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President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST)

PCAST is an advisory group of the nation’s leading scientists and engineers who directly advise the President and the Executive Office of the President. PCAST makes policy recommendations in the many areas where understanding of science, technology, and innovation is key to strengthening our economy and forming policy that works for the American people. (ref 1)

On February 7, PCAST released “Engage to Excel: Producing One Million Additional College Graduates with Degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.” This report provides a strategy for improving STEM education during the first two years of college that we believe is responsive to both the challenges and the opportunities that this crucial stage in the STEM education pathway presents. Foothill College President Judy Miner worked on the PCAST effort over a period of two years, helping to develop recommendations for the report. Foothill College has already implemented solutions for the five report recommendations, shown below.

Additionally, the July 17th PCAST Committee’s report, Capturing Domestic Competitive Advantage in Advanced Manufacturing, has been endorsed by PCAST, which is led by John P. Holdren, science and technology advisor to the President and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Eric Lander, President of the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT (ref 1) ((and resources.html page). Foothill College is actively working with regional community colleges to develop strategies and programs to prepare students for careers in advanced manufacturing.

Foothill College is committed to preparing our students for future academic and career success in STEM, Advanced Manufacturing, and sustainable engineering and technology, fields that we know will be important in California and nationally.

Recommendations

Recommendation 1
  • Catalyze widespread adoption of empirically validated teaching practices.
  • SLI: Active Learning, POGIL, Experiential, Flipped, STATway, GSCC, capstone courses
Recommendation 2
  • Advocate and provide support for replacing standard laboratory courses with discovery-based research courses.
  • SLI: Living Lab, Stanford/UCSC/NASA Research, undergrad researchs
Recommendation 3
  • Launch a national experiment in postsecondary mathematics education to address the mathematics-preparation gap.
  • SLI: STATway, MathMyWay, KCI/FAME, Compressed Math, Harvard:TED/Kahn
Recommendation 4
  • Encourage partnerships among stakeholders to diversify path-ways to STEM careers.Encourage partnerships among stakeholders to diversify path-ways to STEM careers.
  • SLI: NASA, Stanford, DOL, Nanolab, NSF
Recommendation 5
  • Create a Presidential Council on STEM Education with leadership from the academic and business communities to provide strategic leadership for transformative and sustainable change in STEM undergraduate education.

References

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