Got a moment to help update a classic STEM education study?

January 25, 2013, 9:27 am

Elaine Seymour and Nancy Hewitt’s book Talking About Leaving: Why Undergraduates Leave the Sciences is considered one of the seminal works in the literature about STEM education in higher ed. It’s certainly one of the most cited. Even though it’s 15 years old, it still wields a powerful influence over a lot of thought about university-level STEM education.

Mark Connolly, a researcher at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research, recently reached out to me to make me aware that he and Anne-Barrie Hunter of the University of Colorado Boulder are conducting a follow-up study to re-evaluate one of the claims made in the original 1997 study by Seymour and Hewitt study. Mark asked me to post about this to the blog and solicit your help in conducting the study. This involves taking a two-question survey. Here is the announcement from Mark and Anne-Barrie, and I hope you can find the time this afternoon to quickly fill this out. It’s a worthwhile cause.

Dear STEM Colleague:

According to a recent report by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, roughly 60% of students who enter college with the goal of majoring in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) end up graduating in a non-STEM field. As part of a national five-year study of why undergraduates leave STEM majors, we are conducting a very short survey of STEM faculty and instructors.

What we want to know is this: What level of math proficiency do STEM faculty consider a good indication that an incoming student is likely to succeed in a STEM major? 

The survey has just two questions: the one above and a second that asks about your field of study. Neither question asks for information that can personally identify you, so your answers are anonymous. Our findings will be used only to make sampling decisions for our study.

We will greatly appreciate your cooperation. Feel free to share the link for this survey <> with colleagues. Contact us if you have any questions or concerns.

Mark Connolly (University of Wisconsin–Madison) &  Anne-Barrie Hunter (University of Colorado Boulder)

Principal Investigators, Talking about Leaving Revisited

(Funded by the National Science Foundation and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation)


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