higher ed

Useful Stats: Higher Ed R&D by state, 2008-2017

Higher education R&D expenditures (HERD) grew by 38.9 percent from 2008 to 2017, an increase of more than $21 billion, according to an SSTI analysis of recently released data from the National Science Foundation’s National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics. From 2016 to 2017, HERD grew by $3.8 billion, the largest year-over-year increase since 2010-2011.

Cohorts and other strategies to help individuals from underrepresented groups graduate with STEM degrees

While diversity plays a critical role in both improving the quality and increasing the rate of innovation, women and several minority groups remain underrepresented in STEM fields. Several studies find that improving the retention rate of women and other underrepresented groups in STEM at the college level can have significant impacts on improving the diversity and representativeness of the STEM workforce. For women and other underrepresented groups, the college experience can create unique roadblocks and barriers that ultimately cause them to switch majors or even leave college. Several recent studies have examined strategies to improve the retention rate of women and other underrepresented groups in STEM degrees at institution of higher education. The strategies range from pre-college STEM academies to establishing cohorts of underrepresented students.

Education organizations recognized in nation’s highest honors for quality

A community system and a technical college center were among the five recipients of the nation’s highest honor for quality, the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) announcement released this morning.  A third community college system received recognition for establishing and maintaining a best practice in leadership.

The two education institutions were:

APLU launches effort to increase college access, equity and postsecondary attainment

The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) on Sunday announced what it is calling the “largest ever collaborative effort” to increase college access, close the achievement gap and award “hundreds of thousands” more degrees by 2025. The initiative, called Powered by Publics: Scaling Student Success, includes 130 public universities and systems working within clusters of four to 12 to both advance those goals and share aggregate data. The diversity of the institutions that are participating is intended to help create a playbook of success reforms that can then be used at other institutions.

AL launches program to connect HBCU students, professional learning experiences

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivy announced the Alabama HBCU Co-Op Pilot Program to provide students at the state’s 14 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) with the opportunity for hands-on work experience in STEM fields as well as create greater collaboration between Alabama’s HBCUs, industry, and government. Participating students will be required to complete three co-op semesters with some of the state’s top companies in order to gain a sense of professional experience in the area of their majors. Upon successful completion of the program, students will receive a Certificate of Completion. The pilot program is scheduled to launch in early 2019.

TBED Book Review: Research Universities and the Public Good

Jason Owen-Smith, executive director of the Institute for Research on Innovation and Science (IRIS) at the University of Michigan and a researcher with work covered previously by SSTI, has written a book explaining the benefits of university R&D.

Driving regional innovation with smaller institutions: SSTI Conference preview

This month, we begin a four-part series focused on navigating innovation priorities in a variety of settings. The series features perspectives from experts in the field, presented in a Q&A format. Each practitioner we interviewed will also be presenting at our annual conference, where these topics will be explored in greater depth. Click here for more information on the conference.

Pilot program matches researchers with economic and community development issues

Vibrant Virginia (VV), a new program from Virginia Tech’s Office of Economic Development, is offering seed grants as a way to encourage faculty and graduate students to explore persistent public policy challenges spanning the state’s urban, suburban, and rural communities.

University conferences aim to win with entrepreneurship

A new platform to match promising start-ups with experienced business executives, investors and startup mentors from participating school’s alumni ranks is reporting momentum. Following a year of development, the University of Kentucky last month announced the launch of the Southeast Executives-on-Roster (XOR) and the Midwest Executives-on-Roster (XOR) platforms, collaborations between regionally-partnered universities to broaden access to experienced entrepreneurial talent and match that talent to university-affiliated startups in need of executive management. SSTI learned more about the program through interviews with two of the universities involved.

Are academic science & engineering resources growing more concentrated?

Colleges and universities that conduct research and development around science and engineering are central to technology-based economic development strategies and are at the core of America’s innovation hubs. The distribution of science and engineering R&D at colleges and universities (S&E R&D) – already distributed unevenly across the country— appears to have grown radically more so since the Great Recession. In fact, SSTI analysis using data from the National Science Foundation’s National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics reveals that approximately 60 percent of all new funds for S&E R&D at colleges and universities from 2008 to 2016 went to institutions in just three states: Maryland, California and New York.   

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