Thursday, April 7, 2016

Linking Applied STEM Course-Taking in High School to Declaring a STEM Major in College

Recently, through the support from the Obama administration, the traditional STEM curricula (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) in high schools are being updated with integrated, applied STEM courses (e.g., technology and engineering) in order to enhance the “real world” applicability of scientific fields and ultimately to strengthen the link between what students learn in high school and college major choice.

Using longitudinal survey and transcript data, this study examines whether taking these applied STEM courses in high school can predict higher odds of declaring a STEM major in college. The findings reveal that taking applied STEM courses in high school is associated with a higher probability of declaring a STEM college major for four-year students. Moreover, applied STEM course-taking is highly predictive of declaring an applied STEM major.

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