Engineering Disciplinary Interests by Gender and Parental Level of Education

DIna Verdin, Allison Godwin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

This research category work-in-progress paper uses cross-sectional data, collected in the fall of 2017, to understand first-generation and continuing-generation college students' intended choice of an engineering major. Data for this analysis came from a large-scale survey of 3,711 first-year engineering students from 32 U.S. institutions of which 790 students identified as first-generation college students and 2,072 identified as having one or more parent(s) with a bachelor's degree or higher (continuing-generation college students). A Welch's t-test was used to examine the differences in engineering major selection between and within groups. Results from the within-group comparison show that men and women, who are first-generation college students, have similar disciplinary interest as reported in the ASEE Engineering by the Numbers. Most notably women first-generation college students were more likely to choose biomedical, chemical engineering, and other STEM-related degree compared to men first-generation college students. When analyzing the data by gender and examining college generation group differences, we found that women first-generation college students were more likely to choose, civil, computer, construction management, electrical engineering, computer science and, information technology compared to women in the other group. While men first-generation college students were more likely to choose construction management, electrical engineering compared to men in the other group. Enrollment trends of first-generation college students in engineering are difficult to determine, this study provides a first step towards understanding the fields that attract these students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2019 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2019
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781728117461
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2019
Externally publishedYes
Event49th IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2019 - Covington, United States
Duration: Oct 16 2019Oct 19 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE
Volume2019-October
ISSN (Print)1539-4565

Conference

Conference49th IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityCovington
Period10/16/1910/19/19

Keywords

  • engineering major
  • first-generation college students
  • gender differences
  • interest

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications

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