Bryn Mawr College and Posse Foundation Create First Posse Exclusively for Women Pursuing STEM Majors

Posted February 7th, 2012 at 3:58 pm.

posseBryn Mawr College will host the very first women’s STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) Posse in the fall of 2013, announced Bryn Mawr President Jane McAuliffe and Posse Foundation President  and founder Deborah Bial today.

Bryn Mawr’s latest partnership with the Posse Foundation is one of the initiatives the White House highlighted today in connection with the White House Science Fair, where President Barack Obama outlined key steps that his administration and its partners are taking to help more students excel in math and science and earn degrees in these subjects.

The Posse Foundation identifies public high-school students with extraordinary academic and leadership potential who may be overlooked by traditional college selection processes. Posse extends to these students the opportunity to pursue personal and academic excellence by placing them in supportive, multicultural teams—Posses—of 10 students. Posse partner colleges and universities award Posse Scholars four-year, full-tuition leadership scholarships.

Bryn Mawr College has expanded its partnership with The Posse Foundation to recruit a Posse of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) students from Boston while moving the recruiting site of its traditional Posse to the foundation’s newest program site, Houston, Texas. Bryn Mawr established its first partnership with Posse in 2000, when it signed on to recruit cohorts of 10-12 student leaders annually from public high schools in Boston. With the recent expansion, the Boston Posses will now consist of students intent on majoring in STEM fields. Bryn Mawr will enroll its first Boston STEM Posse and Houston Posse in the fall of 2013.

“This has been such a great partnership from the very beginning,” says Bial. “We are thrilled to see it grow and proud to count Bryn Mawr as the first women’s STEM Posse partner and one of Posse Houston’s first institutional partners.”

“When it comes to helping students succeed, we know the Posse model works. And when it comes to helping young women achieve the highest goals in math and science, we know the Bryn Mawr model works,” adds McAuliffe.

Bryn Mawr College is in the top 10 among liberal-arts colleges in terms of the percentage of female graduates pursuing doctorates in the STEM fields. Bryn Mawr students are five times more likely to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry than undergraduate college students nationwide and eight times more likely to do so in math. Bryn Mawr is third in the nation in the percentage of female students receiving bachelor’s degrees in math, beating out such STEM-oriented universities as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Carnegie Mellon University, and has 15 times the national average of female students graduating in physics.

“While women fill more than half of all jobs in the U.S. economy, they hold less than 25 percent of science, technology, engineering, and math jobs,” notes McAuliffe. “In today’s global economy, the countries that lead do so through fostering technological innovation. Creating an environment where women can reach their full potential in the STEM fields is possible and can have impressive results.”

For more on Bryn Mawr’s 10-year partnership with Posse, read this article from the latest Alumnae Bulletin or go to this Bryn Mawr Now post to see photos from the Bryn Mawr/Posse 10th anniversary celebration event.

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