Determining student beliefs about engineering

Mary R. Anderson-Rowland, Armando Rodriguez, Anita E. Grierson

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

4 Scopus citations


Arizona and the United States need more engineers. It is well known that very few college freshmen choose engineering as a major. In addition, studies show that roughly 40% of students planning to study engineering and science change majors or fail to get their degrees. Students aspiring to be an engineer must take several years of mathematics courses. Mathematics is not popular. In a recent Noel-Levitz study, 45% of today's freshmen agreed with the statement, 'Math has always been a challenge for me.' A discouraging fact is that many high school and community college students know very little about engineering and thus do not even have it on their radar as a possible career. This team of authors have been working with precollege and community college students for over 10 years trying to increase the number of engineers. They have made many visits to community colleges and to high schools to talk about engineering. At the same time they had done research on these students to better understand them and to help determine the best practices to interest more students in engineering. This paper gives the results of surveys that have been given to high school and to community college students to try to determine their largest areas of ignorance or misunderstanding regarding engineering and computer science. This information can then inform how best to use a limited amount of time with undecided students to break down these barriers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
StatePublished - Feb 17 2015
Event44th Annual Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2014 - Madrid, Spain
Duration: Oct 22 2014Oct 25 2014


Other44th Annual Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2014


  • Engineering Beliefs
  • Engineering Myths
  • Increasing Interest in Engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Software
  • Education


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