June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
Engineering and Public Policy
23.245.1 - 23.245.9
Beyond SES: Individual Financial Status as a Predictor of Persistence for High-performing Undergraduate Engineering StudentsEngineering education is an emerging research field that draws on and interacts with the broaderfield of education research. However, research on socioeconomic status (SES) constitutes only asmall part of the field. When it is addressed, it is typically in the context of diversity. Evenwithin the engineering education diversity literature, however, SES, or issues of social class,constitutes only a small percentage of papers, with the vast majority of work focusing on womenin engineering, racial and ethnic minorities to a lesser extent, and other types of diversity veryminimally addressed. Throughout this literature SES tends to be both tacitly and overtlyassociated with scholarship on K-12, underrepresented minorities, and a lack of academicsuccess and persistence. These associations may be problematic in undergraduate engineeringcontexts, however, given our findings as well as other prior research, revealing that persistencein engineering is not necessarily related to low SES.An examination of students who left an engineering program at a private institution in thesouthern region of United States, showed that 44% of students who left had a moderate gradepoint average (GPA > 2.5). These students had met minimum requirements for advancing intothe higher level engineering discipline specific courses yet decided to leave. One hypothesis wasthat these well performing students were leaving due to financial concerns. This lead to thefollowing research question: How does individual financial status (IFS) impact persistence ofhigh-performing engineering students?This paper and analysis builds on recent scholarship from CAEE and Midfield. It explores therole that individual financial need played in the attrition of high achieving engineering studentsand proposes individual financial status (IFS) as an important variable for future studies. Thispaper presents findings from analyses that include logistic regressions and group comparisons oninstitutional data from engineering students enrolled at a small private institution from 2001 to2010. The findings indicate a relationship between first-year course grades and IFS with respectto attrition and proposes individual financial status as an important variable for future studies.
Pembridge, J. J., & Beddoes, K. (2013, June), Beyond SES: Individual Financial Status as a Predictor of Persistence for High-performing Undergraduate Engineering Students Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. https://peer.asee.org/19259
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