A Deeper Look into STEM Readiness

Although nearly half of high school graduates who take the ACT® test express interest in pursuing a career in a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) field, the percentage of first-year students in college who declare a STEM major is substantially lower. The pool of prospective STEM workers shrinks even further as the majority of STEM majors don’t end up earning a STEM degree.

A lack of academic preparation in science and mathematics has been offered as one explanation for the leaky STEM pipeline. What can educators do to find the leaks? How can we identify and nurture STEM-interested students?

Join us for an engaging discussion on STEM research and readiness that impacts the areas of K-12, higher education, and the workforce. Topics will include:
  • The development of the ACT STEM Readiness Benchmark to provide prospective students more tailored information on the level of knowledge and skills needed to have a reasonable chance of success in first-year STEM college courses
  • Key findings of the ACT Condition of STEM 2016 report and the 2016 National ACT Profile Report
  • A look at what one state is currently doing to improve STEM outcomes for students


Lisa Wolf
Lisa Wolf joined ACT in 2008 as a Test Development Associate, where she developed math-constructed response items and led teams in scoring student responses to the items. She also worked on other ACT mathematics-related materials, such as writing instructional units. She transitioned to a client-facing role in January 2012 and is currently the Director of K-12 Partnerships and Services. Prior to joining ACT, she was a high school math teacher in Illinois and a faculty advisor for the student community service organization KEY Club. She holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and a master’s degree in educational leadership.

Scott Leband
Scott Laband is the president of Colorado Succeeds, a nonprofit, nonpartisan coalition of business leaders focused on continuously improving Colorado’s education system. He served as the vice president of Colorado Succeeds between 2010-2012, overseeing the organization’s policy agenda and programs. Prior to Colorado Succeeds, Scott worked as the Legislative Director for Senator Mike Johnston, where he oversaw the education policy agenda and legislative strategy, and he worked in the private sector for six years in corporate finance, strategy, and marketing. Scott is a founding board member of the Rocky Mountain Preparatory School, a high-performing charter management organization located in Southeast Denver, serving primarily low-income students.

Elizabeth Kuehl
Elizabeth Kuehl joined The Colorado Education Initiative (CEI) in 2014 and is a manager on the Next Generation Learning – STEM team. Before joining CEI, she was the director of operations at A+ Denver and also worked at Get Smart Schools through the AmeriCorps VISTA program. A native of Wisconsin, Elizabeth has a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Colorado–Denver and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Wisconsin.


Date: Thursday, July 20, 2017
Time: 1 p.m. ET / 10 a.m. PT
Duration: 60 minutes
Who should attend: K-12 assessment directors, curriculum directors, principals, superintendents, counselors, and STEM educators; postsecondary admissions professionals and STEM educators; and workforce professionals responsible for hiring and developing employees in STEM-related fields