Beyond the Bachelor*s: What Influences STEM Post

Report
Beyond the Bachelor’s: What
Influences STEM PostBaccalaureate Pathways
Juan C. Garibay, Bryce E. Hughes, M. Kevin Eagan,
Sylvia Hurtado
UCLA
Association for Institutional Research
May 2013, Long Beach, CA
A National Imperative
• United States faces a critical shortage in its STEM workforce
• STEM degrees constitute small proportion of overall bachelor’s
degrees awarded
• PCAST has called for an additional one million STEM degrees
over the next decade
• Yet amount of people with STEM degrees far outnumbers
STEM workforce
• Much remains unknown about turning STEM degrees into
STEM careers
Literature Review
• STEM pathways continue to be shaped by
background, especially race/ethnicity and gender
• High school academic preparation is also key; more
math and science are crucial
• Institutional context matters—graduates of elite
institutions attend elite graduate institutions and
take jobs related to their majors
Literature Review
• Key STEM experiences are structured to improve
the retention and persistence of students in STEM
fields
•
•
•
•
•
Undergraduate research programs
STEM retention programs targeted to URM students
Major-related clubs and professional associations
Internships and cooperative experiences
Faculty support and mentoring
• Little is known about how these experiences affect
post-college STEM trajectories
Conceptual Framework
• Career decision-making theory:
• Harren, 1979
• Psychological factors associated with career decision-making
• Emphasizes role of identity and background
• Includes the role of developing purpose
• Hodkinson & Sparkes, 1997
• Career decision-making is influenced by individual factors as
well as social and cultural contexts
• Opportunities are structured through accumulated capital and
experiences, affecting a student’s available career alternatives
Purpose
• The purpose of this study then is to identify the
student and institutional factors that associate with
post-college STEM pathways seven years after
college entry.
• Specifically:
• Which experiences lead students into the STEM
workforce compared to STEM graduate programs?
• Which experiences divert STEM talent into non-STEM
alternatives?
Methods: Data Source and Sample
• Data sources:
• 2004 CIRP Freshman Survey
• 2011 Post-Baccalaureate Survey
• Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS)
• Sample size:
• 7,331 STEM bachelor’s recipients who attended 471
institutions
• Analysis
• Descriptive statistics
• Multinomial HGLM
Methods: Dependent variable
• Status in terms of employment or matriculation into
graduate school
• Have enrolled in STEM graduate program
• Are employed in STEM career (and have not enrolled
in a graduate program)
• Have departed from STEM pathway (non-STEM
graduate program or career)
Methods: Independent Variables
• Student-level:
• Pre-college:
•
•
•
•
Demographic characteristics
Prior academic preparation
Educational and career aspirations
Pre-college experiences
• During college:
• Self-perceptions, aspirations, and goals
• Undergraduate STEM-related experiences
• Institution-level:
• Selectivity, minority-serving institution, size, control
Descriptive Statistics
Dependent Variable
Percent
Has Enrolled in a STEM grad program
31.2
STEM workforce & no grad school
31.3
Departure from STEM pathway
37.4
Demographics
Gender: Female
48.7
American Indian
3.3
Asian/Pacific Islander
12.2
Black
11.8
Latino/a
10.5
Other race
1.6
White
60.6
Findings: Enrollment in a STEM
Grad Program vs. STEM workforce
Significant Predictors of STEM Grad Program
Sign
Background/Precollege Characteristics
Socioeconomic Status
+
Native English Speaker
--
HS GPA
+
SAT score
+
Degree Aspirations: Master’s (ref. other degree aspirations)
+
Degree Asp: Health Prof. Degree (M.D., DVM, DOO, etc.)
+
Degree Asp: Ph.D./Ed.D.
+
Career Asp: Engineer (ref. all other careers)
--
Findings: Enrollment in a STEM
Grad Program vs. STEM workforce
Significant Predictors of STEM Grad Program
Sign
Undergraduate Experiences
Undergrad Major: Engineering (Ref. Bio Sciences)
--
Undergrad Major: Health Professional (Ref. Bio Sciences)
--
Undergrad Major: Math/Stats (Ref. Bio Sciences)
+
Undergrad Major: Comp/Tech Sciences (Ref. Bio Sciences)
--
Work w/ faculty member on her/his research
+
Receive mentoring from faculty member
+
Participate in academic club or professional organization
+
Work off campus during academic year
--
Findings for Enrollment in a STEM
Grad Program vs. Non-STEM Path
Significant Predictors of STEM Grad Program
Sign
Background/Precollege Characteristics
Gender: Female
--
HS GPA
+
SAT score
+
Social Self-Concept
--
Degree Asp: Health Prof. Degree (M.D., DVM, DOO, etc.)
+
Career Asp: Engineer (ref. all other careers)
+
Career Asp: Scientific Researcher (ref. all other careers)
+
Career Asp: Computer Programmer (ref. all other careers)
+
Career Asp: Health Prof. (ref. all other careers)
+
Goal: Becoming successful in a business of my own
--
Findings for Enrollment in a STEM
Grad Program vs. Non-STEM Path
Significant Predictors of STEM Grad Program
Sign
Undergraduate Experiences
Undergrad Major: Health Prof. (Ref. Bio Sciences)
+
Undergrad Major: Math/Stats (Ref. Bio Sciences)
--
Undergrad Major: Computer/Tech Sciences (Ref. Bio Sciences)
--
Work w/ faculty member on her/his research
+
Receive mentoring from faculty member
+
Participate in an academic club or org.
+
Work off campus during the academic year
--
Institutional Characteristic
Control: Private
+
Discussion
• Gender disparities in departure
• Socioeconomic differences also salient
• Students from higher socioeconomic backgrounds more likely
to enter STEM graduate training as opposed to STEM
workforce
• Students who worked off campus during the academic
year were more likely to forego STEM graduate training
and go into the STEM workforce or into non-STEM
pathways
• Prior academic preparation continues to influence postbaccalaureate decisions
Discussion
• Connections w/ faculty are critical in the decision to pursue a
STEM graduate degree
• Mentorship
• Working on professor’s research
• Informal networks like student clubs also exhibit a peer influence on
post-baccalaureate decisions
• Different STEM careers require different educational credentials for
entry and thus different post-baccalaureate pathways
• Institutional context did not play as significant a role as expected
• Data limitations may have masked some of these effects
• May play an indirect role
• May have conditional effects
Implications
• Retaining STEM talent in post-undergraduate years
• Graduate admissions requirements and structures
• Financial difficulties may be impeding the ability of many
students to pursue their STEM ambitions
• Faculty are crucial in encouraging students to seek
scientific research careers by providing opportunities to
engage in research and insights into what a research career
entails
• STEM fields also have a diverse array of credential
requirements for entry; further analysis by field can
highlight the diversity of pathways into each field
Thank you!
Contact Us
Faculty/Co-PIs:
Sylvia Hurtado
Mitchell Chang
Kevin Eagan
Postdoctoral Scholars:
Josephine Gasiewski
Administrative Staff:
Dominique Harrison
Graduate Research Assistants:
Tanya Figueroa
Gina Garcia
Juan Garibay
Bryce Hughes
Papers and reports are available for download from project website:
http://heri.ucla.edu/nih
Project e-mail: [email protected]
This study was made possible by the support of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, NIH Grant Numbers 1 R01
GMO71968-01 and R01 GMO71968-05, the National Science Foundation, NSF Grant Number 0757076, and the American
Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 through the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, NIH Grant 1RC1GM09077601. This independent research and the views expressed here do not indicate endorsement by the sponsors.

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