ERIC Number: ED206829
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1981-Jul
Reference Count: N/A
Choosing a College Major in the Hard and Technical Sciences and the Professions: A Causal Explanation.
Thomas, Gail E.
A causal framework was used to explore factors that influence the enrollment of four-year college students in the hard and technical sciences (math, science, engineering) and the professions (pre-law, medicine, dentistry). The factors studied were family status, standardized test performance, high school rank, educational expectations, high school math and science preparation, college characteristics, and college grades. The National Longitudinal Survey of the High School Class of 1972 was the data base used in a path analytic approach to evaluate determinants of college major field choice. Findings showed that sex and high school major field intentions were the two most important determinants. Being female exerted a large direct negative effect on majoring in hard and technical sciences and the professions. The intention to major in these fields at the high school level was positively related to actually pursuing a college major in these fields. Findings from past studies regarding the importance of standardized test performance and high school math and science preparation were not strongly supported by the present data. (Five data tables are included.) (YLB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Johns Hopkins Univ., Baltimore, MD. Center for Social Organization of Schools.
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Longitudinal Study of the High School Class of 1972