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ERIC Number: EJ1030235
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0260-2938
Needs Assessment in STEM Disciplines: Reliability, Validity and Factor Structure of the Student Support Needs Scale (SSNS)
Hardy, Precious; Aruguete, Mara
Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, v39 n5 p553-562 2014
Retention is a major problem in most colleges and universities. High dropout rates, especially in the STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), have proved intractable despite the offering of supplemental instruction. A broad model of support systems that includes psychological factors is needed to address retention in STEM fields. The purpose of our study was to develop an instrument to identify the support needs of college students. We adapted the theoretical model of the performance pyramid to create a 48-item measure called the Student Support Needs Scale. We examined the psychometric properties of our scale by subjecting the measure to a principal component analysis, which resulted in a robust 36-item, six-factor solution. Finally, we established the reliability and validity of the resulting instrument. Once student needs have been assessed using our scale, interventions may be tailored to the needs of a minority group, discipline, geographic area and/or institution. This instrument could help university programmes to make informed decisions about resource allocation based on students' needs.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Postsecondary Education; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A