Publication Date



Genetics, Development and Cell Biology


In the 2012 Report to the President by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and

Technology, it was predicted that the U.S. will require 1 million additional STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) professionals in the next decade if it is to maintain its international standing as a leader in science and technology. As such, retention of undergraduates in the STEM disciplines are critical to meet this goal. Research by the council found that loss of high achieving students was due to uninspiring introductory courses, and students of groups underrepresented in STEM fields found the research environment uninviting. An imperative of the report was to improve the first two years of STEM education at academic institutions, followed by recommendations to adopt evidence based teaching practices and the replacement of traditional laboratory courses with discovery based research.