San Antonio, Texas
June 10, 2012
June 10, 2012
June 13, 2012
25.599.1 - 25.599.16
Examining country specific socio-economic variables to measure the gap between domestic and international students seeking graduate studies in the US in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fieldsTraditionally, domestic students in the U.S. have been less aggressive in seeking graduateeducation (especially at the doctoral level) compared to international students in STEM fields.This issue has been widely recognized and extensively discussed in recent years by agencies,such as the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), National Science Foundation (NSF), andthe American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE). The famous NAE press book entitled“Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a BrighterEconomic Future” attempts to delve deeper into this issue and offers many recommendations,including increased funding for graduate studies and research. The author of this paper offersanother hypothesis largely responsible for the reluctance of U.S. born students seeking graduateeducation, that is, the wider gap between the socio-economic status of the U.S. and some Asiancountries (China, India, South Korea, in particular) from which the influx of graduate degreeseeking students seems to be the highest. The author believes that increased funding for graduatestudies and research alone may not be effective in boosting the number of domestic studentsseeking graduate studies in STEM fields. In order to test the hypothesis, the enrollment trend and the socio-economiccharacteristics of the domestic and international students in the graduate transportationengineering program at the Morgan State University will be analyzed over a ten year periodbetween Fall 2001-Fall 2011. Since Morgan State University is classified as a Historically BlackCollege and University (HBCU) it is expected that the trend may be different at other majorityschools. Therefore, an attempt will be made to gather the enrollment data at a few majoruniversities and at least one more HBCU with a graduate transportation engineering program fora fair and consistent comparison. Some explanatory country specific socio-economic variablesthat will be considered in the analysis are: household income, national mandate and familymotivation to pursue graduate study in STEM fields, quality-of-life and living standard, postgraduation employment opportunities, salary gaps, and career opportunities in non-STEM fields,such as sports, music, and theatrical performance. The results are expected to be quite promisingsince it will help better understand the wider gap between domestic and international studentsseeking graduate degrees in the U.S. in STEM fields.
Jha, M. K., & Amory, R. (2012, June), Examining the Explanatory Variables that Impact Graduate Engineering Student Enrollment Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/21356
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