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Report Documents Success of Small Private Colleges in STEM

March 17, 2014

A report being released today by the Council of Independent Colleges, "Strengthening the STEM Pipeline: The Contributions of Small and Mid-Sized Independent Colleges," argues that such colleges make a disproportionate contribution to efforts to build up the American work force in science and technology. The report notes that many people assume research universities are the key sector for promoting STEM education. But on a per capita basis, the report argues, small private colleges deserve more support for STEM education.

For example, the report says that between 2006 and 2010, 25 graduates of Allegheny College (total undergraduate enrollment of 1,849) went on to earn doctorates in chemistry. During the same period, 30 graduates of the University of Pittsburgh (17,413 undergraduate enrollment) and 25 graduates of Carnegie Mellon University (5,484 undergraduate enrollment) earned doctorates in chemistry.

The report gave another example, this one for the biological sciences. The CIC study noted that one of every four graduates in biological sciences from Swarthmore College, Haverford College, Grinnell College and Oberlin College went on to complete a Ph.D., a rate higher than flagship public universities in their states: Pennsylvania State University (16 percent), the University of Iowa (13 percent), Iowa State University (10 percent), and Ohio State University (8 percent).

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Scott Jaschik

Scott Jaschik, Editor, is one of the three founders of Inside Higher Ed. With Doug Lederman, he leads the editorial operations of Inside Higher Ed, overseeing news content, opinion pieces, career advice, blogs and other features. Scott is a leading voice on higher education issues, quoted regularly in publications nationwide, and publishing articles on colleges in publications such as The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, Salon, and elsewhere. He has been a judge or screener for the National Magazine Awards, the Online Journalism Awards, the Folio Editorial Excellence Awards, and the Education Writers Association Awards. Scott served as a mentor in the community college fellowship program of the Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media, of Teachers College, Columbia University. He is a member of the board of the Education Writers Association. From 1999-2003, Scott was editor of The Chronicle of Higher Education. Scott grew up in Rochester, N.Y., and graduated from Cornell University in 1985. He lives in Washington.

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