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Abstract

A key goal of pre-college engineering programs is to increase the number and retention of students pursuing engineering degrees. The researchers conducted a transcript analysis in order to compare the retention of entering engineering majors at a university based on whether or not they participated in Project Lead the Way (PLTW) in high school. PLTW Engineering is a high school pre-engineering curriculum that offers a series of courses to increase student awareness and scaffold an understanding of engineering design. The findings from this study offer little support regarding the impact of students’ PLTW participation on engineering degree completion. However, findings do suggest some support for the impact of PLTW participation on retention from freshmen to sophomore year, particularly among minority freshmen.

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