ERIC Number: ED473111
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2002-Jun
Implementing a Recursive Retention Assessment System for Engineering Programs. AIR 2002 Forum Paper.
Acker, Jon Charles; Hughes, William; Fendley, William R., Jr.
This study was conducted to ascertain the factors associated with attrition in engineering programs on all fronts. Academic underpreparedness, psychosocial variables, and their interconnectivity were examined. Subjects included all enrolled University of Alabama students, as of the spring term 2001, who at one time or another were classified as engineering majors. This resulted in the identification of 1,395 current and 536 former majors. Data were obtained from the university's database and Web-based and paper surveys. Findings from the research show that attrition cannot be viewed as a predictable consequence of differing levels of ability. Academic underpreparedness was found to be a substantial determinant in engineering persistence. However, other nonpreparedness variables were found to contribute to attrition as well, Predicting success in the College of Engineering, or any college, is difficult because of the infinite antecedent variables each student brings to higher education. Data seem to indicate that most of the factors associated with attrition from the College of Engineering are precollege attributes, academic underpreparedness, ignorance about engineering, or calculation to leave after a certain time frame. Other factors that need to be considered are the pedagogical methods of gateway and engineering courses and increasing the student's sense of belonging within the college and university. (Contains 16 tables and 35 references.)(SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Forum for the Association for Institutional Research (42nd, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, June 2-5, 2002).