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ERIC Number: EJ828847
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jan
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 15
ISSN: ISSN-0020-739X
Recruitment and Retention of Mathematics Students in Canadian Universities
Fenwick-Sehl, Laura; Fioroni, Marcella; Lovric, Miroslav
International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, v40 n1 p27-41 Jan 2009
Data from Statistics Canada shows that while the number of mathematics degrees at the undergraduate and graduate levels remained relatively constant between 1992 and 2005, the total number of mathematics degrees as a percentage of all degrees awarded has slightly decreased over the same time period. To understand this situation better, we investigate present trends at Canadian universities--in particular, as they relate to the recruitment and retention of students into/within mathematics programs. Using data available from Statistics Canada, results of our own survey, as well as written and electronic references, we produce a snapshot of the situation at Canadian universities, and attempt to identify good practices that might be able to reverse the downward trend. Our survey shows that recruitment and retention are not at the top of the agenda in many mathematics departments across the country. However, we identified activities organized at every university that was represented in our survey that could be interpreted as efforts aimed at increasing numbers of mathematics students. In order to understand variables that affect recruitment and retention we take a look beyond a typical mathematics department, and discuss issues such as: careers in mathematics and the ways information about it is presented to students, promotion of mathematics and science as important areas of human endeavour, students' and parents' beliefs about mathematics and its role in one's life, self-selection out of mathematics, and emergence of new fields of applications in mathematics, such as biological sciences. (Contains 2 figures and 5 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada