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A Preliminary Analysis Of Correlates Of Engineering Persistence: Results From A Longitudinal Study

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Conference

2007 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Knowing Our Students, Part 2

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Page Count

12

Page Numbers

12.94.1 - 12.94.12

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/2781

Download Count

43

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Paper Authors

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Ozgur Eris Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering

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OZGUR ERIS is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Design at Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering. His interests include engineering design theory, design cognition, and design informatics. He received a B.S. from the University of Washington, and an M.S. and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University. He has published on the role of inquiry in design, design knowledge and capture, and interdisciplinary aspects of creativity. He is the author of Effective Inquiry for Engineering Design, Kluwer, 2004.

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Debbie Chachra Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering

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DEBBIE CHACHRA is an Assistant Professor of Materials Science at the Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering in Needham, MA. Her research interests in education include the role of gender and immigration status on student progress in engineering education. Her scientific research interest focus on skeletal biology and mechanics, as well as biological and bioderived materials.

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Helen Chen Stanford University

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HELEN CHEN is a Research Scientist at the Stanford Center for Innovations in Learning and the Center for the Advancement of Engineering Education (CAEE), Stanford University. Her current research focuses on the application of electronic portfolio pedagogy and practices in engineering education and the evaluation of eportfolios and other social software tools (wikis, weblogs, etc.) to facilitate teaching, learning, and assessment for students, faculty, departments, and institutions.

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Camelia Rosca Boston College

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CAMELIA ROSCA is a research associate at Boston College and the director of Education Research Testing and Evaluation Consultants (ERTEC). Her work includes test development and a wide range of educational research.

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Larry Ludlow Boston College

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LARRY LUDLOW is Professor and Chair of the Educational Research, Measurement and Evaluation Department at Boston College. His research interests include faculty evaluations, survey development, longitudinal modeling, and Item Response Theory applications.

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Sheri Sheppard Stanford University

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SHERI D. SHEPPARD, Ph.D., P.E., is a professor of mechanical engineering at Stanford University. Besides teaching both undergraduate and graduate-design related classes at Stanford University, Dr. Sheppard is co-principal investigator on a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to form the Center for the Advancement of Engineering Education (CAEE), along with faculty at the University of Washington, Colorado School of Mines, and Howard University. Dr. Sheppard was named a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineering (ASME) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 1999, and in 2004 she was awarded the ASEE Chester F. Carlson Award in recognition of distinguished accomplishments in engineering education.

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Krista Donaldson Stanford University

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KRISTA DONALDSON is a research associate at the Center for Design Research at Stanford University. Her research interests include student pathways in engineering education, design for development and reconstruction policy.

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

A Preliminary Analysis of Correlates of Engineering Persistence: Results from a Longitudinal Study

Abstract

This paper outlines the preliminary findings of a longitudinal survey-based study, the Persistence in Engineering (PIE) survey. This survey was designed to identify and characterize the fundamental factors that influence students’ intentions to pursue an engineering degree over the course of their undergraduate career, and upon graduation, to pursue a career in an engineering- related field, including practicing engineering as a profession, teaching, or conducting research. In addition, it is also designed to broaden our understanding of how students navigate their education and begin to form identities as engineers.

In the fourth year of the study, 76% of the 141 students enrolled in the study as first-year students are still enrolled in engineering (persisters) and 24% are no longer majoring in engineering (nonpersisters). Preliminary analyses suggest that there are some interesting similarities and differences between the persisters and nonpersisters. For example, nonpersisters are more likely to be motivated to study engineering by family influences. They also report lower levels of confidence in their math and science skills as first-year and sophomore students, as well as lower levels of engagement in both engineering and liberal arts courses as compared to their persister counterparts. These results are preliminary; even so, they begin to illustrate the many ways that persisters and nonpersisters are similar and the potentially significant ways that they are different. A more comprehensive analysis of the data is in progress.

I. Introduction

The Academic Pathways Study (APS) of the Center for the Advancement of Engineering Education (CAEE) is building upon and extending knowledge related to retention in engineering education1-7 by employing quantitative and qualitative approaches to establish a longitudinal research base on engineering student learning8. This paper reports the preliminary analysis outcomes of six of the seven planned administrations of the Persistence in Engineering (PIE) survey instrument, which was developed as a part of the APS9.

The PIE Survey intends to identify correlates of persistence in engineering. It identifies and explores two levels of persistence: academic and professional. “Academic persistence” is operationalized as declaring an intention to major in engineering, and “professional persistence” is operationalized as declaring an intention to conduct research in, teach, and/or practice engineering for at least three years after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in engineering.

The survey has been developed by an interdisciplinary team employing a mixed-methods approach. Its development process and conceptual framework has been documented in detail in a previous publication9. At this phase of the APS, the PIE Survey is primarily an exploratory tool. In the next phase (2007-2008), the survey will serve as the basis of a more refined national

Eris, O., & Chachra, D., & Chen, H., & Rosca, C., & Ludlow, L., & Sheppard, S., & Donaldson, K. (2007, June), A Preliminary Analysis Of Correlates Of Engineering Persistence: Results From A Longitudinal Study Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/2781

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2007 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015