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Survey of Best Practices in Retaining Students in Science, Technology, Engineering & Medicine

  • ID: 4040062
  • Report
  • 106 pages
  • Primary Research Group
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The 106-page study looks closely at the efforts of 22 colleges and universities to retain students in these critical areas.  The report presents data on efforts to cultivate STEM students in high school, retention enhancement efforts with tutors, adjunct and full time faculty, teaching assistants and others. In addition, the report presents data on STEM retention, on the percentage of STEM students who leave for other colleges and for non-STEM majors within the college. It looks at staffing for retention including retention staffing specifically for STEM subjects or STEM retention staffers attached to specific academic departments, as well as the use of STEM oriented retention committees.  Other topics covered include efforts to encourage STEM effort buy in from faculty, the role of academic advising, special efforts for minority students, uses of standardized testing and early warning systems and much more.

Data in the report is broken out by type and size of college, by level of tuition and other variables.

Just a few of the report’s many findings are that:

  • Public colleges were much more likely (46.15%) than private colleges (22.22%) to report that their college employed a high-level administrator to promote or maintain STEM enrollment at their institution.
  • More than 55.56% of respondents from private colleges versus only 38.46% of public college respondents reported that their college maintained student retention rates broken down by subject area.
  • The majority of respondents (59.09%) indicated that their college does not offer a preparatory program for STEM students prior to enrolment.
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THE QUESTIONNAIRE   

PARTICIPANTS LIST   
Characteristics of the Sample   

SUMMARY OF MAIN FINDINGS   
Introduction and Sample Demographics   
Staffing for Retention   
Does the college have a retention committee or task force composed of deans, professors and other staff in one or more STEM areas?   
Does the college have a retention staff of more than one person specifically devoted to retention in STEM areas?   
Does the college have a retention staffer attached to particular academic departments or schools in STEM areas?   
Measures Taken to Garner Buy-in or Retention Efforts from STEM Faculty   
Presence of Academic Advisors Specialized in STEM Subjects   
Trends in Student Retention Rates Broken Down by Subject Area   
Percentage of STEM Students Who Leave College vs. Change to non-STEM Major   
Retention of STEM student within College versus Overall College Retention and non-STEM Retention   
Priorities in STEM Student Retention   
Use of Nationally Recognized Standardized Tests to Monitor Student Progress   
Special Provisions for by STEM Groups   
Successes in Retaining STEM Student Groups by Various Criteria   
Percentage of Colleges that have a Cooperative Program to Increase Interest Attracting Future STEM Students   
Cooperative Programs to Attract New STEM Students   
Changes in Intro STEM Courses to Enhance STEM Retention   
Which phrase best describes how your institutions trains teaching assistants (TA's) in STEM subject areas?   
Incentivizing Faculty in STEM Retention   
Percentage of STEM Students who are International Students   
Retention Rates for International STEM Students   
Parting Advice   

List of Tables
Table 1 Your answers will cover which of the following? (choose all that apply)   
Table 1.1.1 Will your answers cover of the All STEM subject areas?   
Table 1.1.2 Will your answers cover of the All STEM subject areas? Broken out by Public/private status   
Table 1.1.3 Will your answers cover of the All STEM subject areas? Broken out by Full-time equivalent enrollment   
Table 1.1.4 Will your answers cover of the All STEM subject areas? Broken out by Carnegie class or type   
Table 1.1.5 Will your answers cover of the All STEM subject areas? Broken out by Annual tuition $   
Table 1.1.6 Will your answers cover of the All STEM subject areas? Broken out by Range of STEM subjects taught   
Table 1.2.1  Did you include data specifically on Engineering students?   
Table 1.3.1 Did you include data on specifically students of Mathematics/Computer Science?   
Table 1.4.1 Did you include data on specifically on students in Medicine/Biology/Life Sciences?   
Table 1.5.1 Did you include data on specifically on students in Chemistry/Materials Science?   
Table 2 Does the college have any of the following: (Choose all that Apply)   
Table 2.1.1 Does the college have a dean or other high level administrator whose primary responsibility is to maintain or increase student retention in one or more STEM areas?   
