Douglas, Daniel & Salzman, Hal (2019). Math counts: major and gender differences in college mathematics coursework. The Journal Of Higher Education Retrieved from https://doi.org/doi:10.7282/t3-g8h5-ze50
AbstractMathematics is an important and hotly contested aspect of U.S. postsecondary education. Its importance for academics and careers and the extent and impact of math achievement disparities are all subject of longstanding debate. Yet there is surprisingly little research into how much and what types of mathematics courses are taken by U.S. undergraduates and the extent of math achievement differentials among students. This article advances the understanding of math course taking by developing course-taking metrics for a nationally representative cohort of bachelor’s graduates. Using NCES transcript data to construct consistent measures of mathematics and quantitative course taking, our analysis finds large variability both within and between STEM/non-STEM majors and a large population of non-STEM graduates earning mathematics credits comparable to their peers in STEM fields. Mathematics course taking differs substantially from course taking in other subjects.We also find that often observed gender differentials are a function of major, not gender, with females in the most mathematics-intensive programs earning as many or more mathematics credits than their male peers.
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