The paper, written by Feng, Lead Research Management Analyst Stefano Fiorini, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education Dennis Groth, and Senior Assistant Vice Provost Linda Shepard, examines the impact of performance in science, technology, engineering and math courses on student retention and how the effect changes over time.
The study analyzed 5,583 undergraduate students from 2006 to 2009 and their six-year college outcomes, finding that students are more likely to drop out by the third term and that experiencing lower STEM grades is associated with an increase in the odds of leaving the institution.
Feng noted that the findings reveal the importance of course performance, as well as economic factors and academic preparation, on student retention. The study also found that students were impacted by STEM course performance regardless of whether their major area of study was in STEM or non-STEM disciplines.
This study represents a stepping stone for an ongoing, more focused analysis of retention in specific STEM majors, with the goal of contributing to the campus’ supporting effort for students pursuing STEM degrees.
A unit within the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, the Bloomington Assessment and Research office supports faculty, programs, campus initiatives, and the student experience by providing research and analyses for data-driven decisions and continuous improvement.