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ERIC Number: ED566411
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Aug
Pages: 122
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 85
Entry and Persistence of Women and Minorities in College Science and Engineering Education. Research and Development Report. NCES 2000-601
Huang, Gary; Taddese, Nebiyu; Walter, Elizabeth
National Center for Education Statistics
This study examines the gaps related to gender and race/ethnicity in entrance, persistence, and attainment of postsecondary science and engineering (S&E) education. After reviewing selected prior research and examining potentially relevant variables in two National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) surveys, several variables were selected to create a multivariate model for use in two empirical analyses. The overall goal of the study was to try to determine the relative importance of these variables in sustaining the gender and race/ethnicity gaps in S&E education. First, this report examines the link between high school experience and entrance into S&E postsecondary programs to explore the extent to which women and underrepresented minorities continue to have lower entry rates into S&E programs at the postsecondary level. This part of the study analyzes data from the National Education Longitudinal Study of 1988 (NELS:88). Now that the 1994 third follow-up survey data are available, researchers can follow a nationally representative population of 1988 eighth-graders through high school and into college or the workforce. The second analysis addresses issues relating to persistence and degree attainment by underrepresented minorities and women in postsecondary S&E study. It traced a cohort of postsecondary students who began their S&E education in their first postsecondary year (i.e., as freshmen) through a 5-year time frame (1989-90 to 1993-94) using data from the Beginning Postsecondary Student Longitudinal Study (BPS). The findings from the first analysis support an overall notion that much of the racial/ethnic and gender differences in the entry to S&E programs in postsecondary education can be explained by examining family environment, family support, student behavior, and school factors across race/ethnicity and gender. The second analysis yields important findings regarding underrepresented minority and female students' status in and out of the S&E pipeline. The following tables are appended: (1) Crosswalk of Field Variables and Science/Math Codes for NELS:88 and BPS with a Modified National Science Foundation Definition of Science and Engineering Fields; (2) Descriptive Statistics of Variables used in the NELS:88 and BPS Regression Analyses; (3) Demographic Characteristics for Subgroup with Missing Value on One or More Variables and Subgroup without any Missing Cases: the NELS:88 BY-F3 Panel Data; (4) NELS:88 Data Items and Factor Loadings for Creating the Value-Orientation Scale; and (5) Demographic Characteristics of the Three BPS Subsamples Used in the Analysis (numbers in parentheses are for missing cases on a given variable).
National Center for Education Statistics. Available from: ED Pubs. P.O. Box 1398, Jessup, MD 20794-1398. Tel: 877-433-7827; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Numerical/Quantitative Data
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation, Division of Science Resources Statistics
Authoring Institution: National Center for Education Statistics (ED)
IES Funded: Yes
IES Cited: ED544470