Dawn Garrett


Both the nation and California are faced with a critical threat to our long term strength and welfare due to an acknowledged deficit in STEM ready students and workers as we head into the 21st century. The STEM workforce gap requires integrated conversations and solutions as it impacts multiple stakeholder groups who do not necessarily fully comprehend each other's needs and challenges. There is a broad consensus that increasing the STEM workforce is critical to the U.S., impacting standard of living, as well as national security in areas such as international competitiveness, combating terrorism and addressing global warming, to name just a few. Historically, the world has looked to the U.S. as the globe's preeminent source of innovation. However, critical indicators have caused industry, educators, policy makers, and communities to take a deeper look at some alarming trends. For example, a U.S. Department of Commerce study noted that the U.S. has made no progress in its competiveness since 1999, and is beginning to lose ground to other countries that are actively building their scientific and technological infrastructures. This study utilized the literature review to explore the power of applying system's thinking to this complex social problem. In addition, the study quantitatively demonstrated the current state of alignment in California across two key stakeholder group's leaders, industry and education by exploring the following areas: 1. Are the perceptions of two respondent stakeholder leader groups aligned relative to nine identified California STEM goals? 2. Are the perceptions of the assignment of roles across the California STEM stakeholders related to the two respondent group leaders' affiliation? 3. What is the current state of collaboration in California based on the perceptions of the two respondent groups' leaders? The quantitative research demonstrated alignment of the key stakeholder leaders around what is important relative to the goals of California's STEM workforce gap as well as alignment around which stakeholder leaders should be executing specific tasks. The research also underscored an aligned understanding of the current lack of collaboration that exists across stakeholder leaders in California.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (EdD) -- Organizational leadership; Science -- Study and teaching -- California; Technology -- Study and teaching -- California; Engineering -- Study and teaching -- California; Mathematics -- Study and teaching -- California; Technical education -- California -- Evaluation; Labor supply -- California

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

DellaNeve, James;