Data released by the Arkansas Department of Higher Education on Friday, July 31, indicates that Arkansas Tech University is the statewide leader in attracting incoming students from Arkansas who wish to major in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.
The ADHE data shows that over the past five years, 1,541 first-time entering students at Arkansas Tech who were natives of Arkansas chose to major in one of the STEM fields.
That figure represents 20.3 percent of all STEM students at Arkansas colleges and universities from the State of Arkansas since 2010, and it ranks Arkansas Tech ahead of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville (1,239 students), Arkansas State University (1,213 students), the University of Central Arkansas (1,055 students) and the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith (660 students) in attracting Arkansans to study in the STEM fields over the past five years.
“Producing high-caliber graduates in the STEM fields will play a major role in the growth and development of the Arkansas economy,” said Dr. Robin E. Bowen, Arkansas Tech president. “Students choose to study STEM at Arkansas Tech because of the excellence of our faculty, our modern facilities and our commitment to student success. It is our strength in those fundamentals that has allowed Arkansas Tech to take on this leadership position for STEM education and economic development in Arkansas.”
ADHE data shows that Arkansas is making strides in its effort to increase the number of students pursuing the STEM fields in higher education. The number of STEM majors from Arkansas at the state’s colleges and universities increased by 24 percent from fall 2010 to fall 2014, going from 1,613 students in 2010 to 2,001 students in fall 2014.
The information was released as part of the Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board regular quarterly meeting, which took place on Friday at the ADHE offices in Little Rock.