Sunday, August 14, 2011

From a couple of NSF Infobriefs

"Federal Funding of Basic and Applied Research Increases in FY 2009"  NSF 11-324 | July 2011

Federal obligations for R&D and R&D plant in 2010 were an estimated $118.6 billion, in 2009 were $123.2 billion, and in 2008 were $129.1 billion. The reduction is real buying power is greater since there was inflation during the period.

"Community Colleges: Playing an Important Role in the Education of Science, Engineering, and Health Graduates" NSF 11-317 (revised) | July 2011
Over academic years (AY) 2001 to 2007, the percentage of science, engineering, and health (SEH) graduates who had ever attended community college at some point in their studies remained fairly steady, at around 50% for bachelor's degree recipients and just under 45% for master's degree recipients. In addition, the percentage of SEH graduates who earned an associate's degree also remained steady during this time, at 28% for both bachelor's and master's degree recipients. Community college attendance was driven largely by a desire to earn credits toward a bachelor's degree, followed by financial reasons and then by a desire to gain further skills or knowledge in an academic or occupational field.

The cuts in R&D expenditures are going to get worse in the near future. Who knew that the community colleges were so important in cutting the costs of producing our SEH graduates? On the other hand, for some reason people who got to community colleges are less likely than those who do their whole undergraduate time in universities to go on and get a masters degree. 

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