Engineering undergraduate persistence and contributing factors

Susan Haag, James Collofello

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

11 Scopus citations


The engineers of 2020 must be technically sound in their disciplines, global citizens, as well as aspirational, ethical leaders. To foster a new generation of engineering talent, modern curricula must advance strong analytical skills, teamwork, professionalism, and leadership. However, new curriculum with poor student retention cannot be deemed successful. We believe we possess the key components of a successful program, such as well-designed curricula, dedicated faculty and strong support services, yet many students leave our School. There is widespread speculation about the reasons for leaving, including financial need and lack of academic preparedness. To address these national and local retention phenomena, an evaluation process was designed to obtain quantitative information about why our students leave. The study assessed student attitudes associated with educational experiences hi their new major contrasted to their engineering experiences. Thus, information gained could be a basis for decision making for future processes and proposed improvements. Engineering is committed to the challenge of developing solutions to increase the overall retention rate and diversity of engineering graduates to meet both internal and external pressures for accountability and industry demands. This paper will address some of the viable solutions to counter the problems identified in our study as well as a discussion of how they have been implemented in our school.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE
StatePublished - 2008
Event38th ASEE/IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2008 - Saratoga Springs, NY, United States
Duration: Oct 22 2008Oct 25 2008


Other38th ASEE/IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2008
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySaratoga Springs, NY


  • Advising
  • Assessment
  • Climate
  • Curriculum
  • Engineering education
  • Persistence
  • Retention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Software
  • Education


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