GAO HIGHER EDUCATION. Federal Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Programs and Related Trends

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1 GAO United Sttes Government Accountbility Office Report to the Chirmn, Committee on Rules, House of Representtives October 2005 HIGHER EDUCATION Federl Science, Technology, Engineering, nd Mthemtics Progrms nd Relted Trends GAO

2 Accountbility Integrity Relibility Highlights Highlights of GAO , report to the Chirmn, Committee on Rules, House of Representtives October 2005 HIGHER EDUCATION Federl Science, Technology, Engineering, nd Mthemtics Progrms nd Relted Trends Why GAO Did This Study The United Sttes hs long been known s world leder in scientific nd technologicl innovtion. To help mintin this dvntge, the federl government hs spent billions of dollrs on eduction progrms in the science, technology, engineering, nd mthemtics (STEM) fields for mny yers. However, concerns hve been rised bout the ntion s bility to mintin its globl technologicl competitive dvntge in the future. This report presents informtion on (1) the number of federl progrms funded in fiscl yer 2004 tht were designed to increse the number of students nd grdutes pursuing STEM degrees nd occuptions or improve eductionl progrms in STEM fields, nd wht gencies report bout their effectiveness; (2) how the numbers, percentges, nd chrcteristics of students, grdutes, nd employees in STEM fields hve chnged over the yers; nd (3) fctors cited by eductors nd others s ffecting students decisions bout pursing STEM degrees nd occuptions, nd suggestions tht hve been mde to encourge more prticiption. GAO received written nd/or technicl comments from severl gencies. While one gency, the Ntionl Science Foundtion, rised severl questions bout the findings, the others generlly greed with the findings nd conclusion nd severl gencies commended GAO for this work. To view the full product, including the scope nd methodology, click on the link bove. For more informtion, contct Corneli M. Ashby t (202) or Wht GAO Found Officils from 13 federl civilin gencies reported spending bout $2.8 billion in fiscl yer 2004 for 207 eduction progrms designed to increse the numbers of students nd grdutes or improve eductionl progrms in STEM fields, but gencies reported little bout their effectiveness. The Ntionl Institutes of Helth nd the Ntionl Science Foundtion hd most of the progrms nd spent most of the funds. Officils lso reported tht evlutions were completed or under wy for bout hlf of the progrms. Federl STEM Eduction Progrms nd Funding by Agency, Fiscl Yer 2004 Dollrs in millions 1,200 1, NIH (51) NSF (48) NASA (5) Eduction (4) Source: GAO survey responses from 13 federl gencies. EPA (21) 121 (3) 63 HRSA 154 All others (75) Ntionl Institutes of Helth (NIH) Ntionl Science Foundtion (NSF) Ntionl Aeronutics nd Spce Administrtion (NASA) Environmentl Protection Agency (EPA) Helth Resources nd Services Administrtion (HRSA) While the totl numbers of students, grdutes, nd employees in STEM fields incresed, chnges in the numbers nd percentges of women, minorities, nd interntionl students vried during the periods reviewed. From cdemic yer to , the percentge of students in STEM fields incresed from 21 to 23 percent. Chnges in the percentges of domestic minority students vried by group. From cdemic yer to , the number of grdutes in STEM fields incresed 8 percent, but this ws less thn the 30 percent increse in grdutes in non-stem fields. Interntionl grdutes continued to ern bout one-third or more of the dvnced degrees in three STEM fields. Between clendr yers 1994 nd 2003, employment in STEM fields incresed 23 percent compred to 17 percent in non-stem fields, nd there ws no sttisticlly significnt chnge in the percentge of women employees. Eductors nd others cited severl fctors tht ffected students decisions bout pursuing STEM degrees nd occuptions, nd mde suggestions to encourge more prticiption. They sid techer qulity t the kindergrten to 12th grdes, the mthemtics nd science courses completed in high school, nd mentor, especilly for women nd minorities, influenced domestic students decisions. Also, these sources sid tht opportunities outside the United Sttes nd the vis process ffected interntionl students decisions. To encourge more prticiption in STEM fields, eductors nd others mde severl suggestions. But before dopting ny of them, it is importnt to know the extent to which existing STEM eduction progrms re ppropritely trgeted nd mking the best use of vilble federl resources. United Sttes Government Accountbility Office

