AGI's National Geoscience Student Exit Survey measures the relevant experiences in school and the immediate career plans upon graduation of recent geoscience degree recipients. In April 2012, AGI conducted the second pilot test of this survey and received responses from 46 departments. This Currents examines the results from questions focused on the survey participants’ future plans after graduation.
The 2011-2012 academic year saw strong growth in U.S. undergraduate enrollments, continuing the nearly decade-long trend. Also, the 2010-2011 enrollment levels saw upward revisions based on additional updates provided by academic departments. The 2011-2012 preliminary data show an increase of 3.3% for undergraduate enrollments, and approximately a 3% decrease in graduate enrollments. Graduate enrollments nearly always are revised upward when they are confirmed in the following year, so we believe that final results will show flat graduate student levels.
Geoscience Currents #69 explores how female geoscience enrollments and degrees changed in the 2011-2012 academic year. New data collected shows that female geoscience enrollments and degrees in the U.S. dropped sharply at both the Bachelor's and Master's levels, but increased slightly at the Doctoral level.
In continuation of the Geoscience Academic Provenance research series conducted by Houlton (Geoscience Currents 45-48, and 57-58), Geoscience Currents 59 presents quantitative data collected from participants through a Likert-based survey. Participants were asked to rate their feelings toward geoscience on a scale from 1 to 7. The aggregated responses illuminated the changes over time in the students' attitudes toward pursuing geoscience.
The American Geosciences Institute has released Geoscience Currents 60, which examines female enrollments and degrees in the geosciences over time. In 2011, the Current concludes, female participation in U.S. geoscience degree programs remained generally steady. After decades of steady growth in the rate of female participation, there has been little change since 2005. Several interesting trends are also noted, including declines in doctorates awarded following economic downturns, and that women appear to have slightly higher degree completion rates than men at the Bachelor's and Master's levels.
AGI conducted a follow-up study to research conducted by Houlton (Geoscience Currents 45-48) in a Geoscience Currents series that examines the various pathways taken by undergraduate geoscience majors when deciding to concentrate in the Earth sciences.
Enrollments and degrees in the geosciences in the United States dipped during the 2010-2011 academic year as detailed in the latest Geoscience Currents published by the American Geosciences Institute. After peaking the year before, enrollments slipped back to 2008-2009 levels with undergraduate geoscience enrollments dropping about 8 percent and graduate enrollments falling approximately 3 percent. Degrees similarly declined, with Bachelor's degrees dropping 9 percent, Master's dropping 6 percent, and Doctorates dropping 4 percent.