Pages: 40
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 73
Middle-Skill STEM State Policy Framework
Rosenblum, Ian; Kazis, Richard
Jobs For the Future
The sector of the economy frequently referred to as STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) is the subject of much national interest and debate. While there is general consensus across various stakeholders such as policymakers, educators, and industry that STEM education and careers are essential to maintaining an innovative and vibrant country, there are frequent and heated disputes: Are there labor shortages in STEM, either overall or in particular fields or regions? How should resources be targeted? What dimensions of the STEM agenda are most critical? Over the last year, Achieving the Dream and Jobs for the Future have focused on a specific segment of the STEM economy that has not been embroiled in those debates--it has, in fact, not received adequate attention until now. Achieving the Dream and Jobs for the Future have zeroed in on those STEM jobs that can be defined as "middle-skill," requiring less than a baccalaureate credential. Middle-skill STEM jobs represent an incredible intersection of economic opportunity for individuals from low income backgrounds and for labor markets with persistent and growing workforce needs. These jobs are far more plentiful than is generally understood, and they pay more than the typical jobs available to those with less than a Bachelor's degree. To elevate the middle-skill STEM agenda and its urgency in national debates on both STEM education and postsecondary student success, and to articulate a set of policy targets and priorities for states that want to be more active in supporting middle-skill STEM pathways, Achieving the Dream and Jobs for the Future have created a Middle-Skill STEM State Policy Framework. It includes five major recommendations: (1) Ensure that STEM programs meet employer needs; (2) Improve math preparation and developmental education to boost student success; (3) Create new models that lead to degree attainment; (4) Improve data collection and data use to enhance transparency, accountability, effectiveness and equity; and (5) Encourage innovation and reward better outcomes for STEM students and the STEM workforce. This is a living document that will be refined over time as the national debate on middle-skill STEM jobs evolves and evidence mounts on effective policies and institutional strategies that improve outcomes for community college students. [To view "Middle-Skill STEM State Policy Framework. Executive Summary" in ERIC, see ED556765.]
Jobs for the Future. 88 Broad Street 8th Floor, Boston, MA 02110. Tel: 617-728-4446; Fax: 617-728-4857; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Two Year Colleges; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust
Authoring Institution: Jobs for the Future; Achieving the Dream, Inc.