STEM Central

A Community of Practice for NSF STEM Projects

Reference paper on STEM retention and graduation

This article discussed enrollment, persistence, and graduation patterns of undergraduate college students (including racial-ethnic and gender groups) in the disciplines of science, technology, mathematics, and engineering (STEM). The data indicated that women and racial-ethnic minorities (except Asian-Americans) were underrepresented in STEM disciplines and that a significant majority of freshman STEM majors either dropped out or switched to non-STEM disciplines. The persistence and graduation rates in STEM disciplines among women and underrepresented minorities were also lower. Significant factors related to persistence and graduation of STEM majors included institutional variables (such as size and control) and student variables (such as race and academic ability). [From the abstract]

This one of the few papers I found that discuss this particular topic.  I was surprised to learn how low retention is in STEM fields.  Our project tries to address this issue.

Reference Information

  • Author(s)

    David L. Tan

  • Journal

    Center for Institutional Data Exchange and Analysis

  • Title

    MAJORS IN SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING, AND MATHEMATICS: GENDER AND ETHNIC DIFFERENCES IN PERSISTENCE AND GRADUATION

  • Year

    2002