Tips for Increasing STEM Student Enrollment on Your Campus
Are you hoping to attract more STEM students to your college campus? There are a number of strategies that can make your campus more attractive for quality STEM students, including offering attractive benefits, recruiting top faculty and advertising the successes of your graduates. Encouraging important research and giving both your faculty and your students the resources are crucial steps. The tips below are all ways that you can improve what your university has to offer and demonstrate your commitment to your students.
Easy access to health services is one way you can make your campus more attractive to students, and among benefits that help your campus thrive, telehealth is a great option. Students might not feel well enough to visit campus health services or could infect others when they do. They may be hesitant to access in-person services for certain issues, particularly mental health issues. Telehealth offers an excellent alternative. Students are more likely to seek assistance and to seek it sooner when you remove as many obstacles as possible. Telehealth is particularly appealing to today’s digital native college students.
Upgrade the Environment
How’s the housing that you offer students? What about the meal plans? Students pay a lot to go to school these days, and you may want to consider upgrading some of your facilities to reflect this. You can widen the variety of options available to students. You might want to consider surveys to see what they would really value. However, one of the best ways to attract more STEM students and get current students excited about the science programs on offer is by making the work more visible. Locating labs in pleasant environments and high-traffic areas helps engage a larger portion of the student body.
Another great way to upgrade is to think in terms of startup culture. More informal spaces for innovation that include tools and resources for students can make these areas exciting, desirable environments in which to spend more time. You may also want to consider the potential for cross-disciplinary spaces, such as combining science with business or art. Finally, in addition to encouraging research in an academic setting, offer resources and help prepare students to interview and take jobs in private industry.
Aim for Diversity
Diversity is something of a buzzword on campuses these days, but the fact is that you can get some excellent STEM students by reaching out to those who might not fit the traditional profile. Scholarships and other financial aid can help attract students who might not otherwise be able to afford to attend. You could also look into identifying excellent students from lower-performing schools.
Some schools have found success in attracting more students from diverse backgrounds by making themselves more open to the neighborhood in which they are located and the community at large. An important thing to keep in mind as well is that you need to not only attract these students but retain them. This could mean creating mentorship programs or encouraging organizations that help STEM students from various backgrounds thrive.