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Relevant CAT: Attitude Survey

Discipline: Engineering

The Pittsburgh Freshman Engineering Attitudes Survey (PFEAS) is a 50 item multiple-choice survey that gathers information about incoming engineering students' attitudes in the 13 key areas below:

  • General Impressions of Engineering
  • Financial Influences for Studying Engineering
  • Perception of How Engineers Contribute to Society
  • Perception of the Work Engineers Do and The Engineering Profession
  • Enjoyment of Math and Science Courses
  • Engineering Perceived as Being and "Exact" Science
  • Family Influences to Studying Engineering
  • Confidence in Basic Engineering Knowledge and Skills
  • Confidence in Communication and Computer Skills
  • Adequate Study Habits
  • Working in Groups
  • Problem Solving Abilities
  • Engineering Compability

A question from the PFEAS appears in box below.

Actual question from the PFEAS
Scale: 1=Strongly Disagree, 2=Disagree, 3=Neutral, 4=Agree, 5=Strongly Agree

I am studying engineering because I enjoy figuring out how things work.

An example survey and additional information are available at http://civeng1.civ.pitt.edu/~outcomes/

Mary Besterfield-Sacre (Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Pittsburg)

Larry Shuman (School of Engineering/Industrial Engineering Department, University of Pittsburgh)

Cynthia Altman (Center for Engineering Learning and Teaching, University of Washington)

Selected References:
Besterfield-Sacre, M.E., Atman, C.J., and Shuman, L.J., Student Attitudes Assessment," Journal of Engineering Education, 87(2), April 1998, 133-141.

Besterfield-Sacre, M.E., C.J. Atman and L.J. Shuman, Characteristics of Freshman Engineering Students: Models for Determining Student Attrition and Success in Engineering," The Journal of Engineering Education, 86(2), April 1997.

Besterfield-Sacre, M.E. and C.J. Atman, "Survey Design Methodology: Measuring Freshman Attitudes About Engineering," American Society for Engineering Education Conference Proceedings, June 1994, pp. 236-242.

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