How Poor Is The Retention Of Engineering? Essay

701 Words Jun 19th, 2015 3 Pages
How poor is retention in Engineering?
In the United States, “less than half of the students who enter into STEM undergraduate curricula as freshmen will actually graduate with a STEM degree” (Wilson, et al., 2011). The attrition rate is one of the “highest in the overall population of undergraduate students in the United States” (Wilson, et al., 2011). In Canada the retention rates are similar. “Adult student retention is an issue of growing concern for many institutions” (Fincher, 2010). There is even “greater disparity in the national STEM graduation rates of students from underrepresented groups with approximately three-fourths of minority students leaving STEM disciplines at the undergraduate level” (Wilson et al., 2012). The National Center for Education Statistics data, in 2009 saw a trend developing that while the “total number of Bachelor’s degrees granted had risen by over 11% between the 2003-2004 to 2007-2008 academic cycles, the number of Engineering and Computer Science Bachelor’s degrees had dropped by over 11% during the same period” (Davis et al., 2012). Other parts of the world, such as China, are not experiencing a trend of reduced engineering enrollment (Davis et al., 2012).
What Can and Should be Done to Increase Retention?
Many solutions have been suggested in different research articles. Some suggest “raising entrance standards, decreasing academic rigor, decreased pace, and learning enhancements” (Fincher, 2010) as answers to increasing…

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