YNN: Study: Fewer Women Taking STEM Classes at Community Colleges

YNN: Study: Fewer Women Taking STEM Classes at Community Colleges

April 18, 2012

Upstate New York is having a boom in science, technology, engineering and math jobs. But according to a study, fewer women are training for them at community colleges.

Jeannine Acevedo has always had an interest in science and math. Now she's back in school, making a second career of it.

Once I have this [degree], I can either work as (a technician) or it will open doors in a ton of different directions," she said. "Whether it's nanoscience in the medical field or nanoscience in making electronics, there's so much going on with it. Now that I have a good base, I can move on to anywhere."

Acevedo is studying semiconductor manufacturing technology at Hudson Valley Community College's TEC-SMART facility. The college offers a variety of science, technology, engineering and math programs, but few women are participating. Community college administrators say it's a national trend that needs to change.

"Take the hard things, because other people in other countries are doing it," said TEC-SMART Associate Dean Penny Hill. "We have to be globally competitive and that's the only way we're going to do it, is if we have all our young population looking at this as a viable option."

A study by the Institute for Women's Policy Research found that only 27.5 percent of associate's degrees and occupational certificates in STEM fields went to women in 2007. That was a more than 10 percent decrease from 10 years earlier.

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Article Contributors
  • Danielle Benedict
  • Helen Edelman
  • Justin Giordano
  • David Henahan
  • Susan LeClair
  • Tom Mackey
  • Mark Miyake
  • Vickie Moller
  • Sarah Morehouse
  • Rhianna Rogers
  • Pat Ryan
  • Jandet Shideler
  • Betty Wilde-Biasiny

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