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The effects of prior education and engagement on success in engineering studies: do women and men differ?

The effects of prior education and engagement on success in engineering studies: do women and men differ?

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Background In Dutch engineering education, female students outperform male students. Using an interactionalist framework, this study explores factors that contribute to this gender-based difference. Purpose This study aims to answer two questions: Do female and male students differ in background characteristics, engagement factors, and academic success? Are differences in the relationships among background characteristics, engagement factors, and academic success gender-specific? Design/method Data on male and female engineering undergraduate students from five Dutch universities were subjected to linear structural modeling to compare potential gender differences in the relationships among the focal variables. Two structural models were considered. Results Female students spent more time on independent study, reported more social inte- gration, completed more credits, and were more likely to stay in engineering than were male students. Academic integration and intention to persist were important for comple- tion of credits for both genders. Social integration was only important for men’s academic success. Females seemed to benefit less from good preparation through active learning during secondary education, and the effect of a high grade point average on math was neg- ative for females but positive for males. Conclusions Interactionalist concepts can explain academic success, but the relationships among concepts vary by gender. Males’ intentions to persist in engineering are an outcome of engagement processes during the first year, whereas females’ intentions to persist in engineering are manifest at the start of the first year.

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OrganisatieHanzehogeschool Groningen
LectoraatHuman Capital
Gepubliceerd inJournal of engineering education Wiley, Vol. 104, Uitgave: 2, Pagina's: 189-211
Datum2015-04-01
TypeArtikel
ISSN2168-9830
DOI10.1002/jee.20071
TaalEngels

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