Money, math and engineering graduation: More high school funding could mean more underrepresented engineers

Amy Freeman, Anita Persaud, Drey Kharem, William Rothwell, Edgar Yoder

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


What is the effect of insufficient local funding of public high schools on high school math preparation and graduation in engineering? The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship of four independent variables that were in place after high school graduation for African American and Hispanic American engineering students (N=504), and the correlation of these variables with college graduation outcomes five years later. These factors included two indicators of standardized math test scores, the high school grade point average (GPA), and poverty level of the public high school community (indicated by the percentage of students qualifying for free or reduced cost lunch). When college graduation outcomes were evaluated, it was determined that high school poverty was negatively correlated with math preparation. Math preparation was positively correlated with the likelihood of graduation in engineering. A multinomial logistic regression showed that the combined effect of these factors (math test scores, grade point average and community poverty indicator) does explain 76.5% of the variance in college graduation outcome. Following is a summary of research and findings which include excerpts of the recent doctoral dissertation of Amy Freeman completed in August of 2009.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - 2010
Event2010 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - Louisville, KY, United States
Duration: Jun 20 2010Jun 23 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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