Crystal City, Virginia
April 14, 2019
April 14, 2019
April 22, 2019
Diversity and Collegiate
Improving retention rates of engineering students in higher education has been a nationwide goal aimed at expanding and diversifying the engineering workforce. Initial mathematics placement in institutions is a major predictor for attrition, with 52% of students from two-year institutions starting below calculus as opposed to 14.4% of students from four-year institutions starting below calculus. Consequently, national data shows that the attrition rate for engineering students at two-year institutions is 69% while the attrition rate for engineering students at four-year institutions is 37%. As the prevalence of students taking an indirect path towards completing an engineering degree increases, the examination of those students’ pathways towards an engineering degree is necessary.
In the SC:SUPPORTED project, we conducted focus groups with students from two-year and four-year institutions across the state of South Carolina. Themes related to academic influence, social influence and family influence emerged from analysis of the focus group data. Within family influences, which are the ways family members affect a student’s persistence in education, choice of major, and choice of institution, there were differences between students attending two-year institutions and those attending four-year institutions. Family members include parents, siblings, other relatives, and also “fictive” family. The goal of this paper is to discuss the factors that influence why students choose engineering and choose to attend a two-year or four-year institution.
Brisbane, J. M., & Gallagher, E., & Hines, A. E., & Murphy, J., & Dunwoody, L. A., & Patel, K., & Pfirman, A. L., & Roberson, S., & Gramopadhye, A. K. (2019, April), Familial Influences Affecting Student Pathways to Engineering at Two-Year and Four-Year Institutions Paper presented at 2019 CoNECD - The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity , Crystal City, Virginia. https://peer.asee.org/31765
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