A recent New York Times editorial commented on the state of math and science education in the United States. The World Economic Forum ranked the U.S. 48th out of 133 developed and developing nations, in terms of instruction quality. However, UMBC was listed as a bright spot in the nation’s STEM education.
Too often, science curriculums are grinding and unimaginative, which may help explain why more than half of all college science majors quit the discipline before they earn their degrees. The science establishment has long viewed a high abandonment rate as part of a natural winnowing.
The University of Maryland, Baltimore County—one of the leading producers of African-American research scientists in the country—rejects that view. It has shown that science and engineering students thrive when they are given mentors and early exposure to exciting, cutting-edge laboratory science. Other colleges are now trying to emulate the program.
The article, “48th Is Not a Good Place,” appeared October 26 in the New York Times.