Abstract/Details

Educating America's talent in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics: An analysis of the effects of parental and high school factors on females' and males' decisions to enter STEM fields of study


2009 2009

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Abstract (summary)

This thesis outlines the problem of America’s declining competitiveness in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), identifies females as a potential resource for regaining competitiveness, and evaluates factors that influence student enrollment in STEM majors in an effort to guide policymaking. The paper evaluates existing research and then attempts to measure the relative effects of student, parental, and school characteristics on students’, particularly females’, decisions to major in STEM fields.

The analysis uses the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) National Education Longitudinal Study (NELS:88) to evaluate two different definitions of STEM fields - one defined by the NCES and one defined in this thesis to include only female non-traditional STEM fields. A multiple regression logistic analysis is performed separately for females and males for each of these definitions and finds significantly different results for each different STEM definition. Regardless of the definition used however, student interest in math and science during high school acts as the most effective predictor of STEM enrollment in college. Finally, the analysis indicates that parents have an effect on boys’ STEM decisions, but not on girls’ decisions, and that high school factors generally do not influence student entrance into STEM fields.

Indexing (details)


Subject
Womens studies;
Educational technology;
Higher education
Classification
0453: Womens studies
0710: Educational technology
0745: Higher education
Identifier / keyword
Social sciences; Education; And mathematics; College major; Engineering; Female; Gender; Higher education; STEM; Science; Technology
Title
Educating America's talent in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics: An analysis of the effects of parental and high school factors on females' and males' decisions to enter STEM fields of study
Author
Lynch, Mary G.
Number of pages
65
Publication year
2009
Degree date
2009
School code
0076
Source
MAI 47/05M, Masters Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
ISBN
9781109071498
Advisor
Carver, Priscilla
University/institution
Georgetown University
Department
Public Policy & Policy Management
University location
United States -- District of Columbia
Degree
M.P.P.
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Language
English
Document type
Dissertation/Thesis
Dissertation/thesis number
1462346
ProQuest document ID
304882539
Copyright
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
http://search.proquest.com/docview/304882539
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