Date of Award

Summer 2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

STEM and Professional Studies

Program/Concentration

Occupational and Technical Studies

Committee Director

Cynthia Tomovic

Committee Member

Petros Katsioloudis

Committee Member

Dana Burnett

Committee Member

Tisha Paredes

Abstract

Researchers suggest certain benchmarks of student engagement (i.e., student-faculty interaction, level of academic challenge, enriching educational experiences, active and collaborative learning, and supportive campus environment) positively influence student success. This study investigated the relationship between student engagement and the retention of male, full-time undergraduate students in STEM majors by comparing male, full-time undergraduate students in select science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) majors to male, full-time undergraduate students in non-STEM majors to identify best practices to improve retention and increase degree completion among men in STEM fields.

Students were invited to participate in the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE). Using NSSE data, the researcher determined if the benchmarks of student engagement influenced one-year retention of men from their first to second year at one large, public, research-intensive mid-Atlantic university. The five benchmarks of student engagement were used as independent variables and retention served as the dependent variable with GPA as the covariant. While this study was non-experimental, one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and one-way analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) were used to investigate the relationship between student engagement and retention of undergraduate men in STEM majors.

The results indicated a significant relationship between the supportive campus environment benchmark and retention of undergraduate men in STEM. GPA was not a covariant in fostering the relationship between supportive campus environment and retention of undergraduate men in STEM. The other four benchmarks of student engagement (i.e., student-faculty interaction, level of academic challenge, enriching educational experiences, active and collaborative learning) were not significant.

This study contributes to emerging research related to retention and academic success of undergraduate men in STEM majors. The researcher found little difference in how the benchmarks of student engagement influence retention between STEM and non-STEM majors among undergraduate men. Additionally, recommendations for future research and program implementation are provided to administrators and educational researchers to better address the needs of undergraduate men in STEM majors.

DOI

10.25777/0ck0-tj07

ISBN

9781321316452

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