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Retention of Talented STEM Students in the Illinois Higher Education 
INTRODUCTION 
The Illinois Mathematics and Science 
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IERC 2014: Retention of Talented STEM Students in the Illinois Higher Education Pipeline: Initial Baccalaureate Outcomes of IMSA Graduates

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This study examined initial undergraduate outcomes from graduates of the IMSA classes of 2006-10. Using degree data from the National Student Clearinghouse for 633 graduates, researchers investigated relationships between college sector, field of study, and individual-level variables such as gender and race.

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IERC 2014: Retention of Talented STEM Students in the Illinois Higher Education Pipeline: Initial Baccalaureate Outcomes of IMSA Graduates

  1. 1. Retention of Talented STEM Students in the Illinois Higher Education INTRODUCTION The Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA) in Aurora, IL is a selective residential high school for academically talented students (grades 10-12) in Illinois with a focus in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). The Academy seeks to nurture scientific minds that advance the human condition and bring recognition to Illinois by developing the best STEM talent in the state. Like other schools where students demonstrate a high degree of college readiness, IMSA graduates have many opportunities for college enrollment, and a large proportion (51.7%) of the students leave the state for their undergraduate education. The export of high school graduates has been identified as an important economic and policy issue for Illinois, and this example of high performing students leaving at a rate greater than that of the general student population (30%) may have implications for economic development and STEM innovation (Smalley, Lichtenberger, & Brown, 2010). RESEARCH POSTER PRESENTATION DESIGN © 2012 www.PosterPresentations.com OBJECTIVES Pipeline Christopher Kolar and Carissa Rosine DESIGN & METHODS Information was collected from several institutional databases. This data included student demographics and information on high school programs and performance; as well as, college outcome data from the National Student Clearinghouse. Patterns within this data led us to focus on the state’s retention of talented STEM students graduating from the IMSA program. Using this information, we replicated descriptive measures from Smalley et al. (2010) in order to examine relationships between student demographic data and college choices. In an effort to understand the factors that contribute to the college decisions of gifted STEM students, we explored the connections between underrepresented student populations (Black and Latino) and college sector enrollment (private vs. public). We used logistic regression to identify specific factors that influence the likelihood that a student will maintain residence in the state for college. RESULTS CONTINUED CONCLUSIONS • 64.5% of graduates earn a degree in a STEM field; however, more than half do so in another state • 12.5% of graduates report as part of an underrepresented population • There was no relationship discovered between students’ minority status and degrees earned or college attended • 62.9% of graduates are from the Chicagoland region • There was no relationship between home region and degrees earned or college attended. Gender F M Total Count 185 142 327 Percent 56.6% 43.4% 100.0% Count 143 163 306 Percent 46.7% 53.3% 100.0% Out of State Illinois Logistic regression was used with a positive dependent outcome indicating that the student remained in-state. Controlling for race and region of origin: • Students who earned degrees in the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences were 3.2 times more likely to enroll in an Illinois college than those majoring in other fields. • Students choosing to attend private institutions were 6 times more likely to leave the state than those choosing a public institution. • Female students were 1.5 times more likely to leave the state for their college education. • Students in the top quartile based on class rank were 2.6 times more likely to leave the state than students in the bottom three quartiles. The 2010 IERC report showed Illinois as exporting a significant number of students, of which 16% went to public institutions and 14% went to private colleges or universities. The results suggested that it is necessary to determine specific factors that contribute to college decisions of STEM-talented students to better shape Illinois education policy; Illinois should further develop institutions, policies, and incentives that appeal to students so that the top talent in desired fields remain in the state. The substantial export of females is largely explained by the number of boys who are drawn to the UIUC college of Engineering (almost 30% of IMSA graduates), while female STEM students are more likely to pursue degrees in the life sciences out of state. While family privacy laws prevent us from collecting certain financial information, we do know that the top out of state private institutions offer significant financial aid incentives to IMSA graduates contributing to the departure of top students. We recommend that the IERC study the top students across Illinois to gain a better understanding of why they are more likely to continue their education elsewhere. REFERENCES Smalley, D. J., Lichtenberger, E. J., & Brown, K. S. (2010). A Longitudinal Study of the Illinois High School Class of 2002: A Six-Year Analysis of Postsecondary Enrollment and Completion. Policy Research: IERC 2010-3. Illinois Education Research Council. CONTACT INFORMATION Christopher Kolar, Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy. ckolar@imsa.edu Carissa Rosine, Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy. crosine@imsa.edu This study examined initial undergraduate outcomes from graduates of the IMSA classes of 2006-10. Using degree data from the National Student Clearinghouse for 633 graduates, researchers investigated relationships between college sector, field of study, and individual-level variables such as gender and race. The Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy STEM SBES Humanities FAA Professional Count 207 49 32 4 29 321 Percent 51.2% 44.1% 72.7% 44.4% 50.0% 51.3% Count 197 62 12 5 29 305 Percent 48.8% 55.9% 27.3% 55.6% 50.0% 48.7% Out of State Illinois Degree Field Total RESULTS These talented students are much more likely to enroll in out-of-state private institutions than other Illinois students as cited in the 2010 IERC report. • 43% leave the state and enroll in private institutions, while only 9% enroll in out-of- state public institutions. Table 2. College sector attendance at in-state and out-of-state institutions Table 1. Degree types earned at in-state and out-of-state institutions Table 3. In-state and out-of-state college enrollment by gender Private Public Count 268 59 Percent 82.0% 18.0% Count 120 186 Percent 39.2% 60.8% Count 388 245 Percent 61.3% 38.7% Out of State Illinois Total College Sector

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