1. Regina Werum
  2. Professor
  4. University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  1. Christina Steidl
  2. Associate Professor
  4. University of Alabama Huntsville

Collaborative Research: Soldiers to Citizens ... to Scientists? How Military...

NSF Awards: 1727969, 1728044

2019 (see original presentation & discussion)

Undergraduate, Graduate, Adult learners

This project explores the role of the U.S. military as a potential pathway into STEM degrees and occupations. Specifically, it addresses the following questions central to research on STEM education and occupations: How does military service (and the educational benefits associated with it) shape individuals’ training and employment in STEM fields?  To what extent do on-the-job experiences associated with specific military assignments facilitate STEM trajectories? And to what extent do those selection and exposure dynamics create gendered trajectories into STEM fields? Finally, to what extent do competing definitions of STEM employed by federal agencies affect the patterns we see regarding STEM-related educational and occupational outcomes?  To answer these questions, the project employs statistical analysis of publically available data from the American Community Survey (ACS), combined with other secondary data. More broadly speaking, the project addresses recurrent calls to increase the number of STEM professionals, diversify the STEM workforce, and optimize the recruitment of military personnel into STEM professions. In addition to helping researchers identify the effects of existing policies and initiatives designed to foster recruitment into STEM fields, findings point to untapped leverage that can be used to further broaden STEM participation.


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