Date of Award

12-2011

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Educational Leadership

Advisor

Satterfield, James

Committee Member

Satterfield , James

Committee Member

Potvin , Geoffrey

Committee Member

Benson , Lisa

Committee Member

Cawthon , Tony

Committee Member

Warner , Cheryl

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the variables which influence a high school student to enroll in an engineering discipline versus a physical science discipline. Data was collected utilizing the High School Activities, Characteristics, and Influences Survey, which was administered to students who were freshmen in an engineering or physical science major at an institution in the Southeastern United States. A total of 413 students participated in the survey.
Collected data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, two-sample Wilcoxon tests, and binomial logistic regression techniques. A total of 29 variables were deemed significant between the general engineering and physical science students. The 29 significant variables were further analyzed to see which have an independent impact on a student to enroll in an undergraduate engineering program, as opposed to an undergraduate physical science program. Four statistically significant variables were found to have an impact on a student's decision to enroll in a engineering undergraduate program versus a physical science program: father's influence, participation in Project Lead the Way, and the subjects of mathematics and physics.
Recommendations for theory, policy, and practice were discussed based on the results of the study. This study presented suggestions for developing ways to attract, educate, and move future engineers into the workforce.

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