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Newlin, C. (2013, September 19). College STEM majors opting out for other degrees. USA Today. Retrieved from

            This article highlights the disparity existing between the number of students who elect to be a STEM major and those that persist in STEM. The article also suggests reasons why STEM majors migrate to other areas that are considered significantly “easier” than STEM courses.

Tough, P. (2014, May 15). Who Gets to Graduate? The New York Times. Retrieved from

            The author of this article initially focuses on one student who was very successful in high school.  Unfortunately her path in STEM is all too often seen with many undergraduate STEM majors, particularly those historically underrepresented in STEM.  This article clearly defines the experiences of many first year students like Vanessa; being away from home for the first time, not knowing how to study properly, the overwhelming campus and classes. The article goes on to describe correlation between income and academic performance and methods to increase retention in STEM.

President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology Report (2012). Engage to Excel: Producing One Million Additional College Graduates with Degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office.

            This particular PCAST report to the President states the dire state of STEM students in the US.  The report also highlights reasons why students leave STEM.  The Committee also describes a remedy for the attrition of STEM majors.  Some of these remedies include revamping laboratory courses from cookbook-type to more discovery type laboratories which will lead to increased critical thinking skills which are imperative to any STEM major.  The Committee also recommends addressing the poor math skills many students enter college with.

US Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2013). STEM Attrition: College Students’ Paths Into and Out of STEM (Report No. NCES 2014-001) Retrieved from

            This report provides a comparison between retention in STEM and non-STEM fields.  Surprisingly, the attrition rates of non-STEM majors is just as bad if not worse than that of STEM majors.  The report also highlights use of a multinominal probit (MNP) which can be used to allow one to predict whether STEM majors remain or leave their STEM major.

Kokkelenberg, E., & Sinha, E. (2010). Who succeeds in STEM studies? An analysis of Binghamton University undergraduate students. Economics of Education Review, 29, 935-946.

            This article focuses on methods used to determine the success of STEM majors at Binghamton University.  This article discusses various statistical methods (SAS and STATA) to analyze retention data at this University.


Wischusen, Sheri M., Wischusen, E. William, and Pomarico, Steven M. (2010-2011). Impact of short pre-freshman program on retention. J. College Student Retention 12, 429-441.


The authors provide retention data of their BIOS students at LSU.  The article provides a framework for my study of students in the Boot Camp at GMU.


Wischusen, S., & Wischusen, W.E. (2007). Biology Intensive Orientation for Studetns (BIOS): A Biology “Boot Camp. CBE – Life Sciences Education, 6, 172-178.

            The BIOS boot camp hosted by faculty and staff and LSU is the modeled used at GMU.  The authors of this paper provide methods used to analyze their data, how to choose the appropriate variables between camp participants and the control group.


Hill, W. & Woodward L.S. (2013). Examining the Impact Learning Communities

Have on College of Education Students on an Urban Campus. Journal of College Student Development, 54, 643-648.

            Learning communities are an important feature of our boot camp.  This article focuses on how learning communities offer a significant benefit to students enrolled in the college of education an urban commuter school.  Students who participate in a learning community will ultimately have a vested interest in their field of study which will ultimately promote retention in the major.


DeWitz, S.J., Woolsey, M.L., & Walsh, W.B. (2009). College Student Retention: An Exploration of the Relationship Between Self-Efficacy Beliefs and Purpose in Life Among College Students. Journal of College Student Development, 50, 19-34.

            This article discusses students’ ability to successfully complete a task and how this relates to their retention as an undergraduate.  Studetns who have a greater awareness of themeseleves, are more likely to persist in the major.  Involvement with peers, motivation and how well students cope with bad news are all factors involved in persistence.


McLoughlin, L.A. (2009). Success, recruitment, and retention of academically elite women

students without STEM backgrounds in US undergraduate engineering education. Engineering Studies. 1, 151-168.

            This article is not the normal article about retention and STEM, rather it focuses on women who do not have a STEM background, but find themseleves in a STEM and hoave to work additionally as hard as their counterparts.  It provides strategy for recruitment and retention of this pariciular group.

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