Date of Award

Summer 8-23-2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

PhD Higher Education Leadership, Management, Policy


Education Leadership, Management and Policy


Manuel Gonzalez, PhD

Committee Member

Jennifer Timmer, PhD

Committee Member

Grace Gangitano, PhD


STEM, polytechnic, retention, remediation, engineering, higher-education pipeline


The United States has long been a pioneer in higher education, yet the last few decades have proven challenging in maintaining its lead in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields (STEM). Students entering postsecondary education and participating in a STEM degree face increased academic rigor and this study’s goal is to better understand factors that influence their retention. There are many psychosocial, environmental, and academic variables that may impact a student’s retention and this study aims to investigate how those variables inform a students likelihood of being retained and if there are meaningful differences between polytechnic and non-polytechnic institutions.