June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
This Work-in-Progress paper will discuss our efforts to understand students' motivation and behaviors in relation to persistence as engineering students.
Retention is an issue across disciplines, but it is particularly salient in engineering majors as it affects the strength of the future engineering workforce. This paper will describe our investigation of the reasons that might underlie issues in retention, particularly for people who are underrepresented in the discipline (e.g. women and historically underrepresented racial groups).
In the current study, we administered an online survey to current and former engineering students--”persisters” and “leavers.” Our survey had two versions: one which was administered in the fall semester to the incoming freshman class, and another which was administered in the spring semester to students at all levels. The spring survey incorporated additional program assessment elements, so that we may better inform college of engineering and university decisions on programmatic elements. Importantly, the spring survey was administered to both “leaver” (current XXX student who were once but are not currently in an engineering major) and “persister” students (current engineering majors).
Our dataset is unique because it includes a number of motivational and behavioral indicators. We have assessed motivational dimensions such as goals, perceived costs of studying engineering, and mindsets. Students have also provided information about their use of the campus community resources, such as tutoring and peer mentoring, and have reported on their career plans and their expectations for their future education. Self-report data are supplemented by registrar data, so we are able to link student survey responses with their academic performance and demographics. Our research team is interested in a number of questions related to: (1) describing the motivation and career intentions of current and former engineering students (2) understanding the ways in which the programmatic elements in place support or undermine that motivation, and (3) providing recommendations to guide the development and implementation of future supports for retention in engineering. The final paper and presentation will detail our findings on what factors influence motivation and persistence, with particular focus on the differences seen in our persister and leaver populations.
Bovee, E. A., & Briedis, D., & Walton, S. P., & Linnenbrink-Garcia, L. (2017, June), Work In Progress: Designing for First-Year Student Success: Understanding the Effects of Co-Curricular Programming on Feelings of Belonging Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--29150
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