Table 2.1.2 Does the college have a dean or other high level administrator whose primary responsibility is to maintain or increase student retention in one or more STEM areas? Broken out by Public/private status   
Table 2.1.3 Does the college have a dean or other high level administrator whose primary responsibility is to maintain or increase student retention in one or more STEM areas? Broken out by Full-time equivalent enrollment   
Table 2.1.4 Does the college have a dean or other high level administrator whose primary responsibility is to maintain or increase student retention in one or more STEM areas? Broken out by Carnegie class or type   
Table 2.1.5 Does the college have a dean or other high level administrator whose primary responsibility is to maintain or increase student retention in one or more STEM areas? Broken out by Annual tuition $   
Table 2.1.6 Does the college have a dean or other high level administrator whose primary responsibility is to maintain or increase student retention in one or more STEM areas? Broken out by Range of STEM subjects taught   
Table 2.2.1 Does the college have a retention committee or task force composed of deans, professors and other staff in one or more STEM areas?   
Table 2.2.2 Does the college have a retention committee or task force composed of deans, professors and other staff in one or more STEM areas? Broken out by Public/private status   
Table 2.2.3 Does the college have a retention committee or task force composed of deans, professors and other staff in one or more STEM areas? Broken out by Full-time equivalent enrollment   
Table 2.2.4 Does the college have a retention committee or task force composed of deans, professors and other staff in one or more STEM areas? Broken out by Carnegie class or type   
Table 2.2.5 Does the college have a retention committee or task force composed of deans, professors and other staff in one or more STEM areas? Broken out by Annual tuition $   
Table 2.2.6 Does the college have a retention committee or task force composed of deans, professors and other staff in one or more STEM areas? Broken out by Range of STEM subjects taught   
Table 2.3.1 Does the college have a retention staff of more than one person specifically devoted to retention in STEM areas?   
Table 2.3.2 Does the college have a retention staff of more than one person specifically devoted to retention in STEM areas? Broken out by Public/private status   
Table 2.3.3 Does the college have a retention staff of more than one person specifically devoted to retention in STEM areas? Broken out by Full-time equivalent enrollment   
Table 2.3.4 Does the college have a retention staff of more than one person specifically devoted to retention in STEM areas? Broken out by Carnegie class or type   
Table 2.3.5 Does the college have a retention staff of more than one person specifically devoted to retention in STEM areas? Broken out by Annual tuition $   
Table 2.3.6 Does the college have a retention staff of more than one person specifically devoted to retention in STEM areas? Broken out by Range of STEM subjects taught   
Table 2.4.1 Does the college have a retention staffer attached to particular academic departments or schools in STEM areas?   
Table 2.4.2 Does the college have a retention staffer attached to particular academic departments or schools in STEM areas? Broken out by Public/private status   
Table 2.4.3 Does the college have a retention staffer attached to particular academic departments or schools in STEM areas? Broken out by Full-time equivalent enrollment   
Table 2.4.4 Does the college have a retention staffer attached to particular academic departments or schools in STEM areas? Broken out by Carnegie class or type   
Table 2.4.5 Does the college have a retention staffer attached to particular academic departments or schools in STEM areas? Broken out by Annual tuition $   
Table 2.4.6 Does the college have a retention staffer attached to particular academic departments or schools in STEM areas? Broken out by Range of STEM subjects taught   
What measures has your institution taken to get buy-in on retention efforts from faculty members in STEM subjects?   
Table 3.1 Does the college have academic advisors specialized in STEM subjects?   
Table 3.2 Does the college have academic advisors specialized in STEM subjects? Broken out by Public/private status   
Table 3.3 Does the college have academic advisors specialized in STEM subjects? Broken out by Full-time equivalent enrollment   
Table 3.4 Does the college have academic advisors specialized in STEM subjects? Broken out by Carnegie class or type   
Table 3.5 Does the college have academic advisors specialized in STEM subjects? Broken out by Annual tuition $   
Table 3.6 Does the college have academic advisors specialized in STEM subjects? Broken out by Range of STEM subjects taught   
If so how are these advisors maintained?  In an academic advisory department?  Attached to various specific academic departments such as biology or engineering? What role is played by an academic advising department? What role by specific subject departments?   
