ERIC Number: EJ957416
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Gender Matters: An Examination of Differential Effects of the College Experience on Degree Attainment in STEM
Gayles, Joy Gaston; Ampaw, Frim D.
New Directions for Institutional Research, n152 p19-25 Win 2011
Although more women than men are enrolled in college within the United States, women remain underrepresented in critical areas of study such as science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). This is particularly concerning given that STEM fields of study are vital to the economic growth and workforce development within the United States. In order for the United States to maintain its status as a competitor in addressing global issues, it will be imperative to increase and diversify the U.S. STEM workforce. The loss of women in STEM fields at critical junctures of the education pipeline has received national attention over the past few decades, and federal support has been earmarked for attracting and retaining women and other underrepresented populations in STEM fields. Although it is true that women have made gains in bachelor's degree attainment in STEM over the past thirty years, a closer look at the data shows that they have not reached parity with their male counterparts. A critical issue of concern is the high number of women who enter college with an interest in STEM and the low number of women who actually complete a STEM bachelor's degree six years later. This article reports the major findings from a study that examined the extent to which the effects of college experiences on degree completion in STEM at four-year colleges and universities differed for men and women. The results from the study yielded a number of interesting findings about which college experiences influence timely degree completion in STEM fields. The authors discuss the results of the first model, which examines degree completion for all students, and then the second model, where gender interacts with the variables of interest. Similar to previous research reports on women in STEM, they found that although women and men did not differ much in terms of background characteristics and precollege attributes, women were less likely to complete a degree in STEM within six years.
Descriptors: Colleges, Time to Degree, Bachelors Degrees, Gender Differences, Disproportionate Representation, Academic Degrees, Labor Turnover, Recruitment, STEM Education, Educational Attainment, Predictor Variables, Models
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States