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ERIC Number: ED540692
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jun
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Socioeconomic Status and the Undergraduate Engineering Experience: Preliminary Findings from Four American Universities. Research Brief
Donaldson, Krista; Lichtenstein, Gary; Sheppard, Sheri
Center for the Advancement of Engineering Education (NJ1)
Students of lower socioeconomic status (SES) tend to be underrepresented in American higher education, particularly at four-year institutions and more selective universities. Education researchers have shown that in the four year period following high school, low SES students are less likely to persist to a bachelor's degree or have graduate degree aspirations. The high number of significant differences between high and low SES groups found when analyzing data from the Academic Pathways of People Learning Engineering Survey (APPLES or APPLE survey) suggests that research studies of student groups should consider controlling for SES. This may particularly be the case when looking at other traditionally underrepresented populations in engineering. The team was surprised by the number of differences between high and low SES--12 of the 21 APPLES variables had a significant difference. The results suggest that SES plays a role in professional persistence in engineering, confidence in technical skill sets, extracurricular fulfillment, perception of curriculum overload and general satisfaction with the collegiate experience. SES does not appear to play a role in other areas, such as academic persistence in engineering, academic disengagement or motivations for studying engineering.
Center for the Advancement of Engineering Education. Available from: University of Washington. Box 352183, Seattle, WA 98195. Fax: 206-221-3161; e-mail: celtad@engr.; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation
Authoring Institution: University of Washington, Center for the Advancement of Engineering Education (CAEE)
Identifiers - Location: United States