Authors

Wade Gunderson

Document Type

Research Study

Publication Date

Fall 2017

Abstract

The following report is about the belonging factor of STEM students at St. Cloud State University (SCSU). The factor of belonging was calculated using questions taken from a survey given to incoming freshman students. This analysis took results from two different surveys and compared them to each other. In the first survey, given in fall of 2014 and fall of 2015, students answered over 200 questions mostly pertaining to their lifestyle and school habits at St. Cloud State University. Ten of these questions related to students’ sense of belonging. In the second survey given, the freshman class of fall 2017 answered about 30 questions, including the same ten belonging questions, along with other various questions about going to school at St. Cloud State University. The ultimate goal of this analysis is to focus on how STEM students feel they belong at SCSU, and possibly provide ideas for ways to improve this belonging factor.

In this report I look at various factors that might have an effect on whether a student feels they “belong” at St. Cloud State University. I compare STEM students to the rest of the student body and compare STEM students by gender. I also look at various demographic factors including students of color, ACE students, students who qualified for the Pell Grant, and students who registered in August.

When comparing the calculation from survey responses for students with low belonging, the second survey showed a slight increase in belonging for all STEM students. STEM females’ low belonging dropped by about 8 percentage points, and that of STEM students of color dropped 13 percentage points. Overall for STEM students there was a 5% drop for low belonging. These results are somewhat significant; however, the changes may not be meaningful because of the low response rate of students to the Qualtrics survey.

Comments

Edited by Shaya Kraut.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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