What Concepts Relate to Learning in Undergraduate Engineering Programs?

In recent years, there has been considerable effort and resources towards investing in STEM-related education programs. Over the next decade, the demand for employees in STEM-related fields is projects to outnumber the supply of available workers.1 As such, ensuring that students in STEM programs—including undergraduate engineering—are effectively prepared to take on these jobs is critical.

Given the increasing demand for engineering graduates, understanding what concepts relate to quality engineering programs is vital. To that end, this research note details findings from a national dataset constructed from the 2016-2017 Benchworks Engineering Exit Assessment of over 10,000 graduating engineering students from 43 colleges and universities in the United States. In particular, this research note explores factors that relate to the overall effectiveness—including measures of both learning and satisfaction—of undergraduate engineering programs.

Key Points:

  • Two out of five graduating engineering students rate their engineering program highly.
  • Satisfaction with both quality of instruction and aspects of courses were closely related to overall perceptions of engineering programs.
  • Learning related to application of engineering knowledge and impact of solutions were the learning outcomes most closely linked to overall program perceptions.

Key Questions:

  1. How do graduating engineering students rate their overall experience?
  2. What satisfaction concepts most closely relate to overall engineering program effectiveness?
  3. What learning concepts most closely relate to overall engineering program effectiveness?

Interested in learning more about the assessments that provide data for our research studies? Check out our Student Affairs Assessments, which cover housing, activities, special populations, student services, and more.