Eastern Kentucky University again has been recognized nationally for its responsiveness to connecting programs and students with high-demand, high-growth careers in the STEM disciplines of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
In announcing EKU’s inclusion on the 2016 list of STEM JobsSM Approved Colleges, Victory Media specifically cited EKU’s Aerospace Technology program as one of 80 Industry Award winners nationwide.
The STEM JobsSM Approved Colleges survey measures how effectively schools align their programs to high-demand, high-paying STEM jobs, and how well they assist their students in achieving career aspirations in STEM fields. Ratings are based on a “complimentary and rigorous quantitative assessment” that measures schools on criteria created by Victory Media with the assistance of an independent advisory board.
Institutions submitting completed STEM JobsSM Approvedsurveys were scored on publicly available data and responses to proprietary questions around four key indicators that demonstrate the extent to which a school works to 1) provide opportunities for students to explore STEM subjects; 2) promote partnerships that foster STEM literacy and connect classrooms to careers; 3) ensure coursework and activities have a focus on careers; and 4) promote STEM programs that actively attract and engage under-represented student populations.
The Industry Award recognizes institutions that provide the best training and preparation for graduates to enter STEM fields profiled in STEM JobsSM (www.stemjobs.com) magazine. EKU’s nationally renowned Aviation Program offers a bachelor’s degree concentration in Aerospace Technology as well as in Aerospace Management and Professional Flight. For more information, visit aviation.eku.edu.
“With our STEM JobsSM Approved awards, we’re able to help educators evaluate whether they’re meeting the needs of students by employing the kinds of programs that our research shows are most effective in getting students involved in STEM,” said Glen Zollman, vice president of STEM JobsSM. “We’re pleased to showcase schools like Eastern Kentucky University as an institution leading the way in this area.”
Thanks in part to EKU’s state-of-the-art New Science Building, the second phase of which will open by Fall 2017, the number of freshmen enrolling in STEM disciplines is up significantly. For example, 33 freshmen are majoring in physics, up from seven a year ago, and the number of freshman chemistry majors increased from 85 to 121. With the addition of the Departments of Biological Sciences and Geosciences in Phase 2, the 340,000-square-foot facility will be the largest of its kind in the Commonwealth.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, STEM jobs comprise more than 10 percent of the jobs in the United States, and many of those jobs pay wages almost double the U.S. average. For more information about STEM-related programs at EKU, visit stem-h.eku.edu/programs.