I hope many of you took time from gambling to attend the panel session, “Sticking with STEM: How the Academic Library Can Help to Retain Successful Students” at the ALA Annual Conference 2014 in Las Vegas. The program was co-sponsored by ACRL’s Science and Technology Section and Health Sciences Interest Group, and featured three speakers. The one administrator on the panel was the dedicated Dr. Joanna Jezierska (Dr. J) from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where she directs the Multicultural Program for Engineering, Sciences, Allied Health Sciences, Community Health Sciences, and Nursing. Retention among the students participating in the program is at 80.1%!
Dr. J’s clear message was STEM retention is a complex problem that requires a complex solution only possible through collaboration. Her long list of partners included faculty, deans, libraries, student organizations, academic advising, academic success services, financial aid, personal counseling, K-12 teachers, and potential STEM employers. You can read about some these collaborators on the program’s Services page.
Dr. J encourages librarians to think beyond their usual duties and interact with students and collaborators in new ways to achieve the common goal of improved STEM retention. A summary of her talk will eventually be posted on the STS website.
Photo attribution: Wesley Fryer / CC BY 2.0