View lectures, photos and an overview of our celebration.
Dual-Credit Courses Improve College Access and Success
Dual-credit courses allow high school juniors and seniors to enroll in a college course and earn simultaneous credit in high school and college. Earning college credits before graduating from high school makes the transition to college smoother and can increase the likelihood of success there and in the workforce.
So it’s not surprising that dual-credit courses are popular. In 2011, 76% of U.S. high schools reported that some students took at least one dual enrollment course with an academic focus, while 46% of high schools reported students completing dual enrollment courses with a career-technical education focus.
Students who particularly benefit from those courses are those who live in or near manufacturing centers like Wisconsin’s Fox Cities region. Its three counties employ manufacturing workers at two to three times the national average. The area is home to APPVION, for example, which produces thermal papers and films for receipts and coupons, lottery tickets, and medical charts. Pierce Manufacturing and Oshkosh Defense manufacture tactical vehicles for the armed forces. Plexus Corporation produces missile systems, thermal imaging equipment, and sensors for sonar and radar. Read more
Oleson, Hora and Benbow Seek Definition of ‘STEM job’
Students entering college generally have an idea that studying science, technology, engineering, or math – the STEM disciplines – can lead to a good-paying job after they graduate. But varying definitions of what exactly qualifies as a STEM career can be misleading not just to students, but also to researchers and economists who study the state of the U.S. economy and predict future occupational needs, according to WCER researcher Amanda Oleson.
In studying recent research and economic reports from sources as varied as the Bureau of Labor Statistics, O*Net occupation information network, National Science Foundation, the Brookings Institution and the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce, Oleson and colleagues Matthew Hora and Ross Benbow found that estimates for the number of STEM jobs in the U.S. vary wildly, from a low of 5.4 million jobs to a high of 26 million. These estimates differ due to whether certain occupations in healthcare and the social sciences are included, as well as if jobs that require varying levels of STEM skills or education, such as doctoral-level quality control engineers or frontline factory workers, are included. Read more