• Report

STEM Coursetaking Among High School Graduates, 1990-2005


Laird, J., Alt, M., & Wu, J. (2009). STEM Coursetaking Among High School Graduates, 1990-2005. Berkeley, CA: MPR Associates, Inc.


This MPR Research Brief examines high school students' coursetaking in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subjects. As technical and scientific innovation increasingly drives the global economy, educators and experts in technical fields have expressed concern about the academic preparation of U.S. students in STEM fields. Using data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress High School Transcript Study, this brief compares STEM coursetaking among 2005 high school graduates with that of 1990 and 2000 graduates. Graduates from the class of 2005 earned more credits in each of three STEM course categories (advanced mathematics, advanced science and engineering, and STEM-related technical courses) than did their 1990 peers. Gains were found across gender, racial/ethnic groups, and community types