3 Contents Letter 1 Results in Brief 3 Bckground 5 More thn 200 Federl Eduction Progrms Are Designed to Increse the Numbers of Students nd Grdutes or Improve Eductionl Progrms in STEM Fields, but Most Hve Not Been Evluted 10 Numbers of Students, Grdutes, nd Employees in STEM Fields Generlly Incresed, but Percentge Chnges Vried 18 University Officils nd Others Cited Severl Fctors Tht Influence Decisions bout Prticiption in STEM Fields nd Suggested Wys to Encourge Greter Prticiption 32 Concluding Observtions 41 Agency Comments nd Our Evlution 42 Appendix I Objectives, Scope, nd Methodology 46 Appendix II List of 207 Federl STEM Eduction Progrms 57 Appendix III Federl STEM Eduction Progrms Funded t $10 Million or More 64 Appendix IV Dt on Students nd Grdutes in STEM Fields 74 Appendix V Confidence Intervls for Estimtes of Students t the Bchelor s, Mster s, nd Doctorl Levels 79 Appendix VI Confidence Intervls for Estimtes of STEM Employment by Gender, Rce or Ethnicity, nd Wges nd Slries 88 Pge i GAO Federl STEM Eduction Progrms

4 Appendix VII Comments from the Deprtment of Commerce 91 Appendix VIII Comments from the Deprtment of Helth nd Humn Services 95 Appendix IX Comments from the Ntionl Science Foundtion 97 Appendix X Comments from the Ntionl Science nd Technology Council 100 Appendix XI GAO Contct nd Stff Acknowledgments 101 Bibliogrphy 102 Tbles Tble 1: Sources of Dt, Dt Obtined, Time Spn of Dt, nd Yers Anlyzed 2 Tble 2: List of STEM Fields Bsed on NCES s NPSAS nd IPEDS Dt nd BLS s CPS Dt 6 Tble 3: Percentge of the U.S. Popultion for Selected Rcil or Ethnic Groups in the Civilin Lbor Force, Clendr Yers 1994 nd Tble 4: Number of STEM Eduction Progrms Reported by Federl Civilin Agencies 11 Tble 5: Funding Levels for Federl STEM Eduction Progrms in Fiscl Yer Tble 6: Progrm Gols nd Numbers of STEM Progrms with One or Multiple Gols 14 Tble 7: Numbers of STEM Progrms with One or Multiple Types of Assistnce nd Beneficiries 14 Pge ii GAO Federl STEM Eduction Progrms

5 Tble 8: Numbers of STEM Progrms Trgeted to One Group nd Multiple Groups 15 Tble 9: Estimted Chnges in the Numbers nd Percentges of Students in the STEM nd Non-STEM Fields cross All Eduction Levels, Acdemic Yers nd Tble 10: Estimted Percentge Chnges in the Numbers nd Percentges of Domestic Minority Students in STEM fields for All Eduction Levels for Acdemic Yers nd Tble 11: Estimted Chnges in Numbers of Interntionl Students in STEM fields by Eduction Levels from the Acdemic Yer to the Acdemic Yer 22 Tble 12: Numbers of Grdutes nd Percentge Chnges in STEM nd Non-STEM Fields cross All Degree Levels from the Acdemic Yer to the Acdemic Yer 23 Tble 13: Numbers nd Percentge Chnges in Men nd Women Grdutes with STEM Degrees by Eduction Level nd Field for Acdemic Yers nd Tble 14: Numbers nd Percentge Chnges in Domestic Minority Grdutes in STEM Fields by Eduction Levels nd Rce or Ethnicity for Acdemic Yers nd Tble 15: Chnges in Numbers nd Percentges of Interntionl Grdutes in STEM fields t the Mster s nd Doctorl Degree Levels, nd Acdemic Yers 27 Tble 16: Estimted Numbers nd Percentges of Employees in STEM Fields by Gender in Clendr Yers 1994 nd 2003 (numbers in thousnds) 29 Tble 17: Estimted Percentges of STEM Employees by Selected Rcil or Ethnic Group for Clendr Yers 1994 nd Tble 18: Sources of Dt, Dt Obtined, Time Spn of Dt, nd Yers Anlyzed 48 Tble 19: Clssifiction codes nd Occuptions, Tble 20: Clssifiction codes nd occuptions, Tble 21: Federl STEM Eduction Progrms Funded in FY Tble 22: Federl STEM Eduction Progrms Funded t $10 Million or More during Fiscl Yer 2004 or Fiscl Yer Tble 23: Estimted Numbers of Students in STEM Fields by Eduction Level for Acdemic Yers nd Tble 24: Estimted Percentges of Students by Gender nd STEM Field for Acdemic Yers nd Pge iii GAO Federl STEM Eduction Progrms