Table 4.1 Does the college have student retention rates broken out by academic subject area?   
Table 4.2 Does the college have student retention rates broken out by academic subject area? Broken out by Public/private status   
Table 4.3 Does the college have student retention rates broken out by academic subject area? Broken out by Full-time equivalent enrollment   
Table 4.4 Does the college have student retention rates broken out by academic subject area? Broken out by Carnegie class or type   
Table 4.5 Does the college have student retention rates broken out by academic subject area? Broken out by Annual tuition $   
Table 4.6 Does the college have student retention rates broken out by academic subject area? Broken out by Range of STEM subjects taught   
Table 5 As an estimate, about what percentage of your STEM students that leave STEM subjects leave the college entirely, and what percentage change to a non-STEM major?   
Table 5.1.1 Leave the College Entirely   
Table 5.1.2 Leave the College Entirely Broken out by Public/private status   
Table 5.1.3 Leave the College Entirely Broken out by Full-time equivalent enrollment   
Table 5.1.4 Leave the College Entirely Broken out by Carnegie class or type   
Table 5.1.5 Leave the College Entirely Broken out by Annual tuition $   
Table 5.1.6 Leave the College Entirely Broken out by Range of STEM subjects taught   
Table 5.2.1 Change to a Non-STEM major   
Table 5.2.2 Change to a Non-STEM major Broken out by Public/private status   
Table 5.2.3 Change to a Non-STEM major Broken out by Full-time equivalent enrollment   
Table 5.2.4 Change to a Non-STEM major Broken out by Carnegie class or type   
Table 5.2.5 Change to a Non-STEM major Broken out by Annual tuition $   
Table 5.2.6 Change to a Non-STEM major Broken out by Range of STEM subjects taught   
If the college maintains retention data by academic subject area, how does retention of STEM student to the college (even if they switch majors to a non-stem field) compare with retention of students overall and to retention of non-STEM students?   
Table 6 Imagine that you have been given a budget to increase retention of STEM students at your institution.  Rank the factors below in order of how much money that you would spend on them.   
Table 6.1.1 Importance of Retention and Teaching Training for Teaching Assistants   
Table 6.1.2 Importance of Retention and Teaching Training for Teaching Assistants Broken out by Public/private status   
Table 6.1.3 Importance of Retention and Teaching Training for Teaching Assistants Broken out by Full-time equivalent enrollment   
Table 6.1.4 Importance of Retention and Teaching Training for Teaching Assistants Broken out by Carnegie class or type   
Table 6.1.5 Importance of Retention and Teaching Training for Teaching Assistants Broken out by Annual tuition $   
Table 6.1.6 Importance of Retention and Teaching Training for Teaching Assistants Broken out by Range of STEM subjects taught   
Table 6.2.1 Importance of Retention and Teaching Training for Adjuncts   
Table 6.2.2 Importance of Retention and Teaching Training for Adjuncts Broken out by Public/private status   
Table 6.2.3 Importance of Retention and Teaching Training for Adjuncts Broken out by Full-time equivalent enrollment   
Table 6.2.4 Importance of Retention and Teaching Training for Adjuncts Broken out by Carnegie class or type   
Table 6.2.5 Importance of Retention and Teaching Training for Adjuncts Broken out by Annual tuition $   
Table 6.2.6 Importance of Retention and Teaching Training for Adjuncts Broken out by Range of STEM subjects taught   
Table 6.3.1 Importance of Retention and Teaching Training for Full Time Instructional Faculty   
Table 6.3.2 Importance of Retention and Teaching Training for Full Time Instructional Faculty Broken out by Public/private status   
Table 6.3.3 Importance of Retention and Teaching Training for Full Time Instructional Faculty Broken out by Full-time equivalent enrollment   
Table 6.3.4 Importance of Retention and Teaching Training for Full Time Instructional Faculty Broken out by Carnegie class or type   
Table 6.3.5 Importance of Retention and Teaching Training for Full Time Instructional Faculty Broken out by Annual tuition $   
