Friday, September 07, 2012

Buying STEM Majors?

Hanna proposes college tax credit
 U.S. Rep. Richard Hanna was at SUNYIT Thursday promoting a bill he crafted that would provide a tax credit for students in science, technology, engineering and math.
“We have to acknowledge that this country has to step up and formally encourage people to do the things we say they should be doing,” Hanna said.
The last I checked it costs the same to get a degree in biology as it does in art. And we make up for our lack of STEM majors in the workplace by importing them from usually poorer countries such as India. Therefore, a lack of money does not seem to be the cause of so few people going into STEM majors ... so why should this solve the problem?

If this program does, somehow, encourage more to go into STEM areas, are they the type of students who really have the interest and aptitude for it?  Or are they just going for the money?  How effective will they be in the workplace?  Will they be happy?

I think this whole approach is wrong and, in an era when the Federal Government borrows 40 cents out of every dollar, incredibly wasteful.  This only benefits the higher education lobby and not the population at large.

Why are other countries more successful at recruiting STEM students?

Answer that question and you will know whether this program is appropriate or not. I suspect that you will find curriculum differences in K-12 education that have created the problem.

1 comment:

Greens and Beans said...

I couldn’t agree more with Strike here. To address the problem we need to focus on the student’s foundational understanding in the STEM courses before they enter college. Congressman Hanna’s bill will aid the foreign student who excel in STEM course. I don’t know what the answer is, but we need to revamp how “we” (parents as well as teachers) teach our students the core subjects to level our academic environment with foreign students.