Abbott Creates New STEM Pathways with College Credit for High School Internship
Abbott Blueprint: Shaping the Future of STEM, 2nd Edition
It’s been nearly two years since Abbott launched its Abbott Blueprint, aimed at broadening STEM horizons for high school students through a first-of-its-kind internship initiative playbook for other companies to follow. No stranger to the STEM internship game, Abbott first started an internship program for high school students in 2012 with an “each one, reach one” mentality, striving to do its part in harnessing the next generation of STEM leaders.
The renewed emphasis on this program stems from the recent global COVID-19 pandemic, natural disasters, and continued lack of access to essential health care. These are major challenges resulting in the immediate and long-term need for a STEM ready workforce. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics backs this up, predicting the U.S. will need another nearly 800,000 STEM workers by the year 2029.
It’s with this statistic in mind that Abbott is renewing its efforts to help other organizations start similar high school STEM internships programs. Abbott is relaunching the second edition of its internship blueprint, including new information about how to help students earn college credit for their experiences. High school students who complete Abbott's award-winning summer internship program are now eligible to receive college credit for the experience in a first-of-its-kind effort that can serve as a model for other companies to support STEM education. Abbott believes focusing on high school students is the best approach since high school internships enable employers to reach a larger range of students and expose them to fields they might otherwise dismiss.
Abbott’s Executive Vice President of Human Resources, Mary Moreland says exposing students to STEM earlier in their education pathways enables students to grow their interest and confidence in STEM. Reaching high school students also will help increase the quantity and quality of companies’ college internship pipelines.
A high school internship allows a company’s reach to expand beyond the network of its typical college recruiting. Additionally, a company can ensure its high school interns are equipped with the skills needed to succeed at the organization, decreasing training time and increasing productivity for the interns who return when they are in college.