6 Tble 25: Estimted Number of Women Students nd Percentge Chnge by Eduction Level nd STEM Field for Acdemic Yers nd Tble 26: Comprisons in the Percentge of STEM Grdutes by Field nd Gender for Acdemic Yers nd Tble 27: Estimted Chnges in the Numbers nd Percentges of Students in the STEM nd Non-STEM Fields cross All Eduction Levels, Acdemic Yers nd (95 percent confidence intervls) 79 Tble 28: Numbers of Students by Eduction Level in ll STEM Fields for Acdemic Yers nd (95 percent confidence intervls) 80 Tble 29: Estimted Numbers nd Percentge Chnges in Women Students in STEM Fields, Acdemic Yers nd (95 percent confidence intervls) 81 Tble 30: Estimted Percentge Chnges in Bchelor s, Mster s, nd Doctorl Students in STEM Fields, Acdemic Yers nd (95 percent confidence intervls) 83 Tble 31: Estimtes of STEM Students by Gender nd Field for Acdemic Yers nd (95 percent confidence intervls) 84 Tble 32: Estimtes of Students for Selected Rcil or Ethnic Groups in STEM Fields for All Eduction Levels nd Fields for the Acdemic Yers nd (95 percent fonfidence intervls) 86 Tble 33: Estimtes of Interntionl Students in STEM Fields by Eduction Levels for Acdemic Yers nd (95 percent confidence intervls) 87 Tble 34: Estimted Totl Number of Employees by STEM Field between Clendr Yers 1994 nd Tble 35: Estimted Numbers of Employees in STEM Fields by Gender for Clendr Yers 1994 nd Tble 36: Estimted Chnges in STEM Employment by Gender for Clendr Yers 1994 nd Tble 37: Estimted Percentges of STEM Employees for Selected Rcil or Ethnic Groups for Clendr Yers 1994 nd Tble 38: Estimted Chnges in Medin Annul Wges nd Slries in the STEM Fields for Clendr Yers 1994 nd Pge iv GAO Federl STEM Eduction Progrms

7 Figures Figure 1: Amounts Funded by Agencies for STEM-Relted Federl Eduction Progrms in Fiscl Yer Figure 2: Key Chnges in Students, Grdutes, nd Employees in STEM Fields 19 Figure 3: Percentge Chnges in Bchelor s, Mster s, nd Doctorl Grdutes in STEM Fields from Acdemic Yer to Acdemic Yer Figure 4: Estimted Numbers of Employees in STEM Fields from Clendr Yers 1994 through Figure 5: Estimted Medin Annul Wges nd Slries in STEM Fields for Clendr Yers 1994 through Pge v GAO Federl STEM Eduction Progrms

8 Abbrevitions BEST BLS CGS CLF COS CPS DHS EPA HHS HRSA IPEDS NASA NCES NCLBA NIH NPSAS NSF NSTC SAO SEVIS STEM Building Engineering nd Science Tlent Bureu of Lbor Sttistics Council of Grdute Schools civilin lbor force Committee on Science Current Popultion Survey Deprtment of Homelnd Security Environmentl Protection Agency Helth nd Humn Services Helth Resources nd Services Administrtion Integrted Postsecondry Eduction Dt System Ntionl Aeronutics nd Spce Administrtion Ntionl Center for Eduction Sttistics No Child Left Behind Act Ntionl Institutes of Helth Ntionl Postsecondry Student Aid Study Ntionl Science Foundtion Ntionl Science nd Technology Council Security Advisory Opinion Student nd Exchnge Visitor Informtion System science, technology, engineering, nd mthemtics This is work of the U.S. government nd is not subject to copyright protection in the United Sttes. It my be reproduced nd distributed in its entirety without further permission from GAO. However, becuse this work my contin copyrighted imges or other mteril, permission from the copyright holder my be necessry if you wish to reproduce this mteril seprtely. Pge vi GAO Federl STEM Eduction Progrms

9 United Sttes Government Accountbility Office Wshington, DC October 12, 2005 The Honorble Dvid Dreier Chirmn, Committee on Rules House of Representtives Der Mr. Chirmn: The United Sttes hs long been known s world leder in scientific nd technologicl innovtion. To help mintin this dvntge, the federl government hs spent billions of dollrs on eduction progrms in the science, technology, engineering, nd mthemtics (STEM) fields for mny yers. Some of these progrms were designed to increse the numbers of women nd minorities pursuing degrees in STEM fields. In ddition, for mny yers, thousnds of interntionl students cme to the United Sttes to study nd work in STEM fields. However, concerns hve been rised bout the ntion s bility to mintin its globl technologicl competitive dvntge in the future. In spite of the billions of dollrs spent to encourge students nd grdutes to pursue studies in STEM fields or improve STEM eductionl progrms, the percentge of United Sttes students erning bchelor s degrees in STEM fields hs been reltively constnt bout third of bchelor s degrees since Furthermore, fter the events of September 11, 2001, the United Sttes estblished severl new systems nd processes to help enhnce border security. In some cses, implementtion of these new systems nd processes, which estblished requirements for severl federl gencies, higher eduction institutions, nd potentil students, mde it more difficult for interntionl students to enter this country to study nd work. In the lst few yers, mny reports nd news rticles hve been published, nd severl bills hve been introduced in Congress tht ddress issues relted to STEM eduction nd occuptions. This report presents informtion on (1) the number of federl civilin eduction progrms funded in fiscl yer 2004 tht were designed to increse the numbers of students nd grdutes pursuing STEM degrees nd occuptions or improve eductionl progrms in STEM fields nd wht gencies report bout their effectiveness; (2) how the numbers, percentges, nd chrcteristics of students, grdutes, nd employees in STEM fields hve chnged over the yers; nd (3) fctors cited by eductors nd others s influencing people s decisions bout pursuing STEM degrees nd occuptions, nd suggestions tht hve been mde to encourge greter Pge 1 GAO Federl STEM Eduction Progrms

