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Development of an Instrument to Measure Perspectives of Engineering Education Among College Students

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The number of engineering students has been declining for decades and attracting qualified students has become an urgent task for engineering schools in The United States. Perspectives students hold towards engineering play an important role in their college major selection. An effective standardized instrument measuring general perspectives about engineering among college students is designed in this project and survey development, instrument administration, and factor analysis are presented. The statistical analysis reveals that college students in general agree that engineering is beneficial to the society, however, they tend to believe that it takes too much effort to gain an engineering degree and that engineering is a demanding career. Further, they are neutral about the personal benefits of pursuing a degree in engineering, and finally, they do not feel that studying engineering or making engineering as their profession is particularly interesting. These findings provide a good explanation to the declining enrollment and increasing dropout rates in engineering schools in the United States. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT]

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