Your Voice: How Much Math Proficiency is Needed to Succeed in STEM?

This post is a little different than our usual tips and reflections about the professoriate. But at the heart of ProfHacker is an emphasis on the power of technologies such as social media to spread information about the good work being done in academia. We think that a project being conducted by the Wisconsin Center for Education Research (WCER) matches that heart, and so we share the following with you.

The WCER is currently conducting a study that asks one simple question: What level of math proficiency do STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) faculty consider a good indication that a student is likely to succeed in a STEM major? The study, entitled called “Talking about Leaving, Revisited: Exploring Current Patterns of Undergraduate Persistence in the Sciences,” is a follow-up to Elaine Seymour and Nancy Hewitt’s original study and book 15 years ago. For that work, Elaine and Nancy asked faculty what minimum SAT math score would be an indicator of sufficient math readiness for an undergraduate to succeed in a STEM major. The answer in 1997: 650. For the follow-up study, they are using a very short two-item survey to see whether this indicator has changed.

Mark and his team would love to see the input of ProfHacker readers in their survey results, and so they encourage you to answer the two very short questions.

Social media is gaining some leverage in the STEM world, and it is hoped that by sharing the survey with ProfHacker readers it will get a bigger audience. Along those lines, physics blogger Rhett Allain posted a recent reflection of the role of Twitter in the recent Winter American Association of Physics Teachers conference, which could perhaps serve as more fodder for considering the role of social media in STEM. 

Have you had any success in leveraging social media to assist you in the work of improving STEM education? Let us know in the comments.

[Image Creative Commons licensed / Flickr user Sean MacEntee]

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