Table 6.3.6 Importance of Retention and Teaching Training for Full Time Instructional Faculty Broken out by Range of STEM subjects taught   
Table 6.4.1 Importance of Additional Academic Advisors in STEM Subject Areas   
Table 6.4.2 Importance of Additional Academic Advisors in STEM Subject Areas Broken out by Public/private status   
Table 6.4.3 Importance of Additional Academic Advisors in STEM Subject Areas Broken out by Full-time equivalent enrollment   
Table 6.4.4 Importance of Additional Academic Advisors in STEM Subject Areas Broken out by Carnegie class or type   
Table 6.4.5 Importance of Additional Academic Advisors in STEM Subject Areas Broken out by Annual tuition $   
Table 6.4.6 Importance of Additional Academic Advisors in STEM Subject Areas Broken out by Range of STEM subjects taught   
Table 6.5.1 Importance of Additional Specialized Tutors for STEM subjects   
Table 6.5.2 Importance of Additional Specialized Tutors for STEM subjects Broken out by Public/private status   
Table 6.5.3 Importance of Additional Specialized Tutors for STEM subjects Broken out by Full-time equivalent enrollment   
Table 6.5.4 Importance of Additional Specialized Tutors for STEM subjects Broken out by Carnegie class or type   
Table 6.5.5 Importance of Additional Specialized Tutors for STEM subjects Broken out by Annual tuition $   
Table 6.5.6 Importance of Additional Specialized Tutors for STEM subjects Broken out by Range of STEM subjects taught   
Table 6.6.1 Importance of Nationally Standardized Tests for Diagnostics and Assessment in STEM Areas   
Table 6.6.2 Importance of Nationally Standardized Tests for Diagnostics and Assessment in STEM Areas Broken out by Public/private status   
Table 6.6.3 Importance of Nationally Standardized Tests for Diagnostics and Assessment in STEM Areas Broken out by Full-time equivalent enrollment   
Table 6.6.4 Importance of Nationally Standardized Tests for Diagnostics and Assessment in STEM Areas Broken out by Carnegie class or type   
Table 6.6.5 Importance of Nationally Standardized Tests for Diagnostics and Assessment in STEM Areas Broken out by Annual tuition $   
Table 6.6.6 Importance of Nationally Standardized Tests for Diagnostics and Assessment in STEM Areas Broken out by Range of STEM subjects taught   
Table 6.7.1 Importance of Development of One's Own Tests for Diagnostics and Assessment in STEM Areas   
Table 6.7.2 Importance of Development of One's Own Tests for Diagnostics and Assessment in STEM Areas Broken out by Public/private status   
Table 6.7.3 Importance of Development of One's Own Tests for Diagnostics and Assessment in STEM Areas Broken out by Full-time equivalent enrollment   
Table 6.7.4 Importance of Development of One's Own Tests for Diagnostics and Assessment in STEM Areas Broken out by Carnegie class or type   
Table 6.7.5 Importance of Development of One's Own Tests for Diagnostics and Assessment in STEM Areas Broken out by Annual tuition $   
Table 6.7.6 Importance of Development of One's Own Tests for Diagnostics and Assessment in STEM Areas Broken out by Range of STEM subjects taught   
Table 6.8.1 Importance of Implementation or Further Development of Early Warning Data System for Retention   
Table 6.8.2 Importance of Implementation or Further Development of Early Warning Data System for Retention Broken out by Public/private status   
Table 6.8.3 Importance of Implementation or Further Development of Early Warning Data System for Retention Broken out by Full-time equivalent enrollment   
Table 6.8.4 Importance of Implementation or Further Development of Early Warning Data System for Retention Broken out by Carnegie class or type   
Table 6.8.5 Importance of Implementation or Further Development of Early Warning Data System for Retention Broken out by Annual tuition $   
Table 6.8.6 Importance of Implementation or Further Development of Early Warning Data System for Retention Broken out by Range of STEM subjects taught   
Table 6.9.1 Importance of Smaller Class Sizes in STEM classes   
Table 6.9.2 Importance of Smaller Class Sizes in STEM classes Broken out by Public/private status   
Table 6.9.3 Importance of Smaller Class Sizes in STEM classes Broken out by Full-time equivalent enrollment   
Table 6.9.4 Importance of Smaller Class Sizes in STEM classes Broken out by Carnegie class or type   
