Using student level data, the characteristics of STEM and Non-STEM students are examined for attributes associated with academic success. We use fixed effects models to analyze the variables’ role in attaining graduation and college GPA and find preparation and ability, as evidenced by Advanced Placement course work, mathematical ability, gender, ethnicity, high school GPA and college experience are all statistically significant indicators of success.
These attributes may confer a comparative advantage to STEM students. The engineers have statistically significant differing response elasticities than the non-engineers, and show evidence of persistence that may arise from learning-by-doing. A successful engineering STEM major at Binghamton has good mathematics preparation, and disproportionately is of Asian ethnicity. Women are few in numbers as engineers. Other STEM fields see less emphasis on mathematics preparation, but more emphasis on the presence of AP course work. Women have the same presence in these other STEM fields as in the whole university.