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Summarized below are the structure, demographics, main themes, and topics of the symposia, first, then of the topical forums. Both the regional symposiums and the topical forums were exceedingly important in helping the members of CUSE to identify and analyze the most important issues that must be confronted by those who wish to improve undergraduate SME&T education. The wealth of ideas that emerged from the hundreds of participants served as the basis for the vision statements and strategies for implementation that are included in this report. Participants' commitment to sustainable improvement of undergraduate SME&T education surely will be critical to the success of subsequent efforts.
Regional Symposium Series: Structure and Demographics
The four symposia were held in different regions of the United States and hosted by a variety of institutions, organizations, and agencies from the academic, business, and government sectors. The dates, locations, and hosts of the symposia are listed in Table 1.
Invitations and announcements for the four symposia were disseminated to attract participation from a broader spectrum of stakeholders in the SME&T education community than could be present at the national convocation held in Washington in April of 1995.
Before each symposium, registrants received copies of the reports, From Analysis to Action and Shaping the Future to provide a common context for discussions at the symposia. Registrants also were polled about the recommendations in From Analysis to Action. The recommendations of most interest to registrants for any given symposium were then highlighted for discussion, and registrants were so notified. The committee also asked registrants to share information or visions for overcoming obstacles to implementing the recommendations in the report. The agendas for each symposium also included other issues identified by the registrants as critical for improving undergraduate science education.
Attendance at each symposium ranged from 101 to 145 participants. Registrants included SME&T faculty, postsecondary institution administrators, K-12 teachers, business leaders, representatives from federal and state education agencies, and executives and program officers from public and private foundations. Appendix B lists the institutional affiliations of participants (pg. 88).
Regional Symposia: General Themes
The national convocation in Washington featured an "Options for Action" structure that allowed participants to discuss and recommend to the convocation organizers various strategies for overcoming barriers to improving undergraduate SME&T education. The committee adopted a similar structure for the regional symposia, with discussions
TABLE 1 DATES, LOCATIONS, AND HOSTS OF THE FOUR REGIONAL SYMPOSIA
October 16, 1995
Ann Arbor, Michigan
University of Michigan
November 10, 1995
January 19, 1996
Johnson Space Center, National Aeronautics and Space Administration