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A Comparison Of Male And Female Student Issues That Affect Enrollment And Retention In Electronics And Computer Engineering Technology Programs At A For Profit Institution

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Diversity, Recruiting, and Retention in ET

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.28.1 - 11.28.19



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Paper Authors


Aram Agajanian DeVry University-Chicago

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Dr. Aram Agajanian is a senior professor at DeVry University in Chicago. He holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from University of Rochester, a M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Syracuse University, a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Colorado State University and a CCNA certificate. He teaches electronics and computer technology courses including LAN and WAN. He has 10 years of industrial experience in electrical engineering; his research interests include understanding the issues that affect enrollment and retention of female students in science, math, engineering and technology (SMET) and help increase the female student population in SMET fields. He is also interested in teaching methods such as brain-based teaching, constructivism, team teaching and active learning that might improve the quality of engineering education.

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George Morgan Colorado State University

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Dr. George Morgan is a professor emeritus in the School of Education, Colorado State University. He received his Ph.D. in child development and Psychology from Cornell University. During his 40 years of professional career, he has conducted programs of research on children’s motivation to master challenging tasks, and has held various teaching, research and administrative positions at Colorado State University, Stanford University and University of Colorado. Dr. Morgan has taught methods and applied statistics to graduate students in education at Colorado State University. In addition to writing textbooks on SPSS and research methods, he currently advises students on their dissertation.

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William M. Timpson Colorado State University

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

A Comparison of Male and Female Student Issues that Affect Enrollment and Retention in Electronics Programs at a For-Profit Institution Abstract

Women are underrepresented in the science, mathematics, engineering, and technology (SMET) work-force and in the undergraduate SMET programs at the colleges and universities in the United States of America. Studying the enrollment and retention issues of electronics students at a for-profit institution could improve the female enrollment and retention rates and help other colleges and universities increase their female student population which would help meet the future SMET work-force needs. The objective of this paper was to compare men and women in terms of self-confidence and self-efficacy as two of the dependent variables related to the enrollment and retention issues in electronics programs at a for-profit institution. The study used 2X3 factorial analysis of variance (ANOVA) and cell contrast tests in order to analyze the quantitative data.

Surveys were administered to 576 students in electronics programs at the for-profit institution’s two campuses in the fall 2004 trimester. The response rate was 63.9%. For this paper, the survey instrument asked for information on self-confidence, self-efficacy, gender, program level, and age.

The research findings showed that there was no statistically significant interaction between gender and program levels in the for-profit institution’s electronics programs in regard to self- confidence. Even though there was no significant main effect of program level, there was a significant main effect of gender on self-confidence. Male students had significantly higher self- confidence ratings than female students in the end program level, and the effect size was close to medium. The research findings indicated that there was no significant interaction between gender and program level in regard to self-efficacy. There was no significant main effect of gender or program level on self-efficacy, either.

The findings generally agreed with the literature review that females had significantly lower ratings than males in regard to self-confidence. The results of this study did not support the literature which indicated that self-efficacy was an issue for the retention of female students in undergraduate SMET programs. Neither did this study support past research that women pursuing undergraduate degrees in SMET fields showed more anxiety and, therefore, less self- efficacy than men did.

I. Introduction

Background and the Statement of the Research Problem

According to statistics taken after September 11, 2001, The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics1 reports that the need for scientists and engineers is projected to increase at an annual rate of 6.4% between 2000 and 2010, with about 5 million jobs expected in 2010 in the fields of science, mathematics, engineering, and technology (SMET). Women, underrepresented

Agajanian, A., & Morgan, G., & Timpson, W. M. (2006, June), A Comparison Of Male And Female Student Issues That Affect Enrollment And Retention In Electronics And Computer Engineering Technology Programs At A For Profit Institution Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--282

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