June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
Women in Engineering
23.976.1 - 23.976.24
Preliminary Analysis of Factors Influencing Time to Graduation by GenderMuch attention has been given in the past to the issues of retention of women and under-represented minorities in engineering. Most analyses are based on data collected atmultiple institutions and seek to derive general conclusions across a very diverseselection of universities and student population. It also focuses on the experiences ofpersisters (students who eventually graduate with an engineering degree) versus the non-persisters (students who eventually leave engineering and graduate – or not – in anotherdiscipline). To the best of our knowledge, not much attention has been given to the factthat most engineering students take 5 or 6 years to graduate (even though the curriculumis based on 4 years to graduation) and why.This study follows in the footsteps of previous work, looking at what causes engineeringstudents to delay graduation from the nominally advertised 4-year BS degree to the morecommon 5-year or 6-year period. Do students delay graduation for what we consider tobe positive reasons (such as gaining meaningful professional experience, for example byspending a semester in a co-op or internship) or for negative reasons (failing classes andthus, having to repeat them)? The overarching goal is to develop a model for what it takesto graduate in 4 years, in order to inform our institution’s upper administration and statelegislature, both of which are under pressure to decrease time to graduation to satisfyvarious local, city and state stakeholders.In order to do this, we analyzed data by semester, rather than by year as is morecommonly done in the retention literature. We looked at specific factors known toinfluence time to graduation and assessed their effect by gender. Using this data, the hopeis to develop a formulaic model that predicts time to graduation by taking intoconsideration various, typical student behaviors.
Valle, C., & Leonard, J. D., & Blasick, A. M. (2013, June), Preliminary Analysis of Factors Influencing Time to Graduation by Gender Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. https://peer.asee.org/22361
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