Increasing the Number of Women and Minorities

As noted earlier, we need to bring more minorities into science and math teaching and more women into science teaching. The participating colleges presently certify approximately 330 teachers annually; 82% are women, 8% are minorities, and 16% are in secondary math or science. The efforts to attract science and math majors into teaching should increase the number of women entering those fields, especially at Smith and Mount Holyoke, which are women's colleges. Collaborations with the area community colleges and high schools will focus on attracting more minority and poor students to enter these areas and will build on programs already in place. NSF has indicated that $100,000 per year will be available for scholarships in the second through fifth years for programs such as STEMTEC. This will enable us to recruit and support forty minority students from the community colleges to continue their preparation as science or math teachers. We will work with the college development officers to fund this program after the grant ends.

The revised science and math courses in all the colleges with their emphasis on cooperative learning are likely to attract and retain more women and minority students. This has been demonstrated in several studies (Posaner and Markstein, 1994; Sullins et al., 1995).

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Created June 2000
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