- President Donald Trump Tuesday signed into law two bills designed to promote greater female participation in STEM fields, with specific emphasis on entrepreneurial development in these industries.
- The National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Science Foundation will have 90 days to advance plans on how to create more engagement between science professionals and female students in K-12 systems to inspire interest and pursuit of STEM education and training.
- President Trump called current data on the number of women working in computer science and technical fields "unacceptable" in his remarks during the bills' signing.
The new laws present ideal opportunities for colleges and universities to position themselves as teaching and mentoring resources in support of NASA and the NSF towards the overall goal of attracting more women to STEM disciplines. Many researchers and professors who already hold grants with these agencies can also serve as resources to secondary districts, which could present additional opportunities for new contracts and initiatives built out of this presidential mandate.
Additionally, colleges should continue to lobby the White House and federal lawmakers to enhance programs which ultimately lead to expanded workforce development and stronger partnerships between colleges and universities. New jobs without qualified workers will harm the economy, and most government officials know that higher education can mitigate this issue, if solutions are presented in a strategic and politically sound way.