Get with the Programming: STEM Definition Now Includes Computer Science

DC Shuttle …

STEM Education Act Signed into Law. President Obama signed the STEM Education Act of 2015, which expands the definition of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) to include computer science programs. The bill was originally introduced by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) and Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-CT), members of the Science, Space and Technology Committee. The law does not increase funding, but does expand the kinds of STEM programs that can be run and funded by federal government agencies to include computer science.

Department of Defense Suspends University of Phoenix. The Department of Defense announced that it has suspended the University of Phoenix from participating in the federal tuition-assistance program for service members. The probation is the result of allegations that the for-profit school paid for preferential recruiting access to veterans and service members, the Chronicle of Higher Education reports.

Rhode Islander Named Principal of the Year. Rhode Island high school principal Alan Tenreiro was selected as the 2016 National Principal of the Year by the National Association of Secondary School Principals. In four years at Cumberland High School in Cumberland, R.I., he has doubled its Advanced Placement class offerings and expanded the number of STEM courses to include pre-engineering, robotics and a biotechnology pathway.

MIT Tests MOOC Degree Pilot. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced that next year it will launch a pilot program to deliver courses through massive open online courses (MOOCs). MIT will allow students to enroll in its supply chain management program and earn a master’s of engineering in logistics degree and will offer half of the program through MOOCs, reports Inside Higher Ed.

Survey of State Aid. The National Association of State Student Grant and Aid Programs released a survey of aid programs for the 2013-14 academic year, which found that the amount states awarded to students increased by 1.6%, adjusted for inflation, to $11.7 billion.

Report on Graduation Rates. The National Bureau of Economic Research released a report, which found that retention and graduation rates can be determined by a student’s peer group, according to a Chronicle of Higher Education report on the findings.

We publish the DC Shuttle each week featuring higher ed news from Washington collected by the New England Council, of which NEBHE is a member. This edition is drawn from the Higher Education Update in the Council’s Weekly Washington Report of Oct. 13, 2015. Founded in 1925, the New England Council is a nonpartisan alliance of businesses, academic and health institutions, and public and private organizations throughout New England formed to promote economic growth and a high quality of life in the New England region. The Council’s mission is to identify and support federal public policies and articulate the voice of its membership regionally and nationally on important issues facing New England. For more information, please visit:


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