Why some community college students choose engineering and some don't

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

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

11 Scopus citations


For the past 10 years, engineering outreach programs have been conducted by a major university with local and rural community colleges (CCs). Currently, in the fourth year of a National Science Foundation STEP grant with a focus on five rural community colleges (CCs), engineering professors and staff go into mathematics and science classrooms and encourage students, especially those undecided) to consider engineering as a career. We also go with CC leaders to talk with their local high school students in mathematics and science classes. The results of the "Changing the Conversation" research are being used along with our own experience. This research is an attempt to quantify how these potential transfer students view and understand engineering to better inform our presentations. A survey was given to students at five non-metropolitan CCs to answer the following question: "What about engineering attracts or does not attract you?" We also wanted to know if there is a difference in perception of engineering and computer science by gender. Based on the results of these surveys, areas of interest that are of particular concern with potential engineering CC transfer students, especially women, are identified. These areas include feelings of inadequacy relative to math, not being aware of engineering job opportunities, engineering not sounding interesting, and engineering being boring.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - 2013
Event120th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - Atlanta, GA, United States
Duration: Jun 23 2013Jun 26 2013


Other120th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityAtlanta, GA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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