June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
12.958.1 - 12.958.15
Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivators to Study Industrial Engineering: A Focus Group Approach Abstract
The literature suggests that students with intrinsic motivators to enroll in engineering programs are more likely to succeed that those that present extrinsic motivators alone. Hence, salary ambitions, perception of prestige, and family pressures to be an "engineer" are far less powerful to push a student to finish their coursework in engineering than motivators such as liking math and science, being good with numbers, loving design or having a powerful role model who is an Engineer or a close professor mentoring.
Moreover, differences in cognitive preferences are likely to play a role in the retention of these generation Y students. Those who desert engineering are likely to be stronger in verbal abilities than their staying counterparts. But their lack of ability to concentrate for long hours without multi-sensory stimuli is perhaps the most challenging characteristic of this generation.
We discuss the results of a comprehensive focus group study being undertaken at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez among Industrial Engineering students from the freshmen to the fifth plus year. We concluded that a lot of attrition in Industrial Engineering education comes from a misconception of the IE field in general and of the effort required in engineering in particular and therefore, we also explored the misconceptions or mistakes in their understanding of the career choice they made and suggest additional areas which are open to further study.
Keywords: Industrial Engineering, intrinsic motivators, extrinsic motivators, misconceptions, career choices
Through the years many researchers have focused mainly in understanding the students, Kierkegaard 1 believed that to be a good teacher, you must learn from the student, identify with him or her and thus gain a better understanding of how he or she learns. With this knowledge one is able to channel the material in a better way so that the student understands it better. In reality we believe that the students tend to be worlds apart from each other, each having their own personal motivators, perceptions, learning capabilities and willingness to do so.
While the inclination towards engineering is a current issue of importance, so is retention. Prior studies have determined that in the United States it is difficult to attract students to engineering and once they are in, it is also difficult to retain them in the program. In Puerto Rico, the recruitment process is not a problem; many students are quickly informed of the prestige that the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus, has in the island. Those students, who are interested in the engineering field, find themselves applying to our university. In contrast, attrition and retention of admitted students is becoming quite a problem. Being a rigorous five year program, the Industrial Engineering (IE) department at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez (UPRM) has begun to experience more difficulty than other engineering departments
Morales, M., & Medina-Borja, A. (2007, June), Intrinsic And Extrinsic Motivators To Study Industrial Engineering: A Focus Group Approach Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--3049
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