STEM Degrees – Highest Percentage Among Boise College Grads – and Climbing
Among the Boise District high school graduating classes of 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010, 1,700 students have graduated with 4-year college degrees. A higher percentage of Boise Schools 4-year college completers have graduated with degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math than in any of the other areas of focus, such as Business, Health and Exercise, Education, Performing and Creative Arts, and Social Sciences.
Majors by Field of Study
In a previous post, National Clearinghouse research referred to the classification scheme used by the National Science Foundation for STEM degrees, which included social sciences and psychology in its science and engineering category. We have made social sciences a separate category and included many of those majors therein.
STEM Popularity Growing
A look at the individual classes from 2007-10 shows that the percentage of STEM majors has grown for each successive class, and indication that those majors are becoming increasingly popular among Boise Schools grads matriculating from 4-year universities.
Most Popular STEM Majors
So, what are the most popular STEM majors among Boise Schools college grads? Well, here are the top 10:
Note that over a hundred graduates have majored in Biology, almost 23% of the 445 total STEM degrees earned. Coming in a distant second is Mechanical Engineering, with 47 degrees, just over 10% of the total. However, the 4 major engineering degree areas, Mechanical, Civil, Computer, and Electrical, accounted for 116 degrees, or 26% of the total number of STEM degrees awarded.
Post Script – Concerns with National Clearinghouse College Entry and Retention Data
An article yesterday by the Washington Post's Valerie Strauss in her Answer Sheet blog pointed up potential flaws found in National Clearinghouse data in college-going patterns among New York high schools. Data analysis done by principals found that NSC direct college entry percentages were often up to 15% lower than what was found by the administrators.
We've decided to do some checking into Boise District college-going patterns. Last year, we found some anomalies in the NSC data for our 2013 Century Scholars, with some top students listed as not attending college when they were enrolled at prestigious universities across the country. Though the differences were not to the degree reported in New York, we plan to have a critical look at the data for Boise 2014 District high school grads in the weeks to come, and report the results in this blog.