Final Report
Contact Us
SCIENCE                    TECHNOLOGY          ENGINEERING                      MATHEMATICS       ( S T E M )


Concern about the adequacy of the nation's STEM workforce has risen to the top of many federal and corporate agendas. To some extent, career paths are enormously idiosyncratic shaped by serendipity. Any attempt by policymakers to influence the social system of science, must involve identifying key areas of possible intervention. Issues regarding the development of the STEM workforce are complex. Among these issues are the factors students take into account as they consider alternative careers, the overall health of the economy, and the political process of allocating public funds for STEM fields and training. Given this complexity, progress in assessing adequacy and in developing the talent among underrepresented groups will require contributions from a wide array of disciplines. The federal government recognizes this and subsequently established an inter-directorate working group to examine its investments in programs and research on developing human resources for the STEM workforce. The Workforce for the 21st Century priority area seeks to identify potential new programs that will create easily navigable pathways to STEM careers by attracting more U.S. students and broadening participation in STEM fields to prepare a STEM workforce capable of meeting the challenges of the 21st century.


The Pathways to STEM Careers workshop held at NSF in October, 2003 provided an opportunity for the relevant communities to explore the extent to which the existing knowledge base on STEM workforce issues can inform the creation of such pathways. The primary purpose of the workshop was to critically examine the goals of the Workforce for the 21st Century priority area. The workshop provided an opportunity for the relevant communities to explore the existing knowledge base on the STEM workforce. It is recognized that many institutions and alliances of institutions have implemented activities that serve as elements of pathways to STEM careers. To highlight this issue, a special emphasis was placed on examining integrative institutional collaborations. At the same time, it identified topics for research on the STEM workforce that have the potential to inform the design of such collaborations and pathways or answer questions about their effectiveness. In particular, the workshop focused on the future, using extant knowledge of past and present efforts to achieve the priority area's goals to provide new directions.


Workshop Goals:
The major goals of the workshop were:
1)  Review and discuss existing research findings and programs related to workforce issues.
2)  Discuss actions needed to broaden participation in the STEM workforce.
3)  Identify strategic research areas and education funding priorities that will result in a rich and diverse STEM workforce     strengthened by broader participation of U.S. citizens.
4)  Identify evaluation methodologies, criteria and metrics to measure the success of future programs.
5)  Identify and propose strategies and funding mechanisms that will propel more underrepresented group members in  STEM leadership positions.






Workshop funded by a grant (HRD-0338644) from the National Science Foundation.


Webmaster: Yusuf  Jelani, GW Graduate Student  |  Website Design: Pete Minnelli,