An area college professor is taking his cause to the nation's capital.
Rose-Hulman's Vice President for Academic Affairs, Phillip Cornwell, testified at a congressional hearing Thursday. He was invited by Indiana's 8th District representative, Larry Bucshon.
Bucshon chairs a congressional subcommittee on research and technology. The panel discussion Thursday focused on how the private sector can help attract more science, technology, engineering and math professionals (STEM).
"For me there are two key things that we need to do to accomplish that. One is to increase the pipeline; increase the students interested in STEM, which is largely what we're talking about today, but secondly, we also need to once those students enter college, to graduate more of them and help them be successful," explained Phillip Cornwell.
Cornwell pointed out that Rose-Hulman's Catapult and Homework Hotline programs have been successful attracting students to STEM fields. Rose also boasts a five-year retention rate of 80 percent, while the average is about 50 percent. He says if that national average were improved by just 10 percent it would produce about 100,000 new engineers in six years.