Academic Pathways Study

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What is the Academic Pathways Study?

The purpose of the Academic Pathways Study (APS) was to investigate how engineering students decide on a major, make decisions along their academic journey, and then transition into the work force. This was accomplished through a series of both small sample longitudinal studies, including the Persistence of Engineering (PIE) survey, and larger sample cross-sectional studies, including the Academic Pathways of People Learning Engineering Survey (APPLES). APS was conducted under the umbrella of the Center for the Advancement of Engineering Education, an NSF funded center that ran from 2003-2010 (1022644).

Useful Links

For more information, please visit:
• APPLES Website: http://applesurvey.stanford.edu/index.html
• APS Website: http://www.engr.washington.edu/caee/about_APS.html
• Center for the Advancement of Engineering Education: http://www.engr.washington.edu/caee/

What is PIE?

The PIE (Persistence in Engineering) survey was an exploration of the learning experiences of 160 engineering undergraduates on four campuses over four years using quantitative and qualitative methods including structured interviews, ethnographic interviews and observations, and engineering design tasks. Conducted over the period of time from 2003 to 2007, the PIE survey, as part of the Center for the Advancement of Engineering Education, has provided valuable, in-depth insight into why students are drawn to engineering and what motivates them to persist through or leave the discipline of engineering.

What is Apples?

APPLES (Academic Pathways of People Learning Engineering Survey) is a 10-minute online survey for undergraduate engineering students. APPLES was one of several modes of data collection in the Academic Pathways Study (APS), a branch of the NSF-funded Center for the Advancement of Engineering Education. The APPLE Survey was first administered in 2007 to a larger sampling of engineering students at the four campuses that had participated in the Persistence in Engineering (PIE) survey . A streamlined version of the survey ("APPLES2") was administered to over 4,200 engineering students at 21 American universities in Spring 2008. Participating campuses were selected to ensure a broad range of size, academic mission, demographic makeup, and geographic location. APPLES looked at factors of why students choose to enter the field of engineering and whether or not they choose to stay in an engineering major.

Publications from the Academic Pathways Study Data

Publications for PIE

Atman, C., Sheppard S. et al. 2008. Moving From Pipeline Thinking to Understanding Pathways: Findings from the Academic Pathways Study of Engineering Undergraduates. ASEE Conference 2008. InternalPDF

Atman, C., Sheppard S. et al. Enabling Engineering Student Success: The Final Report for the Center for the Advancement of Engineering Education. San Rafael, CA: Morgan & Claypool Publishers, 2010. pdf

Chachra, D., Kilgore D., Loshbaugh, H., McCain, J. and Chen, H. 2008. Being and Becoming: Gender and Identity Formation of Engineering Students. ASEE Conference 2008. pdf

Chachra, D., Eriş, O., Donaldson, K., Sheppard,S., Rosca C. and Ludlow, L. 2007. Correlates of Persistence in Engineering Education: Preliminary Results from the Academic Pathways Study. Frontiers in Education Conference, 2007.pdf

Chen, Helen, Krista Donaldson, Ozgur Eriş, Debbie Chachra, Gary Lichtenstein, Sheri D. Sheppard, and George Toye. 2008. From PIE to APPLES: The Evolution of a Survey Instrument to Explore Engineering Student Pathways. In Proceedings of the American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference, Pittsburgh, PA, June 22-25, 2008. pdf

Clark, Mia, Sheri D. Sheppard, Cynthia J. Atman, Lorraine Fleming, Ronald Miller, Reed Stevens, Ruth Streveler, and Karl Smith. 2008. Academic Pathways Study: Processes and Realities. In Proceedings of the American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference, Pittsburgh, PA, June 22-25, 2008. pdf

Eriş, Özgür, Debbie Chachra, Helen Chen, Camelia Rosca, Larry Ludlow, Sheri D. Sheppard, and Krista Donaldson. 2007. A Preliminary Analysis of Correlates of Engineering Persistence: Results from a Longitudinal Study. In Proceedings of the American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference, Honolulu, Hawaii, June 24-27, 2007. pdf

Eriş, Özgür, Debbie Chachra, Helen L. Chen, Sheri D. Sheppard, Larry Ludlow, Camelia Rosca, Tori Bailey, and George Toye. 2010. Outcomes of a Longitudinal Administration of the Persistence in Engineering Survey. Journal of Engineering Education, 99(4):371-395. pdf

Eriş, Özgür, Helen Chen, Tori Bailey, Kimarie Engerman, Heidi Loshbaugh, Ashley Griffin, Gary Lichtenstein, and Angela Cole. 2005. Development of the Persistence in Engineering (PIE) Survey Instrument. In Proceedings of the American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon, June 12-15, 2005. pdf

Jackson, Kristyn, Tori Bailey, Sheri Sheppard, and Helen Chen. 2008. Graduate School or Not: Engineering Students Consider Continuing Their Education in Co-terminal Programs. In Proceedings of the American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference, Pittsburgh, PA, June 22-25, 2008. pdf

Korte, Russell and Karl Smith. 2007. Portraying the Academic Experiences of Students in Engineering: Students’ Perceptions of Their Educational Experiences and Career Aspirations in Engineering. In Proceedings of the American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference, Honolulu, Hawaii, June 24-27, 2007. pdf

