____ University has an unusually large population of students who were homeschooled when they graduated from high school (about 1/5 of students university wide and 1/4 of students currently enrolled in the School of Engineering and Computer Science). In this paper, I investigate the retention rate and calculus readiness for homeschooled students entering the School of Engineering and Computer Science as compared with their non-homeschooled peers.
In this study, I hypothesized that homeschooled students might have a different likelihood to succeed in engineering school compared to their non-homeschooled peers. The results of the data study support this hypothesis and suggest that homeschooled students are more likely than others to succeed in engineering school, with retention in (and graduation from) the School of Engineering and Computer Science as the primary metric of success. Data studied include ACT composite and ACT math scores, retention rates, and scores from an internal math placement test administered to all incoming freshmen. The results also begin to narrow down the likely reasons why homeschoolers tend to perform differently than their peers. Higher rates of calculus readiness upon entry into college is considered as a possible explanation for homeschooled students' increased retention. However math preparedness scores are not found to set homeschooled students apart from others. Therefore, even though neither group of students studied is apparently disadvantaged in math preparedness, homeschoolers have higher retention rates and are therefore more likely to graduate in engineering. While the data studied does not offer a cause for this retention difference, I identify in the literature and discuss in the paper the possible explanation of homeschoolers tending to be more indpendent learners and therefore more successful in engineering school.
Are you a researcher? Would you like to cite this paper?
Visit the ASEE document repository at
for more tools and easy citations.