The Office of Science and Technology Policy considers expanding undergraduate research opportunities, particularly during freshman year.
Because undergraduate research is a highly engaging experience with a track record of greatly diminishing student dropout/switch out from STEM, such experiences should be moved to student’s first year of college, as a prophylactic against dropout/switch out endemic to the freshman year. Such a move could increase national B.S. output by as much as 20 percent. To facilitate this transition, the President should issue an Executive Order requesting 30 percent or more of federal-agency-funded undergraduate research experiences be moved to the freshman year and summer following. Prior to the White House issuing the order, OSTP can be directed to arrive at a list of programs that would be affected by such an order, and asked for process suggestions that would allow for a smooth transition to the new model.