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ERIC Number: EJ1143105
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Apr-4
Pages: N/A
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1938-5978
Overcoming Obstacles in Teaching STEM
Rhodes, Scott
New England Journal of Higher Education, Apr 2017
Learning the intricacies of STEM subjects can be a challenge, but teaching these complex subjects presents its own unique set of obstacles. Considering the rising demand for educated STEM professionals, students' dissatisfaction with university-level STEM education is both alarming and eye-opening. Given that competition among universities is fiercer than ever, the low retention rate for STEM programs is a major concern for many higher education institutions. However, in order to adapt to these trends, some universities are reshaping their curriculum and programs to meet student needs and attract top talent. Despite the rigor and complexity of these STEM programs, these strategies make attracting and retaining students achievable. This article provides recommendations for achieving that goal. Recommendations include: (1) Instead of alienating students with impersonal, rigorous courses that provide little support, universities should spend time on the development and well-being of their undergraduates; (2) Incorporate hands-on projects early on to give students a head start on refining skills they will need later in their career instead of reserving real-world experience for upperclassmen; (3) Use a student-centered approach, emphasizing collaborative, self-paced learning; and (4) Provide access to internships, industry partnerships, and guest lectures from leading professionals.
New England Board of Higher Education. 45 Temple Place, Boston, MA 02111. Tel: 617-357-9620; Fax: 617-338-1577; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A