The Effect of Student Engagement on Student Achievement in STEM: Implications for Public Policy for High School STEM Education
Project Team: 
Nimisha H. Patel, Ph.D
Associate Professor of Teacher Education, Wright State University
Suzanne Franco, Ed.D.
Associate Professor of Leadership Studies in Education and Organizations, Wright State University
Jill Lindsey, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair of Leadership Studies in Education and Organizations, Wright State University
Key Words: 
STEM Education
student engagement
student achievement
Overview: 

This study will examine differences in student engagement and academic achievement between students in a STEM school, those in a STEM program, and those taking traditional high school courses. The results will provide school personnel, policymakers, and funding agencies with a better understanding of student engagement and achievement in STEM education. Results will also help these groups make decisions regarding the need for STEM schools versus STEM programs. The study subsamples include students: 1) in a STEM program within a traditional school, 2) in traditional high school courses in a school with a STEM program, 3) in a STEM school, and 4) in a traditional high school with no STEM program. The goals are to determine: a) if the relationship between engagement and achievement differs across subsamples, b) if differences in school engagement and achievement exist across subsamples c) how much unique variance three engagement dimensions contribute to achievement d) if teachers of students across the subsamples differ in their pedagogical practices and e) why students self-select STEM program or STEM school enrollment. Quantitative and qualitative analyses will be conducted using IBM SPSS Statistics and NVivo respectively. Analyses of student data will be conducted on the entire sample as well as each of the four subsamples. Measures will include: demographic information (e.g., age, attendance, ethnicity, grade level, identified disability, socio-economic status (SES), and sex); the High School Survey of Student Engagement (HSSSE) (a self-report assessment measuring three dimensions of student engagement: cognitive, social, and emotional engagement); grade point average; state required graduation test measures; ACT/SAT scores; focus group sessions; and walkthrough observation protocols.