June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
Division Experimentation & Lab-Oriented Studies
NSF Grantees Poster Session
24.32.1 - 24.32.7
A Comparative Study of Engineering Matriculation Practices The original goals of this project were to: 1) describe the matriculation patterns and disciplinary choices of engineering students using the Multiple‐Institution Database for Investigating Engineering Longitudinal Development (MIDFIELD) and 2) explore the underlying reasons for patterns found with MIDFIELD through interviews with sophomore engineering students at selected MIDFIELD partners. A third goal has since been added to develop a taxonomy of engineering matriculation practices that encompasses all undergraduate engineering degree programs in the United States. The MIDFIELD database will be used to map the matriculation, third‐semester major, and graduation of first time in college students at each of the partner institutions. We will look at aggregate trends and differences among and between institutions and generate frequency and descriptive statistics related to the enrollment and persistence trends of undergraduate engineering students from the MIDFIELD institutions. The MIDFIELD database will be used to define the following distributions based on institution, gender, ethnicity, SAT/ACT scores and high school GPA where available, and socioeconomic status if feasible: (1) Students matriculating in engineering; (2) Students enrolled in an engineering discipline at the third semester; and (3) Students who graduate in an engineering discipline. We have developed and refined a Taxonomy of Engineering Matriculation Practices that applies to all 390 ABET accredited undergraduate engineering programs in the United States. The taxonomy has been presented to engineering educators for feedback at ASEE and modified based on that feedback and further research. After clarifying the model used at some institutions where it could not be determined from the institution’s website, the data gathered will be transmitted to ASEE. The taxonomy is groundwork for ongoing dissertation research that relates matriculation model, first year engineering curriculum, and institutional characteristics (e.g., Carnegie classification, selectivity). During this project, we have conducted 30 interviews with sophomore engineering students at three institutions yielding a total of 62 interviews at six institutions over two years, verified transcripts of recorded interviews, and conducted preliminary analysis of interview data. Preliminary taxonomy groups have been used to analyze patterns in retention and major selection. Interviews with sophomore students were conducted at six institutions and have answered four research questions so far: 1) why did students choose their institution? 2) Did the matriculation model of the institution affect the students’ decision to choose that institution? 3) Why did students choose their engineering majors? And 4) Did an introduction to engineering course, if taken, affect the students’ choice of major?
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