10 prticiption in STEM fields. To determine the number of progrms designed to increse the numbers of students nd grdutes pursuing STEM degrees nd occuptions, we identified 15 federl deprtments nd gencies s hving STEM progrms, nd we developed nd conducted survey sking ech deprtment or gency to provide informtion on its eduction progrms, including informtion bout their effectiveness. 1 We received responses from 14 of them, the Deprtment of Defense did not prticipte, nd we determined tht t lest 13 gencies hd STEM eduction progrms during fiscl yer 2004 tht met our criteri. To describe how the numbers of students, grdutes, nd employees in STEM fields hve chnged, we nlyzed nd reported dt from the Deprtment of Eduction s (Eduction) Ntionl Center for Eduction Sttistics (NCES) nd the Deprtment of Lbor s (Lbor) Bureu of Lbor Sttistics (BLS). Specificlly, s shown in tble 1, we used the Ntionl Postsecondry Student Aid Study (NPSAS) nd the Integrted Postsecondry Eduction Dt System (IPEDS) from NCES nd the Current Popultion Survey (CPS) dt from BLS. We ssessed the dt for relibility nd resonbleness nd found them to be sufficiently relible for the purposes of this report. Tble 1: Sources of Dt, Dt Obtined, Time Spn of Dt, nd Yers Anlyzed Deprtment Agency Dtbse Dt obtined Time spn of dt Yers nlyzed Eduction NCES NPSAS College student enrollment 9 yers Acdemic yers nd Eduction NCES IPEDS Grdution/degrees 9 yers Acdemic yers nd Lbor BLS CPS Employment 10 yers Clendr yers 1994 through 2003 Sources: NCES s Ntionl Postsecondry Student Aid Study (NPSAS) nd Integrted Postsecondry Eduction Dt System (IPEDS) nd BLS s Current Popultion Survey (CPS) dt. Note: Enrollment nd employment informtion re bsed on smple dt nd re subject to smpling error. The 95-percent confidence intervls for student enrollment estimtes re contined in ppendix V of this report. Percentge estimtes for STEM employment hve 95-percent confidence intervls of within +/- 6 percentge points nd other employment estimtes (such s wges nd slries) hve confidence intervls of within +/- 10 percent of the estimte, unless otherwise noted. See ppendixes I, V, nd VI for dditionl informtion. 1 For the purposes of this report, we will use the term gency when referring to ny of the 13 federl deprtments nd gencies tht responded to our survey. Pge 2 GAO Federl STEM Eduction Progrms

11 To obtin perspectives on the fctors tht influence people s decisions bout pursuing STEM degrees nd occuptions, nd to obtin suggestions for encourging greter prticiption in STEM fields, we interviewed eductors nd dministrtors in eight colleges nd universities (the University of Cliforni Los Angeles nd the University of Southern Cliforni in Cliforni; Clrk Atlnt University, Georgi Institute of Technology, nd Spelmn College in Georgi; the University of Illinois; Purdue University in Indin; nd Pennsylvni Stte University). We selected these colleges nd universities to include mix of public nd privte institutions, provide geogrphic diversity, nd include few minority-serving institutions, including one (Spelmn College) tht serves only women students. In ddition, most of the institutions hd lrge totl numbers of students, including interntionl students, enrolled in STEM fields. We lso sked officils from the eight universities to identify current students to whom we could send n e-mil survey. We received responses from 31 students from five of these institutions. In ddition, we interviewed federl gency officils nd representtives from ssocitions nd eduction orgniztions, nd nlyzed reports on vrious topics relted to STEM eduction nd occuptions. Appendix I contins more detiled discussion of our scope nd methodology. We conducted our work between October 2004 nd October 2005 in ccordnce with generlly ccepted government uditing stndrds. Results in Brief Officils from 13 federl civilin gencies reported hving 207 eduction progrms funded in fiscl yer 2004 tht were designed to increse the numbers of students nd grdutes pursuing STEM degrees nd occuptions or improve eductionl progrms in STEM fields, but they reported little bout the effectiveness of these progrms. The 13 gencies reported spending bout $2.8 billion in fiscl yer 2004 for these progrms. According to the survey responses, the Ntionl Institutes of Helth (NIH) nd the Ntionl Science Foundtion (NSF) sponsored 99 of the 207 progrms nd spent bout $2 billion of the pproximte $2.8 billion. The progrm costs rnged from $4,000 for ntionl scholrs progrm sponsored by the Deprtment of Agriculture (USDA) to bout $547 million for n NIH progrm tht is designed to develop nd enhnce reserch trining opportunities for individuls in biomedicl, behviorl, nd clinicl reserch by supporting trining progrms t institutions of higher lerning. Officils reported tht most of the 207 progrms hd multiple gols, nd mny were trgeted to multiple groups. For exmple, 2 progrms were identified s hving one gol of ttrcting nd prepring students t ny eduction level to pursue coursework in STEM res, while 112 progrms hd this s one of multiple gols. Agency officils lso Pge 3 GAO Federl STEM Eduction Progrms

