The Future Needs A PUSH

Black workers represent only 9% of those in STEM occupations. Representation is even lower at just 5% in some STEM jobs areas like engineering and architecture.

The STEM workforce representation gap is especially large for LatinX adults. LatinX workers make up 17% of employment across all occupations, but just 8% of all STEM workers.

Only 19% of STEM bachelor’s degrees were awarded to Black and LatinX students in 2018.

STEM PUSH is conducting the first-ever large, cross-program research study of the impact of pre-college STEM program (PCSP) experiences on student enrollment and student persistence in STEM in post-secondary education.

The STEM PUSH Network supports pre-college STEM programs in strengthening how they serve Black and Brown students and work with admissions offices to pioneer a new way for pre-college programs to carry weight in admissions processes.

Through research and collaboration, STEM PUSH will leverage the power of pre-college STEM programs and the ecosystems in which they operate to establish pathways for Black and Brown students into post-secondary STEM studies.

Why Pre-College STEM Programs?

Pre-college STEM programs have long supported Black and Brown students’ academic and personal development, but the programs’ collective potential for filling equity gaps in higher education has not yet been fully realized.

PCSPs work closely with high school students and have a unique perspective on students’ STEM competencies that could be potentially useful to admissions offices.

STEM PUSH is working to create a quality credential for use in the admissions process. While there is variability across PCSPs, programs within the Network are united by quality standards, as well as a focus on equity and broadening participation in STEM.

Our Strategy

Successful Student 1
Successful Student

Ecosystems, regional collaborations between schools, community based organizations, higher education institutions, business and pre-college STEM programs, helps connect STEM PUSH’s work into the greater local efforts to develop cradle to career STEM Pathways.

Learning Engine
Our networked improvement community serves as the learning engine in which pre-college programs strengthen their  capacity to support Black and Brown students in STEM and build pathways leading to undergraduate institutions for STEM study by designing and testing routines and tools. These tested routines can then be used by other OST providers to better serve their Black and Brown students in STEM.

Successful Student 3
Successful Students

Develop an accreditation system for PCSPs to demonstrate student readiness to admissions systems and give post-secondary admissions a new, more equitable, system with which to admit students.

Explore a new, more equitable reality for post-secondary admissions with some of the nation’s top thought leaders and experts in the space.

Diverse representation is critical to bringing rich ideas and innovation in our world and solving some of society's most pressing problems.

Network Voices

“There's no current way for college admissions representatives to account for the large scale value pre-college programs add because there's so much variability among programs. And so this work is important because it's designing a way for these out-of-school time programs that are so valuable to actually have weight and value in college admissions decisions.”

Alison Slinskey Legg, The STEM PUSH Network, co-director, BE STEM Center, University of Pittsburgh
“So, the [STEM] exposure piece is important, but also just having that peer-to-peer network, having mentors and people who look like them to look up to as part of that learning experience is what makes pre-college STEM programs important.”
Julius Moyos
Julius Moyo
Manager of Explainers, New York Hall of Science and Current, Program Director, Posse Los Angeles
“We wanted to make sure that we use this funding, which is focused on low income and first generation students, to promote the interests of students in the STEM fields--but also to make it impactful so that they could become productive citizens and develop this self-worth of who they are and what they do.”
Aaron Cortes
Aaron Cortes
Director of STEM Initiatives, Center for College Access and Success, Northeastern Illinois University
“It’s important for us to really look for what are the successful programs because we’ve got very limited resources. So, making sure we’re making investments in the right places.”
Vince Stewart
Vince Stewart
Executive Director, California STEM Network Co-lead, Bay Area STEM Ecosystem
“As a former INVESTING NOW student, it is kind of full circle for me. I now have the opportunity to work with the STEM PUSH Network team on an initiative that promotes pre-college STEM programs and formally recognizes the amazing work that they do.”
Dominique Briggs
Dominique Briggs
Project Manager, STEM PUSH Network, University of Pittsburgh

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