Author(s)

Rick JenkinsFollow

Date

12-2015

Department

School of Education

Degree

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Chair

Jeffrey S. Savage

Keywords

ACT, Educational Attainment, GPA, Human Capital, Science, Tehnology, Engineering, and Mathematics, STEM

Disciplines

Curriculum and Instruction | Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Methods | Gifted Education

Abstract

This dissertation examines the educational attainment of college STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) students in Arkansas in an attempt to identify the human capital factors that predict completion of a STEM degree or certificate. Students seeking STEM credentials (having STEM majors) were identified using the state higher education database from the state of Arkansas, including public four-year universities and two-year colleges. STEM students from 32 colleges and universities were included from three cohorts and tracked for six academic years. The criterion variable was STEM credential earned, whether or not the student earned any STEM undergraduate credentials. The predictor human capital variables for all STEM students included high school grade point average (GPA), American College Testing (ACT) composite score, ACT mathematics score, ACT English score, ACT reading score, and remedial status (remediation in any subject of mathematics, English, or reading). The predictor demographic factors included gender, race/ethnicity, and age. The research design was a predictive correlation study using logistic regression. The results indicated that high school GPA was highly predictive with ACT mathematics scores having predictive capability but with limited effect size and two other variables (remedial status and gender) being predictive for two of three cohorts.