12 reported tht evlutions were completed or under wy for bout hlf of the progrms, nd most of the completed evlutions reported tht the progrms hd been effective nd chieved estblished gols. However, some progrms tht hve not been evluted hve operted for mny yers. While the totl numbers of students, grdutes, nd employees hve incresed in STEM fields, chnges in the numbers nd percentges of women, minorities nd interntionl students vried during the periods reviewed. From the cdemic yer to the cdemic yer, the number of students incresed in STEM fields by 21 percent more thn the 11 percent increse in non-stem fields. Also, students enrolled in STEM fields incresed from 21 percent to 23 percent of ll students. Chnges in the numbers nd percentges of domestic minority students vried by group. For exmple, the number of Africn Americn students incresed 69 percent nd the number of Hispnic students incresed 33 percent. The totl number of grdutes in STEM fields incresed by 8 percent from the cdemic yer to the cdemic yer, while grdutes in non-stem fields incresed 30 percent. Further, the numbers of grdutes decresed in t lest four of eight STEM fields t ech eduction level. The totl number of domestic minority grdutes in STEM fields incresed, nd interntionl grdutes continued to ern bout one-third or more of the mster s nd doctorl degrees in three fields. Moreover, from 1994 to 2003, employment incresed by 23 percent in STEM fields s compred with 17 percent in non-stem fields. Africn Americn employees continued to be less thn 10 percent of ll STEM employees, nd there ws no sttisticlly significnt chnge in the percentge of women employees. Eductors nd others cited severl fctors s influencing students decisions bout pursuing STEM degrees nd occuptions, nd they suggested mny wys to encourge more prticiption in STEM fields. Studies, eduction experts, university officils, nd others cited techer qulity t the kindergrten through 12th grde levels nd students high school preprtion in mthemtics nd science courses s mjor fctors tht influence domestic students decisions bout pursuing STEM degrees nd occuptions. In ddition, university officils, students, nd studies identified mentoring s key fctor for women nd minorities. Also, ccording to university officils, eduction experts, nd reports, interntionl students decisions bout pursuing STEM degrees nd occuptions in the United Sttes re influenced by yet other fctors, including more stringent vis requirements nd incresed eductionl opportunities outside the United Sttes. We hve reported tht severl Pge 4 GAO Federl STEM Eduction Progrms

13 spects of the vis process hve been improved, but further steps could be tken. In order to promote prticiption in the STEM fields, officils t most of the eight universities visited nd current students offered suggestions tht focused on four res: techer qulity, mthemtics nd science preprtion nd courses, outrech to underrepresented groups, nd the federl role in STEM eduction. The students who responded to our e-mil survey generlly greed with most of the suggestions nd expressed their desires for better mthemtics nd science preprtion for college. However, before dopting such suggestions, it is importnt to know the extent to which existing STEM eduction progrms re ppropritely trgeted nd mking the best use of vilble federl resources. We received written comments on drft of this report from the Deprtment of Commerce, the Deprtment of Helth nd Humn Services, nd the Ntionl Science nd Technology Council. These gencies generlly greed with our findings nd conclusions. We lso received written comments from the Ntionl Science Foundtion which questioned our findings relted to progrm evlutions, intergency collbortion, nd the methodology we used to support our findings on the fctors tht influenced decisions bout pursing STEM fields. Also, the Ntionl Science Foundtion provided informtion to clrify exmples cited in the report, stted tht the dt ctegories were not cler, nd commented on the grdute level enrollment dt we used. We revised the report to cknowledge tht the Ntionl Science Foundtion uses vriety of mechnisms to evlute its progrms nd we dded bibliogrphy tht identifies the reports nd reserch used during the course of this review to ddress the comment bout our methodology relted to the fctors tht influenced decisions bout pursuing STEM fields. We lso revised the report to clrify the exmples nd the dt ctegories nd to explin the resons for selecting the enrollment dt we used. However, we did not mke chnges to ddress the comment relted to intergency collbortion for the reson explined in the gency comments section of this report. The written comments re reprinted in ppendixes VII, VIII, IX, nd X. In ddition, we received technicl comments from the Deprtments of Commerce, Helth nd Humn Services, Homelnd Security, Lbor, nd Trnsporttion, nd the Environmentl Protection Agency nd Ntionl Aeronutics nd Spce Administrtion, which we incorported when pproprite. Bckground STEM includes mny fields of study nd occuptions. Bsed on the Ntionl Science Foundtions ctegoriztion of STEM fields, we Pge 5 GAO Federl STEM Eduction Progrms

