Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education: Survey of Federal Programs (GAO-12-110SP, January 2012), an E-supplement to GAO-12-108

Read the Full Report: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education: Strategic Planning Needed to Better Manage Overlapping Programs across Multiple Agencies (GAO-12-108).

Background

This e-supplement is a companion to our report entitled "Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education: Strategic Planning Needed to Better Manage Overlapping Programs across Multiple Agencies," GAO-12-108. The purpose of the survey was to gather program information--such as objectives, services provided, target groups served, obligations, and outcome metrics tracked--on federal STEM education programs. This information was used to help assess the level of overlap that exists among federal STEM education programs.

We present information from our web survey, administered in May through August of 2011, on 209 federal STEM education programs. We defined STEM education program as a program funded in FY 2010 by congressional appropriation or allocation that includes one or more of the following as a primary objective:

• Attract or prepare students to pursue classes or coursework in STEM areas through formal or informal education activities (informal education programs provide support for activities provided by a variety of organizations that offer students learning opportunities outside of formal schooling through contests, science fairs, summer programs, and other means; outreach programs targeted to the general public, should not be included),

• Attract students to pursue degrees (2-year, 4-year, graduate, or doctoral degrees) in STEM fields through formal or informal education activities,

• Provide training opportunities for undergraduate or graduate students in STEM fields (this can include grants, fellowships, internships, and traineeships that are targeted to students; general research grants that are targeted to researchers that may hire a student to work in the lab should not be considered a STEM education program),

• Attract graduates to pursue careers in STEM fields,

• Improve teacher (preservice or in-service) education in STEM areas,

• Improve or expand the capacity of K-12 schools or post-secondary institutions to promote or foster education in STEM fields, or

• Conduct research to enhance the quality of STEM education programs provided to students.

We defined program to include grants, fellowships, internships, and traineeships. While programs designed to retain current employees in STEM fields were not included, programs that fund retraining of workers to pursue a degree in a STEM field were included because these programs help increase the number of students and professionals in STEM fields by helping retrain non-STEM workers to work in STEM fields. For a full discussion of the survey methodology, see appendix I of the full report, GAO-12-108.

A copy of the final web survey instrument is reproduced in this e-supplement, along with summary statistics for selected numeric questions and the number of valid responses to selected questions. We did not report narrative responses or survey results that did not meet our data reliability standards.

We conducted our work from February 2011 to January 2012 in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable basis for our findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. We believe that the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for our findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives.

Individual survey responses

To view a table that provides individual survey responses for selected fields used by GAO to determine the level of overlap that exists among STEM education programs, click here.

Copy of survey and summary statistics

A copy of the final web survey instrument is reproduced in this table, along with summary statistics for selected numeric questions and the number of valid responses to selected questions.

Page Name Questionnaire Results
Introduction View View
Section I: Program Background Information View View
Section II: Program Focus and Target Population View View
Section III: Output Measures View View
Section IV: Program Outcome Measures & Evaluations View View
Section V: Program Funding Levels View View
Submit your responses to GAO View View

Contact

George A. Scott, scottg@gao.gov or (202) 512-7215.

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