Colombia’s dropout rate has increased 37% over the last few years, becoming the second country in Latin America with the highest dropout rate right after Bolivia. Different factors can be related to this rapid increase: new students’ characteristics and the regulation of academic institutions.
This study has considered, as mentioned in the World Bank article, that this high dropout rate correlates, firstly, to the students’ lack of academic preparation due mainly to the low-quality education they receive in high school. Secondly, to the shortage of financial means among low-income students. Thirdly, to the long duration of undergraduate programs, and fourthly, to the academic institutions’ strict regulations concerning career change.
The objective of the project is to help tertiary students choose a study program based on rationality. This may be relevant as their future jobs and possible career opportunities might depend on it. The proposal consists of the construction of a model based on historical data collected from scores that high-school students have obtained after taking ICFES (Colombian Institute for the Promotion of Higher Education) tests.
The structure and relationship with the data are analyzed in order to facilitate the creation of a system that can essentially recommend a plan that would provide high-school studs an academically oriented route. This project expects to guide students in the identification of undergraduate programs that accurately match their skills at the beginning of their academic careers, thus, potentially reducing dropouts, increasing student satisfaction, and improving their experience at the university.
Recommendations are based on the results of the Colombian standardized Saber 11 examination (which is similar to SAT [Scholastic Assessment Test] scores in the U.S.), and how other students with similar characteristics (demographic, socio-economic, family information) performed in their undergraduate tests and the Colombian standardized Saber Pro exam (which is similar to GRE -Graduate Record Examination- scores in the U.S.).