Executive and academic officers of postsecondary institutions can implementVision 1by
Individual faculty and academic departments can implementVision 1by
1. Asking academic SME&T departments and the Office of Admissions to establish appropriate institutional admissions standards for science and mathematics preparation.
1. Responding to both the current educational experiences and accomplishments of today's students and to the changing expectations about what pre-college students should know and should be able to do in SME&T as a result of the increased use of national and statewide standards-based curricula and assessment tools.
2. Working with their institution's Office of Admissions to make clear to prospective students the departments' expectations for entry into SME&T programs and the institution's goal of providing SME&T education to all of its enrolled students.
standards-based approaches to science and mathematics (and eventually technology) education should enable more students to reach these desired levels of achievement.
However, the committee recognizes that standards-based K-12 education in science, mathematics, and technology is not yet available to most students across the country. Colleges and universities must now rely on standardized examinations in these disciplines that do not necessarily assess the kinds of learning emphasized in national standards. Many postsecondary institutions also employ open admission policies. Such policies provide critical educational opportunities for students who may not have had the academic experiences called for by national and state standards.
Moving K-12 education to a system that is more consonant with standards will likely require at least a decade. Nevertheless, change is occurring—albeit at different rates—in many parts of the country, and increasing numbers of students are likely to arrive at postsecondary institutions with greater exposure to science and mathematics standards. Thus, postsecondary institutions, their admissions offices, and faculty will need to monitor these trends in K-12 education with respect to admissions policies and the content and teaching of undergraduate courses. Admissions policies should be revisited regularly to account for changes taking place in the K-12 sector.
The committee also recognizes that, although this vision and the accompanying implementation strategies are appropriate for a majority of students in the nation's high schools, many other students will need creative alternative pathways to higher education. These students include those who have not performed well academically in high school but who have potential to succeed at college-level studies and those who did not receive the kind of education articulated in this report and who, as adults, are now seeking additional education.
SME&T would become an integral part of the curriculum for all undergraduate students through required introductory courses that engage all students in SME&T and their connections to society and the human condition.