14 developed STEM fields of study from NCES s Ntionl Postsecondry Student Aid Study (NPSAS) nd Integrted Postsecondry Eduction Dt System (IPEDS), nd identified occuptions from BLS s Current Popultion Survey (CPS). Using these dt sources, we developed nine STEM fields for students, eight STEM fields for grdutes, nd four brod STEM fields for occuptions. Tble 2 lists these STEM fields nd occuptions nd exmples of subfields. Additionl informtion on STEM occuptions is provided in ppendix I. Tble 2: List of STEM Fields Bsed on NCES s NPSAS nd IPEDS Dt nd BLS s CPS Dt Enrollment NCES NPSAS dt Degrees NCES IPEDS dt Occuptions BLS CPS dt Agriculturl sciences Biologicl sciences Physicl sciences Psychology Socil sciences Technology Biologicl/griculturl sciences Botny Zoology Diry Forestry Poultry Wildlife mngement Erth, tmospheric, nd ocen sciences Geology Geophysics nd seismology Physicl sciences Chemistry Physics Psychology Clinicl Socil Socil sciences Politicl science Sociology Technology Solr Automotive engineering Science Agriculturl nd food scientists Astronomers nd physicists Atmospheric nd spce scientists Biologicl scientists Chemists nd mterils scientists Environmentl scientists nd geoscientists Nurses Psychologists Sociologists Urbn nd regionl plnners Technology Clinicl lbortory technologists nd technicins Dignostic-relted technologists nd technicins Medicl, dentl, nd ophthlmic lbortory technicins Pge 6 GAO Federl STEM Eduction Progrms

15 Enrollment NCES NPSAS dt Degrees NCES IPEDS dt Occuptions BLS CPS dt Engineering Computer sciences Mthemtics Engineering Aerospce, eronuticl, nd stronuticl Architecturl Chemicl Civil Electricl, electronics, nd communiction Nucler Mthemtics/computer sciences Acturil science Applied mthemtics Mthemticl sttistics Opertions reserch Dt processing Progrmming Engineering Architects, except nvl Aerospce engineers Chemicl engineers Civil engineers Electricl nd electronic engineers Nucler engineers Mthemtics nd computer sciences Computer scientists nd systems nlysts Computer progrmmers Computer softwre engineers Acturies Mthemticins Sttisticins Sources: NCES for NPSAS nd IPEDS dt; CPS for occuptions. Note: This tble is not designed to show direct reltionship from enrollment to occuption, but to provide exmples of mjors, degrees, nd occuptions in STEM fields from the three sources of dt. Mny of the STEM fields require completion of dvnced courses in mthemtics or science, subjects tht re introduced nd developed t the kindergrten through 12th grde level, nd the federl government hs tken steps to help improve chievement in these nd other subjects. Encted in 2002, the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLBA) seeks to improve the cdemic chievement of ll of the ntion s school-ged children. NCLBA requires tht sttes develop nd implement cdemic content nd chievement stndrds in mthemtics, science nd the reding or lnguge rts. All students re required to prticipte in sttewide ssessments during their elementry nd secondry school yers. Improving techer qulity is nother gol of NCLBA s strtegy to rise student cdemic chievement. Specificlly, ll techers teching core cdemic subjects must be highly qulified by the end of the school yer. 2 NCLBA generlly defines highly qulified techers s those tht hve (1) bchelor s degree, (2) stte certifiction, nd (3) subject re knowledge for ech cdemic subject they tech. 2 Core subjects include English, reding or lnguge rts, mthemtics, science, foreign lnguges, civics nd government, economics, rts, history, nd geogrphy. Pge 7 GAO Federl STEM Eduction Progrms

