6. Adopting, publicizing, and promoting STEM education as a community college priority. STEM education at the community college level could play a major role in teacher preparation and workforce development. It also can reach rural and remote communities. Making STEM education a community college priority could encourage the development of two-year and four-year institutional partnerships, emphasize the importance of community colleges in the evolving STEM education landscape, and focus federal funding on this issue.
7. Initiating uninterrupted federal funding for two-year and four-year STEM education programs. NSF and other funding agencies could help strengthen STEM education by funding programs that start in two-year colleges and provide a seamless transition into four-year institutions.
8. Strengthening K-12 STEM preparation and achievement. Efforts that could be taken to improve the academic preparation of students in STEM include strengthening the K-12 curriculum, having students take a test to determine college or job readiness prior to leaving high school, having dual-enrollment programs that allow for transfer of credits nationally, and recruiting students from STEM academies.
9. Increasing the capacity and competitiveness of community colleges to receive grants from NSF and other federal funding sources. Disadvantages for community colleges in applying for federal funds for program improvement include a shortage of faculty time to develop proposals and manage grant projects, inconsistent college administration support for grants, lack of grant-writing expertise, insufficient internal and external partnerships, and limited resources for institutions to learn how to submit proposals and manage awards.
10. Establishing professional communities to work on specific STEM education challenges. Particular challenges mentioned include developing curricula, leveraging technology, promoting faculty development, and recruiting more women and minorities into STEM education and careers.