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Supporting Students

At St. Ambrose, success is just part of the experience. Tutoring, career exploration, and research opportunities are some of the ways we ensure engagement–from enrollment to graduation. Read More

 

Partnerships

In a multi-stage process, relationships will be developed between students and Quad Cities STEM professionals. 

 

Scholarships

Need-based scholarships will be awarded to academically promising students pursuing a degree in industrial engineering, mechanical engineering or physics.

 

Recruiting Students Through School Visits

Visits to high schools are designed to build interest and grab their attention, and community college students will benefit from advising sessions.

 

 

Some Background

As current engineers approach retirement and technical innovations continue to drive the global economy, demand for a new generation of highly qualified engineers will persist. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (2011) projects that employment of industrial engineers will grow by 14% (faster than average), 6% for mechanical engineers, and 16% for physicists, especially in positions related to applied physics such as engineering, computer science, and environmental science (USBLS, 2011). Many local companies prefer to hire professionals regionally reared and educated because of high turnover among employees recruited from other parts of the country.

Nationally, one in five children - almost 10 million - attends a rural school (Johnson & Strange, 2007); 3.4 million attend a rural high school (Meece & Farmer, 2008). Seventy-three (of 99) Iowa counties are rural (Rosmann & Vermie, 2011). Nearly half (43.3%) of Iowans lives in rural areas (Rosmann & Vermie, 2011) including 43% of high schoolers and 25% of adults aged 19-24 (State Library of Iowa, 2000). Illinois has about 5 million rural inhabitants (U.S. Census, 2010).

One in four rural high school students fails to graduate compared to one in three in urban and suburban schools (Alliance for Excellent Education, 2010). Rural schools lack resources to offer advanced classes - especially in math and science, and have fewer teachers with advanced degrees (Monk, 2007). Many rural students lack exposure to STEM careers and do not understand the importance of taking STEM courses in high school. A recent study found that 47% of rural youth felt there was little chance that they would be attending school in five years (Snyder et al., 2009). Tapping the untapped resource of our rural students by educating them in STEM careers is a key component to future growth in engineering and physics.