Grit and first-year retention in engineering

Dong San Choi, Beth Ann Myers, Michael C. Loui

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Recently "grit" has been defined by psychologists as a personal attribute that correlates with persistence through difficulties. We present our preliminary findings on grit and engineering students in this work-in-progress paper. We administered the Grit Scale in a first-year engineering design project course in a large public university in Fall 2014 and Spring 2015 (n = 475). Using binary logistic regression, we showed that grit alone was not a significant predictor of retention in engineering. For future work, we will include two-year retention data and also consider moderating variables such as gender and ethnicity to determine whether their interaction with grit tells a different story. If the moderating variables reveal that grit is more important in retaining students with certain attributes, the Grit Scale may be useful in identifying at-risk students. If not, however, we will need to reconsider the Grit Scale when it is applied to engineering students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFIE 2016 - Frontiers in Education 2016
Subtitle of host publicationThe Crossroads of Engineering and Business
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781509017904
StatePublished - Nov 28 2016
Event46th Annual Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2016 - Erie, United States
Duration: Oct 12 2016Oct 15 2016

Publication series

NameProceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE
ISSN (Print)1539-4565


Other46th Annual Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • First-year engineering
  • Grit
  • Retention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications


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