Students Leaving Engineering Survey

Retention of students in engineering continues to be of concern. To best address this area, we need to know what contributes to both students persisting in engineering and what contributes to their leaving.

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by anonymous, Research Assistant, , 3

The Students Leaving Engineering Survey is meant to be used in conjunction with the Students Persisting in Engineering survey, so be sure to look at both of them if you are planning to use the tool. The survey does a good job of identifying key variables that could contribute a student's desire to leave an engineering program (workload, quality of advising, financial considerations, etc.) and could help an institution assess the strengths and weaknesses of its program with respect to retention. However, in terms of "quantifying a student's initial commitment to completing a degree," it is less strong. It asks students two questions about their "confidence" in their ability to complete their degree, both initially as an engineering major and now in their new degree. There are four response options (not at all, 50%, more than 50%, very), which is not a very fine grained measurement. Additionally, this survey deals directly with former engineering majors, so it is not really a tool that is applicable to informal STEM, particularly OST. However, if you are part of an engineering program and looking to evaluate the retention capacity of your program, this could be a helpful tool.