That’s how long it will take before the number of women on scientific papers is equal to the number of men.
Many institutions of higher learning, understanding their crucial responsibility to prepare students for those market changes, have responded. For example, the University of Michigan initiated a Graduate Student DEI Professional Development Certificate Program. The core curriculum provides a solid foundation for increasing cultural competency and developing skills to promote equity and foster inclusion. The program pilot was precisely what participating students needed, serving as a good starting point for some and a way of assisting others with articulating their skills.
Why do scientists with similar backgrounds and abilities often end up achieving very different degrees of success? A classic explanation is that academic achievement exhibits a “Matthew effect”: Early successes increase future success chances. We analyze data from a large academic funding program that present a unique opportunity to quantify the Matthew effect and identify generative mechanisms. Our results show that winners just above the funding threshold accumulate more than twice as much funding during the subsequent eight years as nonwinners with near-identical review scores that fall just below the threshold. This effect is partly caused by nonwinners ceasing to compete for other funding opportunities, revealing a “participation” mechanism driving the Matthew effect.
The first professor whom students encounter in a discipline is likely to play a big role in whether they continue in it.
Introductory courses can open doors for students, helping them not only discover a love for a subject area that can blossom into their major but also feel more connected to their campus.
But on many campuses, teaching introductory courses typically falls to less-experienced instructors. Sometimes the task is assigned to instructors whose very connection to the college is tenuous. A growing body of evidence suggests that this tension could have negative consequences for students.
Two papers presented at the American Educational Research Association’s annual meeting in New York on Sunday support this idea.
The national movement to increase the proportion of Americans who have postsecondary credentials is quite visible and laudable. As Lumina Foundation, the foremost champion of this idea, argues, learning beyond high school increases American talent and is essential for reducing inequality in our society.
Ahna Skop, PhD, DSc
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Madison, WI 53706