Key Factors Influencing Retention Rates among Historically Underrepresented Groups in STEM Fields

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The aim of the study was to identify the factors that have an influence on the completion rates of undergraduate students in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Using Tinto's retention rate theory as the theoretical foundation, data were collected from freshman who were enrolled in the years 2005 to 2008. Results showed gender and first-generation status were significant predictors of STEM completion and time taken to complete the degree. Institutional bias played a role in race/ethnicity not being a factor affecting completion rates, as this study was conducted at a Predominantly White Institution. SAT scores and ... continued below

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Premraj, Divya December 2018.

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  • Premraj, Divya

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Description

The aim of the study was to identify the factors that have an influence on the completion rates of undergraduate students in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Using Tinto's retention rate theory as the theoretical foundation, data were collected from freshman who were enrolled in the years 2005 to 2008. Results showed gender and first-generation status were significant predictors of STEM completion and time taken to complete the degree. Institutional bias played a role in race/ethnicity not being a factor affecting completion rates, as this study was conducted at a Predominantly White Institution. SAT scores and first and second-year college GPA showed to have the most prominent influence on both STEM completion rate and time taken to complete the degree. Females with higher first-year college GPA and higher high school rank finished faster. Similar results were found with first-generation students as well. Students belonging to ethnic minority groups with higher SAT scores and college GPA had greater success in STEM fields as well. The study results can be used to increase completion rates of underrepresented students in the STEM fields, given what we know about the interactions between underrepresented student groups and the most important predictors.

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  • December 2018

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  • Jan. 19, 2019, 9:34 p.m.

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Premraj, Divya. Key Factors Influencing Retention Rates among Historically Underrepresented Groups in STEM Fields, dissertation, December 2018; Denton, Texas. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1404530/: accessed May 26, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; .