Griffith, A. (2010). Persistence of women and minorities in STEM field majors: Is it the school that matters? Economics of Education Review, 29, 911-922.
- The study examined institutional and student factors that had the greatest effect on students’ decisions to persist in STEM majors, emphasizing factors promoting STEM degree completion for female and minority students.
- The author analyzed STEM persistence to the fourth year of undergraduate study in two data sets: the 1988 National Education Longitudinal Study and the 1999 National Longitudinal Survey of Freshmen (NLSF). In each data set, the author separately examined factors that predicted STEM degree completion for male, female, minority, and nonminority students who indicated at matriculation that they intended to pursue STEM majors.
- Students’ academic backgrounds were most likely to predict persistence in STEM. For both women and minorities in both data sets, a higher ratio of first-year STEM grade point average to total first-year grade point average was associated with a statistically significantly higher probability of completing a STEM degree. For minority students in the NLSF sample, taking more STEM Advanced Placement courses in high school also promoted persistence in postsecondary STEM study.
- No institutional factors were statistically significant predictors of STEM degree completion for either women or minorities.
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