16 The federl government lso plys role in coordinting federl science nd technology issues. The Ntionl Science nd Technology Council (NSTC) ws estblished in 1993 nd is the principl mens for the Administrtion to coordinte science nd technology mong the diverse prts of the federl reserch nd development res. One objective of NSTC is to estblish cler ntionl gols for federl science nd technology investments in res rnging from informtion technologies nd helth reserch to improving trnsporttion systems nd strengthening fundmentl reserch. NSTC is responsible for prepring reserch nd development strtegies tht re coordinted cross federl gencies in order to ccomplish these multiple ntionl gols. In ddition, the federl government, universities nd colleges, nd others hve developed progrms to provide opportunities for ll students to pursue STEM eduction nd occuptions. 3 Additionl steps hve been tken to increse the numbers of women, minorities, nd students with disdvntged bckgrounds in the STEM fields, such s providing dditionl cdemic nd reserch opportunities. According to the 2000 Census, 52 percent of the totl U.S. popultion 18 nd over were women; in 2003, members of rcil or ethnic groups constituted from 0.5 percent to 12.6 percent of the civilin lbor force (CLF), s shown in tble 3. Tble 3: Percentge of the U.S. Popultion for Selected Rcil or Ethnic Groups in the Civilin Lbor Force, Clendr Yers 1994 nd 2003 Rce or ethnicity Percentge of U.S. popultion in the CLF, 1994 Percentge of U.S. popultion in the CLF, 2003 Hispnic or Ltino origin Blck or Africn Americn Asin Americn Indin or Alsk Ntive Source: GAO clcultions bsed upon Mrch 1994 nd Mrch 2003 CPS dt. In ddition to domestic students, interntionl students hve pursued STEM degrees nd worked in STEM occuptions in the United Sttes. To 3 Other federl progrms tht re not specificlly designed to ttrct students to STEM eduction nd occuptions, such s Pell Grnts, my provide finncil ssistnce to students who obtin degrees in STEM fields. Pge 8 GAO Federl STEM Eduction Progrms

17 do so, interntionl students nd scholrs must obtin viss. 4 Interntionl students who wish to study in the United Sttes must first pply to Student nd Exchnge Visitor Informtion System (SEVIS) certified school. In order to enroll students from other ntions, U.S. colleges nd universities must be certified by the Student nd Exchnge Visitor Progrm within the Deprtment of Homelnd Security s Immigrtion nd Customs Enforcement orgniztion. As of Februry 2004, nerly 9,000 technicl schools nd colleges nd universities hd been certified. SEVIS, is n Internet-bsed system tht mintins dt on interntionl students nd exchnge visitors before nd during their sty in the United Sttes. Upon dmitting student, the school enters the student s nme nd other informtion into the SEVIS dtbse. At this time the student my pply for student vis. In some cses, Security Advisory Opinion (SAO) from the Deprtment of Stte (Stte) my be needed to determine whether or not to issue vis to the student. SAOs re required for number of resons, including concerns tht vis pplicnt my engge in the illegl trnsfer of sensitive technology. An SAO bsed on technology trnsfer concerns is known s Viss Mntis nd, ccording to Stte officils, is the most common type of SAO pplied to science pplicnts. 5 In April 2004, the Congressionl Reserch Service reported tht Stte mintins technology lert list tht includes 16 sensitive res of study. The list ws produced in n effort to help the United Sttes prevent the illegl trnsfer of controlled technology nd includes chemicl nd biotechnology engineering, missile technology, nucler technology, robotics, nd dvnced computer technology. 6 Mny foreign workers enter the United Sttes nnully through the H-1B vis progrm, which ssists U.S. employers in temporrily filling specilty 4 There re severl types of viss tht uthorize people to study nd work in the United Sttes. F, or student, viss, re for study t 2- nd 4-yer colleges nd universities nd other cdemic institutions; the exchnge visitor, or J, viss re for people who will be prticipting in culturl exchnge progrm; nd M viss re for noncdemic study t institutions, such s voctionl nd technicl schools. In ddition, H-1B viss llow noncitizens to work in the United Sttes. 5 GAO, Border Security: Stremlined Viss Mntis Progrm Hs Lowered Burden on Foreign Science Students nd Scholrs, but Further Refinements Needed, GAO (Wshington, D.C.: Feb. 18, 2005). 6 Congressionl Reserch Service, Science, Engineering, nd Mthemtics Eduction: Sttus nd Issues, STM, April 27, 2004, Wshington, D.C. Pge 9 GAO Federl STEM Eduction Progrms

18 occuptions. 7 Employed workers my sty in the United Sttes on n H-1B vis for up to 6 yers. The current cp on the number of H-1B viss tht cn be grnted is 65,000. The lw exempts certin workers, however, from this cp, including those who re employed or hve ccepted employment in specified positions. Moreover, up to 20,000 exemptions re llowed for those holding mster s degree or higher. More thn 200 Federl Eduction Progrms Are Designed to Increse the Numbers of Students nd Grdutes or Improve Eductionl Progrms in STEM Fields, but Most Hve Not Been Evluted Officils from 13 federl civilin gencies reported hving 207 eduction progrms funded in fiscl yer 2004 tht were specificlly estblished to increse the numbers of students nd grdutes pursuing STEM degrees nd occuptions, or improve eductionl progrms in STEM fields, but they reported little bout the effectiveness of these progrms. 8 These 13 federl gencies reported spending bout $2.8 billion for their STEM eduction progrms. Tken together, NIH nd NSF sponsored nerly hlf of the progrms nd spent bout 71 percent of the funds. In ddition, gencies reported tht most of the progrms hd multiple gols, nd mny were trgeted to multiple groups. Although evlutions hve been done or were under wy for bout hlf of the progrms, little is known bout the extent to which most STEM progrms re chieving their desired results. Coordintion mong the federl STEM eduction progrms hs been limited. However, in 2003, the Ntionl Science nd Technology Council formed subcommittee to ddress STEM eduction nd workforce policy issues cross federl gencies. 7 A specilty occuption is defined s one tht requires the ppliction of body of highly specilized knowledge, nd the ttinment of t lest bchelor s degree (or its equivlent), nd the possession of license or other credentil to prctice the occuption if required. 8 GAO sked gencies to include STEM nd relted eduction progrms with one or more of the following s primry objective: (1) ttrct nd prepre students t ny eduction level to pursue coursework in STEM res, (2) ttrct students to pursue degrees (2-yer degrees through post doctorl) in STEM fields, (3) provide growth nd reserch opportunities for college nd grdute students in STEM fields, such s working with reserchers nd/or conducting reserch to further their eduction, (4) ttrct grdutes to pursue creers in STEM fields, (5) improve techer (pre-service, in-service, nd postsecondry) eduction in STEM res, nd (6) improve or expnd the cpcity of institutions to promote or foster STEM fields. Pge 10 GAO Federl STEM Eduction Progrms

