ERIC Number: EJ1085642
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 46
Utilizing Factor Analysis to Inform the Development of Institutionally Contrived Experiences to Increase STEM Engagement
Morgan, Micaela V. C.; Gerber, Michael M.
Community College Journal of Research and Practice, v40 n3 p204-218 2016
The purpose of this study was to determine what institutionally contrived experiences would engage community college students in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) study, regardless of their major. During the 2013-2014 academic year, 373 students at two California community colleges were surveyed, and an exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was conducted on the questions involving STEM experiences. A confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was performed on an additional survey sample of 343 students collected during the fall 2014 semester. A 4-factor model for the survey items pertaining to STEM experiences was confirmed through CFA. It suggested that the following latent constructs could be used to develop a program to increase STEM engagement: general support, career skills, academic support, and career guidance. Similarly, a bifactor model with a general latent construct of STEM experiences was another good fitting model. These findings suggest that the general factor (i.e., STEM experiences) along with individual factors (i.e., general support, career skills, academic support, and career guidance) can be employed to aid researchers and administrators in thinking of how to construct institutionally contrived experiences as a main set of experiences that contain individual components to increase STEM engagement.
Descriptors: Community Colleges, Two Year College Students, STEM Education, Learner Engagement, Student Surveys, Factor Analysis, Models, Academic Support Services, Job Skills, Skill Development, Career Guidance, Statistical Distributions, Statistical Analysis
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Two Year Colleges; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California