Indicators of Success in STEM Majors: A Cohort StudyReportar como inadecuado

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Journal of College Admission, n212 p18-24 Sum 2011

It has become universally known that Americans as a nation have fallen behind other nations in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). According to the National Science and Engineering Indicators, produced by the National Science Foundation in 2006, the United States has one of the lowest STEM to non-STEM degree rates in the world. Efforts to combat the well-documented problem have recently taken on a new momentum. In this study, the authors seek to determine what factors, if any, might serve as indicators of successful matriculation of first-time freshmen students enrolled in STEM majors in a large emerging public institution in Texas. They also seek to disaggregate the data based on gender, ethnicity, county of origin, and high school ranking, as well as track a cohort of students through a seven-year continuum to determine if the students drop out of the university completely, switch from one major to another and/or graduate. Furthermore, the analysis is conducted for the three largest majors (based on enrollment) at this university, STEM, Business and Education, to determine if the factors are contingent upon the selected major. While the findings of this study demonstrate statistical significance, more research should be conducted, specifically addressing the needs of STEM students in years four and five of their program. (Contains 9 figures and 4 tables.)

Descriptors: Majors (Students), Statistical Significance, Engineering, Enrollment, STEM Education, Educational Indicators, Higher Education, Graduation Rate, Undergraduate Students, Dropouts, Dropout Rate

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Autor: Thompson, Ruthanne; Bolin, Greta


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