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STEM Work-Based Learning in Postsecondary Settings

Employers seeking postsecondary STEM talent face two troubling realities:

  1. Not enough students pursue and persist in STEM degree programs – only 8% of students earning an associate’s degree and 19% of students earning a bachelor’s degree graduate in a STEM field.
  2. Not enough students who achieve their STEM degree are prepared for the workforce – only 11% of business leaders think recent grads are well prepared for on-the-job success.

One way to address these aspects of the STEM talent crisis is through work-based learning, a practice that benefits students and their prospective employers.

STEMconnector’s newest white paper, STEM Work-Based Learning in Postsecondary Settings: A guide for employersdiscusses how work-based learning bolsters recent graduates’ preparedness for the STEM workforce and provides employers with earlier access to STEM talent.

The paper provides employers with information they can use to create work-based learning programs or improve upon existing ones, including:

  • A description of five common STEM work-based learning programs– including internships, apprenticeships, cooperative education, externship, and project-based learning
  • Information about how employers benefit from each type of work-based learning
  • Guidance about how employers can choose a work-based learning program that will best meet their STEM talent strategy goals and leverage their available resources
  • Proven ways to embed diversity, equity, and inclusion into all work-based learning programs
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