Table 6.9.5 Importance of Smaller Class Sizes in STEM classes Broken out by Annual tuition $   
Table 6.9.6 Importance of Smaller Class Sizes in STEM classes Broken out by Range of STEM subjects taught   
Table 7.1 Does the college use a nationally standardized test in any of the following subject areas to chart student progress? (check all that apply)   
Table 7.2 Does the college use a nationally standardized test in any of the following subject areas to chart student progress? (check all that apply) Broken out by Public/private status   
Table 7.3 Does the college use a nationally standardized test in any of the following subject areas to chart student progress? (check all that apply) Broken out by Full-time equivalent enrollment   
Table 7.4 Does the college use a nationally standardized test in any of the following subject areas to chart student progress? (check all that apply) Broken out by Carnegie class or type   
Table 7.5 Does the college use a nationally standardized test in any of the following subject areas to chart student progress? (check all that apply) Broken out by Annual tuition $   
Table 7.6 Does the college use a nationally standardized test in any of the following subject areas to chart student progress? (check all that apply) Broken out by Range of STEM subjects taught   
If so which specific tests do you use? How useful have they been?   
Which STEM or administrative departments of your college have organized particularly noteworthy STEM tutoring efforts and what have they done?   
Table 8.1 Does the college have any special provisions for any of the following groups in STEM fields? (Check all that apply)   
Table 8.2 Does the college have any special provisions for any of the following groups in STEM fields? (Check all that apply) Broken out by Public/private status   
Table 8.3 Does the college have any special provisions for any of the following groups in STEM fields? (Check all that apply) Broken out by Full-time equivalent enrollment   
Table 8.4 Does the college have any special provisions for any of the following groups in STEM fields? (Check all that apply) Broken out by Carnegie class or type   
Table 8.5 Does the college have any special provisions for any of the following groups in STEM fields? (Check all that apply) Broken out by Annual tuition $   
Table 8.6 Does the college have any special provisions for any of the following groups in STEM fields? (Check all that apply) Broken out by Range of STEM subjects taught   
If you have had particular success in increasing retention rates for any specific group defined by any criteria -- race, SAT level, academic major, geographic origin, or any other criteria - explain how you achieved this success.   
Table 9.1 Does the college offer a preparatory program for new students or transfers who may need an upgrade in certain basic STEM building block subjects prior to enrollment?   
Table 9.2 Does the college offer a preparatory program for new students or transfers who may need an upgrade in certain basic STEM building block subjects prior to enrollment? Broken out by Public/private status   
Table 9.3 Does the college offer a preparatory program for new students or transfers who may need an upgrade in certain basic STEM building block subjects prior to enrollment? Broken out by Full-time equivalent enrollment   
Table 9.4 Does the college offer a preparatory program for new students or transfers who may need an upgrade in certain basic STEM building block subjects prior to enrollment? Broken out by Carnegie class or type   
Table 9.5 Does the college offer a preparatory program for new students or transfers who may need an upgrade in certain basic STEM building block subjects prior to enrollment? Broken out by Annual tuition $   
Table 9.6 Does the college offer a preparatory program for new students or transfers who may need an upgrade in certain basic STEM building block subjects prior to enrollment? Broken out by Range of STEM subjects taught   
Table 10.1 Does the college have a cooperative program with a local high school or other college, or any other institution, to cultivate interest in and capabilities in STEM subjects as a means of attracting future STEM students?   
