ERIC Number: ED414791
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Nov
The Impact of College on Post-College Commitment to Science Careers: Gender Differences in a Nine-Year Follow-Up of College Freshmen.
Sax, Linda J.
This study examined factors predicting the enrollment of men and women in science, math, and engineering (SME) graduate programs among those who had earned SME Bachelor's degrees. The data, which covered a 9-year period: 1985, 1989 (4-year follow-up), and 1994 (9-year follow-up), was drawn from the Cooperative Institutional Research program, a national longitudinal study of 12,000 students from the 1985 freshman class. Analysis were limited to 2,563 college students who had earned an SME bachelor's degree, found that students from engineering and the physical sciences who were most likely to enroll in SME graduate programs, followed by students from the biological and mathematics/computer sciences. While there were no gender differences in the likelihood of enrollment in SME graduate programs among students from the biological sciences and engineering, men from the physical and mathematics/computer sciences were more likely than women in those field to pursue SME graduate education. Using regression analysis, it was determined that the strongest predictor of women's enrollment in SME graduate programs was having a precollege interest in making a theoretical contribution to science. Women's pursuit of SME graduate degrees was also positively affected by having a mother who was either a research scientist or college teacher. Two appendixes provide variable definitions and coding schemes and factor scales. (Contains 41 references.) (MDM)
Descriptors: College Mathematics, College Science, College Students, Educational Attitudes, Engineering Education, Graduate Study, Higher Education, Longitudinal Studies, Majors (Students), National Surveys, Predictor Variables, Science Careers, Sex Differences, Socioeconomic Influences, Student Attitudes
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for the Study of Higher Education (Memphis, TN, November 1996).