The Federal Government is the largest employer of STEM workers in the United States, depending on more than 300,000 scientists and engineers across the Defense Laboratory Enterprise to meet national defense challenges and modernization priorities. It's clear to U.S. officials that the current pipeline of future leaders in these fields will not support future workforce needs.
To combat this shortage, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) partnered with RTI International and other organizations to create the Defense STEM Education Consortium (DSEC). For more than 60 years, RTI has been a leader in solving some of the world’s most complex challenges. This research and development expertise in STEM has led to unmatched resources – resources that RTI is honored to share with the next generation of STEM leaders through DSEC.
What is the Defense STEM Education Consortium?
DSEC is a collaborative partnership between academia, industry, not-for-profit organizations, and government that aims to broaden STEM literacy and develop a diverse and agile future workforce to power the nation’s innovative defense infrastructure. As the lead organization of DSEC, RTI is helping to drive that effort by managing the innovative consortium of organizations that directly and indirectly supports students, teachers, and communities. Five fundamental principles guide the work of the consortium:
- Engage students and educators in meaningful STEM experiences
- Serve students who are military-connected and underrepresented in STEM
- Connect to the DoD STEM workforce
- Leverage the network as a force multiplier
- Evolve the approach based on data
With over $75 million in federal funding to support more than 20 diverse entities making up the consortium, RTI is overseeing the implementation and efficiency of DSEC by streamlining business processes, providing thought leadership on how to fuel the growth of STEM education in grades K through 20, and fostering collaboration across the consortium members.