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Factors Influencing College Success in STEM (FICS)

The United States sets educational standards for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in elementary and secondary schools, but preparation for college-level STEM classes varies a lot among students entering university. Owing to a host of background factors, many students may struggle in university introductory science courses and end up feeling discouraged from pursuing STEM degrees and careers. The Science Education Department (SED) at the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian has conducted several ongoing large-scale empirical studies, collectively titled “Factors Influencing College Success in STEM”. These studies look at measurable factors that predict student performance in introductory university STEM classes.