##### Full Title:

H.R.3130 – Undergraduate Science, Mathematics, Engineering, and Technology Education Improvement Act

##### Excerpt:

As U.S. economic growth continues to depend largely upon advances in science and technology, the nation’s continued prosperity is linked inextricably to the ability to produce a technologically sophisticated workforce. However, since 1986, while the percentage of degrees awarded in the biological and social sciences has increased sharply, there has been a troubling decrease in the percentage of U.S. baccalaureate degrees awarded in the physical sciences, engineering, mathematics, and computer science. In contrast, Asian and European countries have shown strong growth in degree production in all science and engineering fields and Asian institutions of higher education produce approximately six times as many engineering degrees as do U.S. institutions. The limited numbers of students pursuing science, mathematics, and engineering degrees appears to be a result of at least two factors: too few students who enter college wanting to major in one of those fields, and too many students who initially show such interest changing their minds during the first two years of their college education. Evidence of a decline in the percentage of freshmen choosing to enter and remain in mathematics and science-based majors first became apparent in the mid-1980s, as a result of a number of studies. Researchers determined that 40 percent of science, mathematics, and engineering undergraduates left the 11 major, and that most did so within the first 2.5 years of the undergraduate experience. Similarly, a 2002 report by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Educational Statistics showed that fewer than 50 percent of students who intend to major in science and engineering fields complete a science or engineering degree within five years.

##### Source Citation:

U.S. Congress. 2002. House. *Undergraduate Science, Mathematics, Engineering, and Technology Education Improvement Act*. HR 3130. 107th Cong., 2d sess. https://heinonline.org/HOL/P?h=hein.usccsset/usconset50639&i=634

#### Cite this page:

*History of Higher Education.*https://higheredhistory.gmu.edu/primary-sources/undergraduate-science-mathematics-engineering-and-technology-education-improvement-act-legislation/