Asee peer logo

Longitudinal Study of Entering Students with Engineering as Their Major: Retention and Academic Success

Download Paper |

Conference

2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Retention and Persistence in Engineering

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Page Count

13

Page Numbers

23.875.1 - 23.875.13

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/22260

Download Count

89

Request a correction

Paper Authors

biography

Cathy W. Hall East Carolina University

visit author page

Cathy Hall is a professor in the Department of Psychology at East Carolina University. She holds a Bachelor's in Psychology from Emory University, and a MEd and PhD in Educational Psychology from the University of Georgia. Her expertise includes psychological assessments, research design and methodology, and data analysis. Her research interests include emotional intelligence, metacognition, resilience, and self-regulation.

visit author page

author page

Karen A. De Urquidi East Carolina University

biography

Paul J. Kauffmann P.E. East Carolina University

visit author page

Paul J. Kauffmann is a professor in the Department of Engineering at East Carolina University. His industrial career included positions as Plant Manager and Engineering Director. Dr. Kauffmann received a BS degree in Electrical Engineering and MENG in Mechanical Engineering from Virginia Tech. He received his Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from Penn State and is a registered Professional Engineer in Virginia and North Carolina.

visit author page

biography

Karl Louis Wuensch East Carolina University

visit author page

Karl L. Wuensch is a full professor in the Department of Psychology at East Carolina University. In addition to teaching the three graduate courses in statistics and research design offered by the department, he also teaches a couple of undergraduate courses each year. He has been recognized as a Teacher/Scholar by the university and has received the Board of Governors’ Award for Excellence in Teaching, the highest teaching award in the University of North Carolina system. He has published 75 articles in scholarly journals and eight chapters in books.

visit author page

biography

William W. Swart East Carolina University

visit author page

William Swart is professor of Marketing and Supply Chain Management at East Carolina University. He holds a Ph.D. in Operations Research and a M.S. in Industrial and Systems Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a B.S. in Industrial Engineering with Honors from Clemson University. Dr. Swart’s experience is diversified between industry and academia. In academia, he served as Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at East Carolina University, Dean of Engineering at New Jersey Institute of Technology and Old Dominion University, Associate Dean of Business and Economics at California State University, Chairman of the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management Systems at the University of Central Florida. In industry, he served as Vice President for Operations Systems and Vice President for Management Information Systems at Burger King Corporation.

Dr. Swart's professional achievements have been recognized by the Institute of Industrial Engineers with the 1994 Operations Research Practice Award. He was awarded the Achievement in Operations Research Medal from the Institute for Operation Research and Management Sciences (INFORMS) and has been named an Edelman Laureate for twice having been a finalist in the prestigious Edelman Competition for the best Operations Research application in the world. He has over 100 scholarly publications and has been Principal or Co-Principal Investigator for grants and contracts in excess of $10 million.

visit author page

biography

Odis Hayden Griffin Jr. P.E. East Carolina University

visit author page

Hayden Griffin is currently Professor and Chair of the Department of Engineering at East Carolina University and Professor Emeritus of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. He holds BS and MS in Mechanical Engineering from Texas Tech and PhD in Engineering Mechanics from Virginia Tech. He has done work in student learning, academic program development, and the use of technology in the curriculum. He is a registered professional engineer in Virginia.

visit author page

Download Paper |

Abstract

Longitudinal Study of Entering Students with Engineering as Their Major: Retention and Academic SuccessThe limited number of students pursing engineering as a major and the often high rate ofmigration of engineering students into other majors has been the focus of national concern inrecent years. While students in engineering show a high rate of persistence with 93% of thegraduates from engineering programs being students who entered college with engineering astheir stated major, these programs also have upwards of 50% of their entering students migratingto other majors. To further reduce the potential pool or engineering majors, only 7% of collegestudents are likely to migrate into engineering from other majors. The high rate of persistencedoes not compensate for the loss of majors. The field of engineering has, and continues toexperience difficulty in attracting and retention of majors.This study assessed the role of math readiness and personality factors in retaining undergraduatestudents in an engineering program at a southeastern university. Participants were enteringfreshmen enrolled in an entry level course for students indicating engineering as their chosenmajor. These students were asked to complete a set of surveys their freshman year that includedaffective and metacognitive measures, and they were then followed throughout their academiccareer through graduation or leaving college. These students were also administered a calculusreadiness test (ALEKS) as part of their entry into engineering. The initial data collection beganin the fall of 2007 and continued through the fall of 2010 covering a four year academic yeartime span.While not all students have completed their degree at this time, our proposal assesses theprogress of these students as they have progressed through their academic career. It ishypothesized that retention in an engineering program will be related not only to basic aptitudebut also affective factors. It is also hypothesized that academic success as indicated by gradepoint average (GPA) will be related to both basic aptitude as well as affective factors. Aptitudeis measured by SAT Verbal and Math scores, high school GPA, and an assessment of calculusreadiness. Affective factors are assessed by the NEO Five Factor Inventory and the Nowicki–Duke Locus of Control scale. Metacognitive skills, knowledge about one’s own learning style, ismeasured by the Hall Executive Process Questionnaire. Binary logistic regression analyses willbe used to determine if these measures were predictive of retention as well as GPA during thecourse of these students’ academic career.The study examines the hypotheses that aptitude (SAT scores) and math readiness (ALEKS) aresignificant predictors of retention of entering students with engineering as their stated major.Further it examines whether the personality factor of conscientiousness and openness ispredictive of retention. Finally, with respect to academic success as indicated by GPA, itexamines whether conscientiousness, locus of control and metacognitive skills are significantpredictors.

Hall, C. W., & De Urquidi, K. A., & Kauffmann, P. J., & Wuensch, K. L., & Swart, W. W., & Griffin, O. H. (2013, June), Longitudinal Study of Entering Students with Engineering as Their Major: Retention and Academic Success Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. https://peer.asee.org/22260

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2013 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015