Ohland, Matthew W., Sheri D. Sheppard, Gary Lichtenstein, Ozgur Eriş, Debbie Chachra, and Richard A. Layton. 2008. Persistence, Engagement, and Migration in Engineering Programs. Journal of Engineering Education, July 2008, Vol. 97(3): 259-278.pdf

Otto, Elizabeth, Helen L. Chen, and Sheri D. Sheppard. 2010. Students Improving: Identifying Factors That Seem to Matter. In Proceedings of the American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference, Louisville, KY, June 20–23, 2010.pdf

Sheppard, Sheri, Cynthia J. Atman, Reed Stevens, Lorraine Fleming, Ruth Streveler, Robin S. Adams, Theresa Barker. 2004. Studying the Engineering Experience: Design of a Longitudinal Study. In Proceedings of the American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah, June 20-23, 2004. pdf

Winters, K. E. (2012). Career goals and actions of early career engineering graduates. Ph. D. dissertation. Blacksburg, VA: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.pdf


Publications for APPLES

Chen, Helen, Krista Donaldson, et al. From PIE to APPLES: The Evolution of a Survey Instrument to Explore Engineering Student Pathways. ASEE Conference. 2008. pdf

Chen, Helen L. et al. 2008. Conceptualizing Engagement: Contributions of Faculty to Student Engagement in Engineering. Journal of Engineering Education. pdf

Clark, Mia, Sheri D. Sheppard, et al. 2008. Academic Pathways Study: Processes and Realities. ASEE Conference.pdf

Donaldson, Krista, Helen Chen, George Toye, Mia Clark, and Sheri Sheppard. 2008. Scaling Up: Taking the Academic Pathways of People Learning Engineering Survey (APPLES) National. ASEE/ISEE Frontiers in Education Conference 2008. pdf

Donaldson, Krista, Helen Chen, George Toye, and Sheri Sheppard. 2007. Targeting Undergraduate Students for Surveys: Lessons from the Academic Pathways of People Learning Engineering Survey (APPLES). In Proceedings of the 37th Annual Frontiers in Education Conference, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, October 10-13, 2007. pdf
Donaldson, Krista, Helen L. Chen, George Toye, and Sheri D. Sheppard. 2007. Targeting Undergraduate Students for Surveys: Lessons from the Academic Pathways of People Learning Engineering Survey (APPLES). Posters from Special Session F3E (Academic Pathways Study), Frontiers in Education Conference, Milwaukee, WI, October 10-13, 2007. pdf
Donaldson, Krista, Gary Lichtenstein, and Sheri D. Sheppard. 2008. Socioeconomic Status and the Undergraduate Experience: Preliminary Findings from Four American Universities. In Proceedings of the American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference, Pittsburgh, PA, June 22-25, 2008. pdf

Donaldson, Krista and Sheri D. Sheppard. 2007. Exploring the Not-So-Talked-About Undergraduate Pathway: Migrating Into Engineering. Paper presented at the 2007 International Conference on Research in Engineering Education, Honolulu, HI, June 23–24, 2007.
Lande, Micah, Sarah Parikh, Sheri Sheppard, George Toye, Helen Chen, and Krista Donaldson. 2009. More to Say: Analyzing Open-ended Student Responses to the Academic Pathways of People Learning Engineering Survey. In Proceedings of the American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference, Austin, TX, June 14-17, 2009. pdf

Lichtenstein, Gary, Heidi G. Loshbaugh, Brittany Claar, Helen L. Chen, Kristyn Jackson, and Sheri D. Sheppard. 2009. An Engineering Major Does Not (necessarily) an Engineer Make: Career decision-making among undergraduate engineering majors. Journal of Engineering Education, 98(3):227–234.pdf

Light, Jennifer, and Ken Yasuhara. 2008. Analyzing Large, Free-response Qualitative Data Sets: A Novel Quantitative-qualitative Hybrid Approach. In Proceedings of the 38th Annual Frontiers in Education Conference, Saratoga Springs, NY, October 22-25, 2008. pdf

Parikh, Sarah, Helen Chen, Krista Donaldson, and Sheri Sheppard. 2009. Does Major Matter? A Look at what Motivates Engineering Students in Different Majors. In Proceedings of the American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference, Austin, TX, June 14-17, 2009.pdf

Otto, Elizabeth, Helen L. Chen, and Sheri D. Sheppard. 2010. Students Improving: Identifying Factors That Seem to Matter. In Proceedings of the American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference, Louisville, KY, June 20–23, 2010. pdf

Sheppard, S. D., Antonio, A. L., Brunhaver, S. R., & Gilmartin, S. K. (Forthcoming). The early career pathways of engineering students. In: Eds. A. Johri & B. Olds, Cambridge Handbook of Engineering Education Research. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

Sheppard, S., Gilmartin, S., Chen, H.L., Donaldson, K., Lichtenstein, G., Eriş, Ö., Lande, M., & Toye, G. (2010). Exploring the Engineering Student Experience: Findings from the Academic Pathways of People Learning Engineering Survey (APPLES) (CAEE-TR-10-01). Seattle, WA: Center for the Advancement for Engineering Education. Retrieved [date], from pdf

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