A Study of Internships and Conferences on Retention and Graduation of Undergraduate Students
Higher Education Research
Volume 5, Issue 5, October 2020, Pages: 199-208
Received: Sep. 24, 2020;
Accepted: Oct. 12, 2020;
Published: Oct. 21, 2020
Views 69 Downloads 28
Tariq Khraishi, Mechanical Engineering Department, School of Engineering, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
Kristine Denman, New Mexico Statistical Analysis Center, Institute for Social Research, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
Elsa Castillo, Engineering Student Success (ESS) Center, School of Engineering, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
Jenna Dole, New Mexico Statistical Analysis Center, Institute for Social Research, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
The issue of retention and graduation of STEM college students is an important one in the United States, which the federal government, and its agencies, have focused on addressing for many years. In this paper, the authors discuss the experiences of a National Science Foundation STEP (STEM Talent Expansion Program) award to the School of Engineering at the University of New Mexico (UNM). The objective of this project is in-line with the national goal of improving retention and graduation rates of STEM students (specifically engineering and computer science students). The setup of this STEP project is unique in the sense that it focuses its efforts and activity funding on internships and professional conference participation trips for early career engineering and computer science students. In addition to a background on the national STEP Program, the paper discusses the constructive elements of this project and the data that was collected to measure its impact. The methods of this research involved data collection and analysis, surveys, bivariate descriptive statistics with statistical significance, and multivariate logistic regression analysis. The findings supported the original hypothesis of this multi-year study concerning the anticipated positive effect internships and conference participations can have on the graduation and retention of engineering undergraduate students. Therefore, it is concluded that such activities be explored at other higher education institutions in order to improve their retention and graduation numbers.
A Study of Internships and Conferences on Retention and Graduation of Undergraduate Students, Higher Education Research.
Vol. 5, No. 5,
2020, pp. 199-208.
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