Geoscience Academic Provenance - Geoscience 'Pipeline' vs 'Pathway' Model

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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Recruitment and retention discussions about the ‘pipeline model’ have been circulating through the STEM community for years, with a primary focus on attrition rates (termed ‘leaks’). However, the pipeline model is not conducive for understanding variations in students’ experiences, behaviors and decisions when pursuing their academic and professional careers. Houlton (2010) developed a ‘pathway model’ which identified reasons why students decided to pursue the major and may explain attrition rates in the geoscience discipline.

This model explicitly maps students’ career trajectories starting from initial interest through intended career ambitions, which can be used to focus future recruitment and retention efforts. This resulted in 6 distinct, chronological pathway steps.

To read Houlton’s full study, go to:

View an in-depth discussion of this information in the corresponding Geoscience Currents Discussion Webinar.