Attrition in STEM fields at a liberal arts college: The importance of grades and pre-collegiate preferences
There is widespread concern, both in the private and public sectors, about perceived declines in U.S. college graduates in STEM fields. In our sample, the proportion of science majors has remained steady over the sample period; however, the number entering our college intending to major in STEM fields has fallen. In this paper we use administrative data from the graduating classes of 2001-2009, roughly 5000 graduates, from a northeastern liberal arts college to model the progression of students through STEM majors. The results suggest that absolute and sometimes relative grades are important, as is the intended major (as reported on the admissions application). AP credits are also strongly correlated to taking a first course, but diminish in the more selected samples. Simulations suggest that if science grade distributions were more like the college average, there would be roughly 2-4% more students progressing in STEM departments.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- MONTMARQUETTE, Claude & CANNINGS, Kathy & MAHSEREDJIAN, Sophie, 1997.
"How do Young People Choose College Majors?,"
Cahiers de recherche
9719, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
- Montmarquette, C. & Cannings, C. & Mahseredjian,S., 1997. "How do Young People Choose College Majors?," Cahiers de recherche 9719, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
- Kathy Cannings & Sophie Mahseredjian & Claude Montmarquette, 1997. "How Do Young People Choose College Majors ?," CIRANO Working Papers 97s-38, CIRANO.
- Brandice J. Canes & Harvey S. Rosen, 1994.
"Following in Her Footsteps? Women's Choices of College Majors and Faculty Gender Composition,"
NBER Working Papers
4874, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Brandice J. Canes & Harvey S. Rosen, 1995. "Following in her footsteps? Women's choices of college majors and faculty gender composition," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 48(3), pages 486-504, April.
- Robst, John & Keil, Jack & Russo, Dean, 1998. "The effect of gender composition of faculty on student retention," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 429-439, October.
- Ann L. Owen & Elizabeth J. Jensen, 2000. "Why Are Women Such Reluctant Economists? Evidence from Liberal Arts Colleges," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 466-470, May.
- Federman Maya, 2007. "State Graduation Requirements, High School Course Taking, and Choosing a Technical College Major," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-34, January.
- Mark C. Berger, 1988. "Predicted future earnings and choice of college major," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 41(3), pages 418-429, April.
- Eide, Eric & Waehrer, Geetha, 1998. "The Role of the Option Value of College Attendance in College Major Choice," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 73-82, February.
- Richard Sabot & John Wakeman-Linn, 1991. "Grade Inflation and Course Choice," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 159-170, Winter.
- Tomz, Michael & Wittenberg, Jason & King, Gary, 2003. "Clarify: Software for Interpreting and Presenting Statistical Results," Journal of Statistical Software, Foundation for Open Access Statistics, vol. 8(i01).
- Rask, Kevin & Tiefenthaler, Jill, 2008. "The role of grade sensitivity in explaining the gender imbalance in undergraduate economics," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 676-687, December.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:29:y:2010:i:6:p:892-900. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.