June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
Educational Research and Methods
22.689.1 - 22.689.10
Exploring the motivations for migration among engineering studentsStudents often graduate from a major other than that in which they first enrolled. A largeproportion of this migration happens within engineering with students moving from onediscipline of engineering to another. This movement between disciplines sometimes happensseveral times. While there has been extensive examination of why students leave engineering,very little research has looked into why students leave one engineering discipline for another.Longitudinal data collected from several engineering colleges has shown that there are definitetrends within the movement of engineering students.This study examines the reasons for some of these trends using a unique approach whichcombines both environmental and personality factors. The study uses measures based on SocialCognitive Career Theory, which has previously been extensively utilized to explore vocationalchoice in engineering, in conjunction with measures of social influence, and personality toexplain disciplinary choices. In addition this study considers the climate students are exposed toin the various engineering disciplines. The intent is to create a model to connect themotivational, personality, and the climate variables in order to construct a clearer picture of howinternal and external factors come together to influence students’ vocational choices; specificallytheir decision to remain in engineering and to migrate from one engineering discipline toanother.This study uses a survey administered electronically to engineering students beyond theirsophomore year (to capture those who have had an opportunity to experience and evaluate theirmajor choice and possibly make changes) at a large engineering program. Data collection isongoing and will be completed within the next two months. The survey questions students abouttheir goals, their outcome expectations, their self-efficacy beliefs, and the barriers and supportsthey have encountered, their differential orientation to persons or things (believed to be highlypredictive of engineering attitudes), their locus of control, their agentic and communaldisposition, their orientation to engineering as a social system, basic measures of personality, andtheir perceptions of the engineering climate in their disciplines.The survey is expected to yield personality profiles of students in various disciplines, studentperceptions of the climate in various disciplines, motivation for migration among disciplines, aswell as which personality and environmental factors are most strongly predictive of persistencein engineering. Structural equation modeling will be used to explore the relationships among thevariables and develop a theory which would explain how these internal and external factorsresult in students’ choices.
Ngambeki, I. B., & Evangelou, D., & Ohland, M. W., & Ricco, G. D. (2011, June), Exploring the Motivations for Migration Among Engineering Students Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. https://peer.asee.org/17970
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