Exploring the Sustainability-Related Career Outcome Expectations of Community College Students Interested in Science and Engineering Careers

Dina Verdín, Allison Godwin, Leidy Klotz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Community colleges are rarely at the forefront of conversations regarding science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce. Attracting diverse students into STEM fields is an important issue, and equally important is the need for science students to be prepared for and interested in tackling pressing societal issues. This study investigated the research question, “Which sustainability-related career outcome expectation measures are related to community college students’ interest in pursuing a career in engineering and science?” Data for this study came from a large survey administered at 17 US, 2-year institutions. A binary logistic regression analysis was used to predict which sustainability-related career outcome students hoped to directly address with their chosen engineering and science career field. Our results emphasize a broad range of sustainability-related career outcomes community college students (particularly women and first-generation college students) interested in various engineering and science disciplines seek to address. Community college students interested in environmental science, math, and physics careers were the only science fields interested in addressing energy-related topics. Whereas students seeking a career in biomedical, civil, mechanical, and electrical/computer engineering were more likely to be interested in addressing energy-related concerns. Women, irrespective of their desired science career, were more likely to be interested in addressing issues pertaining to disease, poverty and distribution of wealth and resources, and food availability. This work emphasizes the types of sustainability-related outcomes that can be leveraged when preparing community college students for future careers in science and engineering.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-98
Number of pages16
JournalCommunity College Journal of Research and Practice
Volume44
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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