PI: Dr. William Tyson, Sociology

Co-PI: Dr. Edward Fletcher, Education

Sponsor: National Science Foundation

Description:
PathTech LIFE will contribute to the national policy discussion on the role of community colleges and the importance of advanced technological fields in maintaining the global competitiveness of the nation's STEM workforce. Through the development of a national survey and associated research, the project is designed to identify the characteristics of students in the advanced technological field of engineering technology (ET), their academic pathways, career goals, and school-work-life balance issues that impact their decisions to enroll in and complete ET courses, return for further ET coursework, and/or pursue a certificate or degree. Furthermore, the project will determine the generalizability of the qualitatively-based models developed during an earlier, first phase of the research, which has been supported by an ATE targeted research award.

The partially mixed-methods sequential equal-status research design and instrument development are based on the PRiSM (Pathway to better life; Reflective learner; Synchronizing learning, earning, and living; Match with an academic life) Decision Model for Adult Enrollment; Schlossberg's Transition Theory from counseling; and the explanatory models developed during the first phase of the research. The project will employ ordinal least squares regression and multilevel regression techniques along with hierarchical linear modeling to examine and model the relationships among demographics and background factors and the outcomes under investigation. The project will test and revise the survey instrument based on results from factor analyses, tests of reliability and validity, and expert peer review.

For more information about about the PathTech LIFE project please click here.