Only 59 percent of first-time students at 4-year institutions complete their degrees within six years

Of those that make it to graduation, one-in-three hold a job that does not require a college degree, according to a new report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Recent college graduates are more likely to be unemployment and underemployment for recent graduates has risen since 2001….  Part of the blame for high college dropout rates and underemployment rests on the shoulders of high schools, he says, which have used a “lazy approach” to push all students toward college.

Read the complete article here

Helicopter Parents: Learned Helplessness of a Generation

Adding to my amazement that 8% of college grads take their parents along on their first job interview comes this news that it’s now a subject of scholarly research:

“While parental involvement might be the extra boost that students need to build their own confidence and abilities, over-parenting appears to do the converse in creating a sense that one cannot accomplish things socially or in general on one’s own,” wrote the authors, two professors from California State University Fresno. The authors of “Helicopter parents: An Examination of the Correlates of Over-parenting of College Students,” Jill C. Bradley-Geist and Julie B. Olson-Buchanan, go on to detail how over-parenting can actually ruin a child’s abilities to deal with the workplace.

Vannucci also had a college-aged client whose parents did her homework for her. The client’s mother explained that she didn’t want her daughter to struggle the same way she had. The daughter, however, “has grown up to be an adult who has anxiety attacks anytime someone asks her to do something challenging” because she never learned how to handle anything on her own.

Barrow knows classmates who call after every test, or whose parents text or Facebook asking how particular questions went. “Those kids are still very reliant on their parents making decisions and doing their everyday life,” she said. “It’s a tough way to head into life if you are reliant on other people to help with decisions.”

Debunking the “college for all” myth with the 1:2:7 ratio

I am driven to distraction by all the messaging and programming (AVID, Gear UP, AP, etc.) in high school the pimps the notion that everyone needs to go to college (read: a four year university). These two videos make the point very well. The first is just too well done to be ignored and raises the ratio of 1:2:7 (watch the video and I’m sure you’ll agree this is true based on your real life experience/observations. The next is with Mike Rowe of “Dirty Jobs” fame who is both articulate and passionate about debunking this misrepresentation of real economic needs and rewards.




Some Universities Crack Code in Drawing Women to Computer Science

Only 18 percent of computer science graduates in the United States are women, down from 37 percent in 1985…. Carnegie Mellon observed that when women are a minority in the major, they are disadvantaged because men have informal support, like asking a fraternity brother for help on an assignment or advice on an internship. So the university started formal programs such as one for female computer science majors to mentor younger women. The university also eliminated programming experience as an admissions criterion, which opened the door to girls who have not been exposed to it. [read the full article @ The NY Times]



Physics for Rock Stars, or How The Periodic Table Can Help You Find You BFF

Women in science and engineering: a rare occurrence. Listen to this interview and learn how one young girl was introduced to the wonders of science and engineering and never gave a thought to being the only girl in the engineering class. It’s an interview with a female engineer and she speaks about her entry into the field and how being a B and C student is good enough because what you do on the job matters more. 
Interviewer: Brianna McGurran
Portland’s Christine McKinley wears many hats: she’s a mechanical engineer, a musician, a composer, an author and a former TV personality. She’s also on a mission to make math and science more fun. Her book Physics for Rock Stars is part memoir, part science lesson, and part advice column. It reads like a practical guide to the world from a clever, nerdy friend. Physics Lessons From The Science Teacher You Wish You’d Had … 

Women in STEM: A Gender Gap to Innovation

Our science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) workforce is crucial to America’s innovative capacity and global competitiveness. Yet women are vastly underrepresented in STEM jobs and among STEM degree holders despite making up nearly half of the U.S. workforce and half of the college-educated workforce. That leaves an untapped opportunity to expand STEM employment in the United States, even as there is wide agreement that the nation must do more to improve its competitiveness.


• Although women fill close to half of all jobs in the U.S. economy, they hold less than 25 percent of STEM jobs. This has been the case throughout the past decade, even as college-educated women have increased their share of the overall workforce.

• Women with STEM jobs earned 33 percent more than comparable women in non-STEM jobs – considerably higher than the STEM premium for men. As a result, the gender wage gap is smaller in STEM jobs than in non-STEM jobs.

• Women hold a disproportionately low share of STEM undergraduate degrees, particularly in engineering.

• Women with a STEM degree are less likely than their male counterparts to work in a STEM occupation; they are more likely to work in education or healthcare.

There are many possible factors contributing to the discrepancy of women and men in STEM jobs, including: a lack of female role models, gender stereotyping, and less family-friendly flexibility in the STEM fields. Regardless of the causes, the findings of this report provide evidence of a need to encourage and support women in STEM.


Source: Women in STEM: A Gender Gap to Innovation