Higher Education Commissioner Joe Rallo says the first LaSTEM Advisory Council meeting was successful in discussing how to increase the amount of students who will succeed in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math. Rallo says right now, if we don’t engage, Louisiana will not catch up with neighboring states when it comes to STEM jobs.
“Over 50% of jobs will require some background in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics, yet only 10% of our high school graduates have the ACT scores to meet that.”
Rallo says the council will meet once a month. He says the council agrees STEM education needs to be a pipeline, starting in Kindergarten and continuing through high school.
“You can’t expect a student in their senior year in high school who is taking remedial math to be ready for a STEM field, you have to start that much earlier. So that was a really positive thing that occurred.”
The council was developed from legislation approved during the 2017 legislative session. Rallo says there is also a push to get more woman into STEM careers. He says women can really excel in these jobs.
“Women who go into the STEM field actually make more than men in comparable positions. This is not just altruism, it’s not just nice to have but it will also go and close that wage gap.”