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Development Of The Persistence In Engineering (Pie) Survey Instrument

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Engineering Education Research and Assessment III

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.476.1 - 10.476.17



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Paper Authors

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Ozgur Eris

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Tori Bailey

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Helen L. Chen

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

Development of the Persistence in Engineering (PIE) Survey Instrument

Ozgur Eris, Helen Chen, Tori Bailey, Kimarie Engerman Heidi G. Loshbaugh, Ashley Griffin, Gary Lichtenstein, Angela Cole

Stanford University/ Stanford University/ Stanford University/ Howard University/Colorado School of Mines/Howard University/ Stanford University/Howard University


This paper describes the design, development, and validation of the Persistence in Engineering (PIE) survey instrument. The purpose of the survey is 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 practice engineering as a profession. The design of the survey entails development of conceptual variables and survey questions generated from a review of engineering education literature and national surveys on undergraduate education, piloting of the survey, and internal consistency analyses. Currently in its second year, the instrument is being administered with 160 students selected from four academic campuses.

In this paper, we present the variables that are guiding the design of the PIE survey, and discuss each variable in depth by providing its rationale. In addition, we discuss how the data collected during the first year–and-one-half of the study are being used to refine the survey instrument, including assessments of internal consistency of the variables. We also describe how data collected from an accompanying set of structured interviews are being used to inform the development of the instrument.

I. Introduction

The Academic Pathways Study (APS) of the Center for the Advancement of Engineering Education (CAEE) is building upon knowledge related to retention in engineering education by employing quantitative and qualitative approaches to establish a longitudinal research base on engineering student learning. This paper focuses on the Persistence in Engineering (PIE) survey instrument developed as a part of the APS.

A. Background

While engineering educators have engaged in many endeavors aimed at advancing engineering education and practice, much of this work has focused on broad curricular issues or specific disciplinary reforms. Few studies have focused on the many pathways involved in learning to

Proceeding of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright 2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Eris, O., & Bailey, T., & Chen, H. L. (2005, June), Development Of The Persistence In Engineering (Pie) Survey Instrument Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14750

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