S107 Addressing the Issue of Completion Rate Among Atmospheric Science Undergraduates

Sunday, 6 January 2019
Hall 4 (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Logan Saucer, Florida International Univ., Miami, FL

Handout (11.1 MB)

This is a preliminary report of an investigation into factors which may act as a barrier to success among undergraduate atmospheric science students. Degree completion rates among undergraduate students majoring in the geosciences have, in the past, significantly lagged behind completion rates of all STEM undergraduates. A study conducted by the American Geosciences Institute indicates that 25% of geoscience graduates report having trouble with a specific course, among other barriers. Due to the predicted shortage of geoscientists in the workforce, coupled with recent calls for broadened participation in the geosciences in terms of race and gender, addressing the issue of degree completion is prudent. Further, because there are marked differences in atmospheric science curriculum and career prospects, it is important to understand what unique challenges, if any, are experienced by undergraduates in the atmospheric sciences. This study aims to heighten awareness for the issue of degree completion among the atmospheric sciences and related disciplines, aid the understanding of barriers to student success in the geosciences by focusing on atmospheric science, and to inform future decision making on methods to improve student success in the geosciences. Study methods include student surveys/interviews and qualitative thematic coding. Means for performing network analysis are explored. This preliminary report will focus on initial results while allowing time for feedback from session participants.
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