in addition to the content associated with a particular discipline. Here again, a multidisciplinary approach to teaching and learning about SME&T could be valuable, especially for this population of students.
After reading this report, one might reasonably ask whether undergraduate education in SME&T could possibly be transformed to the extent proposed by the committee. The committee believes that it can be, largely because of the inherent academic strength of our colleges and universities and the nationwide interest in improving education: these both offer an unparalleled opportunity for all postsecondary institutions to provide the kind of quality SME&T education that all undergraduates need.
Individual colleges and universities need not address the issues involved in isolation. Innovative courses, curricula, and pedagogical approaches are already being developed and tested at many types of colleges and universities across the United States. Our highest elected and appointed leaders, public and private foundations, and prominent research scientists and policy-makers have identified SME&T literacy for all students at the pre-college and undergraduate levels as a top priority for the nation. Specific recommendations for action are available (e.g., Clinton and Gore, 1994; National Academy of Sciences, 1997; National Research Council, 1982, 1989, 1991, 1995a, 1996a; National Science Foundation, 1996b; Howard Hughes Medical Institute, 1995, 1996a), and many funding sources (both public and private) are now providing considerable financial support to catalyze innovation and change in undergraduate SME&T education (e.g., Howard Hughes Medical Institute, 1996b; National Science Foundation, 1998a).