19 Federl Civilin Agencies Reported Sponsoring over 200 STEM Eduction Progrms nd Spending Billions in Fiscl Yer 2004 Officils from 13 federl civilin gencies provided informtion on 207 STEM eduction progrms funded in fiscl yer The numbers of progrms rnged from 51 to 1 per gency with two gencies, NIH nd NSF, sponsoring nerly hlf of the progrms 99 of 207. Tble 4 provides summry of the numbers of progrms by gency, nd ppendix II contins list of the 207 STEM eduction progrms nd funding levels for fiscl yer 2004 by gency. Tble 4: Number of STEM Eduction Progrms Reported by Federl Civilin Agencies Number of STEM Federl gency eduction progrms Deprtment of Helth nd Humn Services/ Ntionl Institutes of Helth 51 Ntionl Science Foundtion 48 Deprtment of Energy 26 Environmentl Protection Agency 21 Deprtment of Agriculture 16 Deprtment of Commerce 13 Deprtment of the Interior 13 Ntionl Aeronutics nd Spce Administrtion 5 Deprtment of Eduction 4 Deprtment of Trnsporttion 4 Deprtment of Helth nd Humn Services/Helth Resources nd Services Administrtion 3 Deprtment of Helth nd Humn Services/Indin Helth Service 2 Deprtment of Homelnd Security 1 Totl 207 Source: GAO survey responses from 13 federl gencies. Federl civilin gencies reported tht pproximtely $2.8 billion ws spent on STEM eduction progrms in fiscl yer The funding levels for STEM eduction progrms mong the gencies rnged from bout $998 million to bout $4.7 million. NIH nd NSF ccounted for bout 71 percent of the totl bout $2 billion of the pproximte $2.8 billion. NIH spent 9 The progrm funding levels, s provided by gency officils, contin both ctul nd estimted mounts for fiscl yer Pge 11 GAO Federl STEM Eduction Progrms

20 bout $998 million in fiscl yer 2004, bout 3.6 percent of its $28 billion pproprition, nd NSF spent bout $997 million, which represented 18 percent of its pproprition. Four other gencies, some with few progrms, spent bout 23 percent of the totl: $636 million. For exmple, the Ntionl Aeronutics nd Spce Administrtion (NASA) spent bout $231 million on 5 progrms nd the Deprtment of Eduction (Eduction) spent bout $221 million on 4 progrms during fiscl yer Figure 1 shows the 6 federl civilin gencies tht used the most funds for STEM eduction progrms nd the funds used by the remining 7 gencies. Figure 1: Amounts Funded by Agencies for STEM-Relted Federl Eduction Progrms in Fiscl Yer 2004 Dollrs in millions 1,200 1, of Helth Ntionl Institutes Foundtion Ntionl Science Spce Administrtion Ntionl Aeronutics nd Eduction Enviromentl Protection 121 Helth Resources nd 63 Agency Services Administrtion 154 All Others Source: GAO survey responses from 13 federl gencies. The funding reported for individul STEM eduction progrms vried significntly, nd mny of the progrms hve been funded for more thn 10 yers. The funding rnged from $4,000 for n USDA-sponsored progrm tht offered scholrships to U.S. citizens seeking bchelor s degrees t Hispnic-serving institutions, to bout $547 million for NIH grnt progrm tht is designed to develop nd enhnce reserch trining opportunities for individuls in biomedicl, behviorl, nd clinicl reserch by supporting trining progrms t institutions of higher eduction. As shown in tble 5, most progrms were funded t $5 million or less nd 13 progrms were funded t more thn $50 million in fiscl yer About hlf of the STEM eduction progrms were first funded fter The oldest progrm begn in 1936, nd 72 progrms re over 10 Pge 12 GAO Federl STEM Eduction Progrms

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