June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
K-12 & Pre-College Engineering
22.704.1 - 22.704.14
Factors Influencing High School Students’ to Pursue an Engineering BaccalaureateExploratory research was conducted to investigate several factors among high-school students. First, a common andwidely held belief is that a significant factor influencing high-school students to select an engineering-educationprogram is due to parental, family, relatives or close personal or family friend’s present or past employment in anengineering or related field. Limited research provides some credibility to this hypothesis. The second areainvestigated was students’ post high school educational and career plans. The research reported in this paper waspart of a larger study that included architecture and construction studies. Data was collected in Nevada’s ClarkCounty School District (CCSD), the fifth largest in the United States. CCSD is a leader in developing pre-engineering, pre-architecture, and pre-construction management education programs. CCSD embarked on anambitious program of constructing five Career and Technical Academies (CATA) to provide the facilities foroffering these educational programs. The first CATA was opened in 2007. New construction results in a newCATA coming on-line in a one-year sequential schedule. One existing school was converted to accelerate theprocess. When a new CATA is opened it initially admits grade 9 and 10 students. Students at four CATA’s whowere enrolled in pre-engineering, pre-architecture, and pre-construction management education programsparticipated. Responses were obtained from 880 students, of which 288 were enrolled in the pre-engineeringcurriculum. These 288 students are the subject of this paper. In this research four hypothesis were investigated: (1)parent’s or family members’ employment in engineering related industry affects a student’s decision to selectengineering as an area of study in high school; (2) parent’s or family members’ employment in engineering relatedindustry influences the interest of a student in planning to pursue a baccalaureate degree in engineering; (3) studentswho were enrolled in the high-school, pre-engineering curriculum plan to pursue their baccalaureate degree inengineering; (4) students planning to pursue a baccalaureate in engineering is independent of their belief thatemployment is readily available in their engineering discipline. Analysis of the data supported the four hypothesesfinding a positive relationship in all cases. In addition, the research analyzed the relationship between students’academic interest and their self-reported academic performance in mathematics and science. Results presentedinclude descriptive statistics and nonparametric tests. The research results will expand the body of knowledge andbenefit secondary and university educators, advisors and administrators in understanding student interest in and theirchoice to study pre-engineering at the high school level and their ultimate plans for engineering baccalaureate study.
Shields, D. R., & Kisi, K. P. (2011, June), Factors Influencing High School Students’ to Pursue an Engineering Baccalaureate Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17985
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