Endorsement of APS/AAPT/SPS Education Initiative (the Doubling Initiative)

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Jan 21 2008

Council action

The 2007 Council of the Society of Physics Students (SPS) voted to support the following broad statement of the Doubling Initiative of APS, AAPT, and SPS on January 21, 2008.

Mission Statement for APS/AAPT/SPS Education Initiative

We advocate doubling the number of bachelor degrees in physics to address critical national needs including K-12 education, economic competitiveness, energy, security, and an informed electorate

  • An essential area of increase is in the number of highly-qualified high school physics teachers
  • An essential area of increase is in the fraction of both women and under-represented minorities who major in physics

Further, there are critical areas and concerns associated with such an initiative:

  • We do not necessarily seek to increase the number of PhDs in physics; however, we do advocate for an increase in the quality and diversity of the U.S. pool of physics Ph.D. candidates
  • Physics majors successfully pursue and are qualified for a wide range of careers and we support a much broader recognition of this by faculty and employers
  • We advocate that physics bachelor programs
    1. Evolve to meet needs of emerging areas such as biophysics and nanoscience
    2. Address documented shortages of physics-educated professionals in specific areas (e.g., secondary school teaching, medical physics, nuclear physics, etc.)