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Predicting Time to Graduation in Engineering by Student Behavior and Gender

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Women in Engineering Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Women in Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.997.1 - 24.997.16



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Paper Authors

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Christine Valle Georgia Institute of Technology

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John D. Leonard II Georgia Institute of Technology

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Predicting Time to Graduation in Engineering by Student Behavior and GenderThis study looks at retention and graduation patterns in engineering by gender, seekingspecifically to understand why students tend to take longer than the advertised 4 years tograduate, and focusing on one institution only. While much attention has been given inthe past to the issues of retention of women and under-represented minorities inengineering, most analyses use data collected at multiple institutions (thus blendingtogether results coming from vastly different campus cultures) and tend to focus on theexperiences of those who graduate versus those who never do. In this work, we focus onwhy the students who do graduate take much longer than what is routinely advertised.This study follows in the footsteps of previous work, and provides a formulaic model forpredicting time to graduation of engineering students, by gender and by “type ofbehavior” while enrolled at school. That is, we seek to take into account both goodreasons for delaying graduation (such as spending a semester in a co-op or internship)and negative reasons (such as failing classes) – and provide an estimate for the delaybased on each experience. The hope is that this model helps inform the discussions inour institution’s upper administration and state legislature regarding time to graduation.Our state, like many, is currently under pressure to reduce it to satisfy various local, cityand state stakeholders.

Valle, C., & Leonard, J. D. (2014, June), Predicting Time to Graduation in Engineering by Student Behavior and Gender Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--22930

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