Pathways into Higher Education Panel

Thursday 11:00 am – 12:30 pm PT / 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm MT / 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm CT / 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm ET Online

We are envisioning that this plenary session will be a facilitated conversation between speakers from the recent NASEM Imagining the Future of Undergraduate STEM Education convening. Since the Transforming Institutions Conference is for researchers and practitioners who are improving undergraduate education, we invite you to think with us about how we can move from imagining to implementing the future of undergraduate STEM education. We are especially interested in exploring:

  1. ways to strengthen pathways into and through postsecondary education;
  2. increasing access to postsecondary education; and
  3. connecting researchers (across disciplines and/or contexts) and change agents to support these goals.


Will Tyson - Associate Professor of Sociology, University of South Florida

Will Tyson Dr. Will Tyson is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of South Florida (USF). His research examines interpersonal and structural influences on STEM education and career pathways out of high schools, community colleges, and four-year universities. He has over 16 years of experience serving on 12 NSF funded projects as a post-doc, quantitative social researcher, mixed methods social researcher, external evaluator, co-Principal Investigator, and Principal Investigator.

Dr. Tyson is thePrincipal Investigator of three PathTech projects funded under NSF Advanced Technological Education that examine educational and career pathways of students in two-year college AS/AAS programs in technician education.  The current project, PathTech LISTEN (2018-21), is longitudinal follow-up interviews with a diverse sample of PathTech LIFE survey participants with the goal of creating a longitudinal survey.  He is currently a social researcher on two projects providing support and pathways for Hispanic students and rural post-traditional community college students to transfer to four-year university STEM programs.

Dr. Tyson is the author of Teaching and Learning Employability Skills in Career and Technical Education: Industry, Educator, and Student Perspectives (2020).  This book examines how high school career and technical education (CTE) educators teach and students learn industry-desired employability skills (also called "soft skills") to prepare students to get a job in a science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) field and/or attend college right out of high school. Dr. Tyson is a co-editor of Becoming an Engineer in Public Universities: Pathways for Women and Minorities (2010).

Yves Salomon-Fernandez - President of Greenfield Community College

YvesSalomonFernandez_circle.jpg Dr. Yves Salomon-Fernández is a passionate, entrepreneurial, and future-focused college president who has led three different institutions in suburban and rural settings in Massachusetts and New Jersey. She is currently the President of Greenfield Community College located in beautiful rural western Massachusetts. In addition to leading open access colleges, Dr. Salomon-Fernández has served in varied roles at selective private, public, and urban research universities. Yves is a nationally recognized thought leader in higher education who is inspired by the challenges and possibilities inherent in the future and in re-imagining higher education and community colleges for relevancy in the new economic realities of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Respected around the globe, Dr. Salomon-Fernandez is a multi-lingual scholar and adjunct faculty member working with students and colleagues to transform colleges, making them more equitable and adaptive for a changing future of work. Yves is a staunch promoter of a transdisciplinary approach to higher education and believes in education for local citizenship with a global impact. Internationally, Yves has served with the United Nations in Mexico and as a consultant for the Bermuda Ministry of Education. In March 2018, Diverse Issues in Higher Education named Salomon-Fernández one of the Top 25 Women in Higher Education.

Dr. Salomon-Fernández believes in service to her community and the academy. She has served as a reviewer for the National Science Foundation and Johns Hopkins University Press and is a member of the American Association of Community College's Commission on Small and Rural Colleges. Yves also sits on Job for the Future's Policy Leadership Trust. A Corporator for Greenfield Cooperative Bank, Salomon-Fernández is also a member of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston's Community Development Council. She serves as Board member for Cooley Dickinson Hospital and Mass Humanities both located in Northampton, Massachusetts. A graduate of Boston Latin School, Yves received her undergraduate degree from the University of Massachusetts Boston and holds a certificate from the University of Oxford. Her Master's degree is from the London School of Economics and her Ph.D. from Boston College.

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