June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
Educational Research and Methods
14.966.1 - 14.966.16
Predicting Post-Secondary Educational Outcomes with Survival Analysis Survival Analysis, STEM, NELS
Identifying potential students and understanding what affects their decision to depart the track of obtaining a college degree in engineering is critical to engineering educational research. This study used data from the National Education Longitudinal Study of 1988-2000 (NELS) to develop a model for predicting post-secondary educational outcomes with particular focus on students earning a college degree in Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics (STEM).
on the STEM track past a key time point in the study at which most students attending college were nearing graduation. NELS provided a comprehensive set of variables for 12,144 students of which 11,128 had clearly determinable educational outcomes. The set of potential outcomes included dropping out of high school, completing education at high school graduation, dropping out of college, earning a less than four year degree, earning a degree other than STEM, earning a
utilized demographic, attitudinal, and academic performance data mainly collected at the 8th grade level as well as standardized test scores and college enrollment status variables.
Survival analysis models were fit with randomly selected data and then applied to reserved test data to The models performed well in distinguishing between STEM students and those who did not successfully complete a college degree. The different categories of educational outcomes exhibited markedly different hazard curves showing the periods of greatest STEM track departure risk varied between student outcomes. This suggested that the optimum times at which to offer positive interventions to keep students on the potential STEM track vary by the type of outcome they are otherwise likely to experience. This includes encouraging students to remain in high school, to apply to college, and to persist once enrolled in an STEM program.
The process of educating students from junior high school through college is of vital importance to the field of engineering education. Producing a sufficient number of engineering graduates depends directly upon the number and quality of students that enter college and select engineering as a major. Students that are lost to engineering by dropping out of high school; choosing not to pursue a college degree; dropping out of college; or switching out of engineering e of these students would not have ultimately earned an engineering degree due to greater interest in other fields of study, but others might have persisted to graduation with greater preparation, encouragement, and engagement. This study examines the factors that predict whether or not a student will persist to graduate college with a degree in Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math (STEM).
Nicholls, G., & Wolfe, H., & Besterfield-Sacre, M., & Shuman, L. (2009, June), Predicting Post Secondary Educational Outcomes With Survival Analysis Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/5747
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