Tuesday, November 26, 2013
STEM Attrition among college students
This Statistical Analysis Report presents the most recent national statistics on beginning bachelor’s and associate’s degree students’ entrance into, and attrition from, STEM fields. Using recent transcript data, it provides a first look at STEM coursetaking and examines how participation and performance in undergraduate STEM coursework, along with other factors, are associated with STEM attrition. The study is based on data from the 2004/09 Beginning Postsecondary Students Longitudinal Study (BPS:04/09) and the associated 2009 Postsecondary Education Transcript Study.
Some 28 percent of beginning bachelor’s degree students and 20 percent of beginning associate’s degree students entered a STEM field at some point during their enrollment between 2003 and 2009. As of 2009, 48 percent of the bachelor’s degree STEM entrants and 69 percent of the associate’s degree STEM entrants had left these fields by either changing majors or leaving college altogether without completing a degree or certificate. Major factors associated with STEM attrition include first-year STEM coursetaking experiences, the level of success in STEM coursework, and overall college performance.