STEM Enrollment on the Rise
STEM programs are continuing to see increases as overall enrollment declines.
The National Student Clearinghouse Research Center recently issued its college enrollment data for fall of 2017. The numbers tell an interesting story; while college enrollment is in decline, STEM programs are continuing to see increases.
According to this report, student enrollment went down across all types of institutions by about 1%. The largest decreases were seen in the number of first-time students aged 25 or older. Across all types of degree-granting institutions, 13.3% fewer of these students enrolled than the previous year. Among students aged 18 to 24, the decline in enrollment was about 1%.
In the report, four-year for-profit institutions saw the largest drop, continuing the trend that started in 2015. The numbers show that the these institutions saw a drop in enrollment of 7.1%. Even enrollment in four-year public institutions, which has been gradually increasing every year since 2014, fell by 0.2%. Two-year public institutions saw a drop of 1.7%.
However, despite the overall drop in enrollment, the STEM fields generally saw increases. In four-year institutions, the number of science, technology, engineering, and math majors increased by 2.2%. In terms of real numbers, majors related to computer and information sciences increased by 24, 919 enrollments from fall 2016 to fall 2017. Majors related to biological and biomedical sciences grew by 14, 374 enrollments.
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