Table 10.2 Does the college have a cooperative program with a local high school or other college, or any other institution, to cultivate interest in and capabilities in STEM subjects as a means of attracting future STEM students? Broken out by Public/private status   
Table 10.3 Does the college have a cooperative program with a local high school or other college, or any other institution, to cultivate interest in and capabilities in STEM subjects as a means of attracting future STEM students? Broken out by Full-time equivalent enrollment   
Table 10.4 Does the college have a cooperative program with a local high school or other college, or any other institution, to cultivate interest in and capabilities in STEM subjects as a means of attracting future STEM students? Broken out by Carnegie class or type   
Table 10.5 Does the college have a cooperative program with a local high school or other college, or any other institution, to cultivate interest in and capabilities in STEM subjects as a means of attracting future STEM students? Broken out by Annual tuition $   
Table 10.6 Does the college have a cooperative program with a local high school or other college, or any other institution, to cultivate interest in and capabilities in STEM subjects as a means of attracting future STEM students? Broken out by Range of STEM subjects taught   
Describe any such STEM outreach programs that the college uses.   
In recent years, has the college taken any measures to change the way that major basic introductory courses in STEM areas are organized or taught? If so what changes have been introduced and with what result?   
Table 11.1 Which phrase best describes how your institutions trains teaching assistants (TA's) in STEM subject areas?   
Table 11.2 Which phrase best describes how your institutions trains teaching assistants (TA's) in STEM subject areas? Broken out by Public/private status   
Table 11.3 Which phrase best describes how your institutions trains teaching assistants (TA's) in STEM subject areas? Broken out by Full-time equivalent enrollment   
Table 11.4 Which phrase best describes how your institutions trains teaching assistants (TA's) in STEM subject areas? Broken out by Carnegie class or type   
Table 11.5 Which phrase best describes how your institutions trains teaching assistants (TA's) in STEM subject areas? Broken out by Annual tuition $   
Table 11.6 Which phrase best describes how your institutions trains teaching assistants (TA's) in STEM subject areas? Broken out by Range of STEM subjects taught   
Table 12.1 Over the past five years English language skill requirements for TA's at your university have become more or less vigorous?   
Table 12.2 Over the past five years English language skill requirements for TA's at your university have become more or less vigorous? Broken out by Public/private status   
Table 12.3 Over the past five years English language skill requirements for TA's at your university have become more or less vigorous? Broken out by Full-time equivalent enrollment   
Table 12.4 Over the past five years English language skill requirements for TA's at your university have become more or less vigorous? Broken out by Carnegie class or type   
Table 12.5 Over the past five years English language skill requirements for TA's at your university have become more or less vigorous? Broken out by Annual tuition $   
Table 12.6 Over the past five years English language skill requirements for TA's at your university have become more or less vigorous? Broken out by Range of STEM subjects taught   
Describe the TA or Teaching Fellow training requirements in a STEM area of your choice. Comment on efforts to improve TA/Teaching Fellow teaching skills and involve them in the retention effort.   
In STEM subject areas has your institution made any initiatives to incentivize faculty to further the retention effort by more greatly rewarding excellence in teaching? If so what measures have been taken?   
Table 13.1 Approximately what percentage of your STEM students are international students?   
Table 13.2 Approximately what percentage of your STEM students are international students? Broken out by Public/private status   
Table 13.3 Approximately what percentage of your STEM students are international students? Broken out by Full-time equivalent enrollment   
Table 13.4 Approximately what percentage of your STEM students are international students? Broken out by Carnegie class or type   
Table 13.5 Approximately what percentage of your STEM students are international students? Broken out by Annual tuition $   
Table 13.6 Approximately what percentage of your STEM students are international students? Broken out by Range of STEM subjects taught   
Table 14.1 Your retention rates for international students in STEM are:   
Table 14.2 Your retention rates for international students in STEM are: Broken out by Public/private status   
Table 14.3 Your retention rates for international students in STEM are: Broken out by Full-time equivalent enrollment   
Table 14.4 Your retention rates for international students in STEM are: Broken out by Carnegie class or type   
Table 14.5 Your retention rates for international students in STEM are: Broken out by Annual tuition $   
Table 14.6 Your retention rates for international students in STEM are: Broken out by Range of STEM subjects taught   
How much has your English language training services contributed to the success of your international STEM students? What advice can you offer on these programs?   
Which colleges and university STEM retention efforts do you most admire and why?   
Pass on any advice on what is most essential and effective for STEM retention programs.

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