Modeling First -Year Engineering Retention Rate and Success in STEM at Youngstown State University

by Gelan Badr

Institution: Youngstown State University
Department: Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
Degree: MSin Engineering
Year: 2014
Keywords: Engineering; Educational Evaluation; attrition; engagement; migration; persistence
Record ID: 2025594
Full text PDF: http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=ysu1402375615


Tracking retention rate is an important factor given the complexity of establishing the factors leading to an increase or decrease in graduation rates, especially in engineering programs that on a national level cannot meet the demand. It enables the institution to assess the periodic progression of students in its programs. As such, it can be used as an indication of: suitability of teaching methodologies, student expiates, curricular support structures, or the environment in a program or academic unit. Although by itself retention cannot answer definitively answer causality questions, educators can begin to determine where issues may be present to gather further data that can help understand the experiences of students. This study considers the graduation and retention rates from the engineering programs at Youngstown State University (Chemical, Civil, Electrical, Industrial, and Mechanical) for the past 8 years (2005-2013). From the perspective of who goes into engineering and who is retained. The approach is to track students starting in the First- Year Engineering Program and determines where each of the students is today (enrolled or graduated from YSU outside of engineering, enrolled or graduated from YSU within engineering, or no longer at university. The direct assessment will come in the form of tracking retention (frequency counts, proportions, and simple statistical tests - gender, race / ethnicity, high school preparation). Once we determine student pathways (graduation, succession, and exit rates) we can establish a continuous procedure to track retention on an on-going basis and propose recommendations for improvements in the engineering program (based on the type(s) of students who do not persist in engineering).