New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
June 29, 2016
This research study investigates the decisions of first-year engineering students as they select, and on occasion, switch their intended engineering major. This work provides useful insight into their decision making to better inform our practices for recruitment and retention of engineering students. In order to better understand the choices that first-year engineering students make concerning their intended major, this paper aims to examine how these students shift their intended engineering discipline throughout an academic year. This paper will discuss results from an examination of initial major choice and possible major switch during the first year of an engineering program. Three surveys were administered (at the beginning, middle, and end of academic year) which asked students about their perceptions of engineering, what major they were currently enrolled in, and their confidence in this major discipline selection. Results from these surveys showed several trends, including patterns related to students who switch majors throughout their first year. Examination of these trends may aid in knowledge of student interests, motivations, and ultimately decision-making in engineering major selection. Retention of first-year engineering students is of critical importance to the health of an engineering program, and a better understanding of students’ disciplinary choices during their first year of study may allow educators and advisor to better address issues of attrition.
Theiss, A., & Robertson, J. E., & Kajfez, R. L., & Kecskemety, K. M., & Meyers, K. (2016, June), Engineering Major Selection: An Examination of Initial Choice and Switching Throughout the First Year Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26654
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