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ERIC Number: ED515741
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 157
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1096-8099-7
Predictors of Graduate Enrollment in Hard and Soft Academic Disciplines and the Impact of Sex and Ethnicity
McAnulty, Katheryn G.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Louisville
Given the underrepresentation of research on graduate college choice, particularly that which utilizes a national sample of students enrolled in a wide range of institutions of higher education across the United States, this study aims to contribute significantly to the field of graduate access and admissions. Building on the work of Perna (2004) which examined students' decisions to enroll in graduate school and how those decisions vary by sex and ethnicity, this study uses data from the final follow-up of the Baccalaureate and Beyond Longitudinal Study of 1992-1993 bachelor's degree recipients (B&B: 93/03) to identify predictors of graduate enrollment, while additionally considering enrollment differences between individuals of various sex and ethnic groups. Descriptive analyses determined the profile of students who enrolled in a graduate or first professional program by 2003, while distinguishing between enrollees of hard and soft academic disciplines as categorized by Biglan's (1973) Classification Scheme of Academic Disciplines. Logistic regression analyses measured the likelihood of enrollment into a graduate or first professional program, as of 10 years after the receipt of a bachelor's degree, and tested sex and ethnicity as moderating variables with seven other independent variables on aggregated enrollment and enrollment into a soft graduate or first professional program. Results revealed five significant predictors of aggregated graduate and first professional enrollment (sex, age, parent's highest education, GPA, and undergraduate major) and four significant predictors of enrollment into a soft academic discipline (sex, parent's highest education, GPA, and undergraduate major). Moderation testing of sex and ethnicity found differences between the models, and specifically showed more variance of significance values between Blacks and Whites compared to females and males. Recommendations to institutional personnel and federal administrators identify purposeful ways by which graduate education can be further explored through practice and policy. With continued and enhanced research, a better understanding of the barriers that exist for certain individuals in their pursuit of higher education at the graduate and first professional levels in different academic disciplines can be examined. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Baccalaureate and Beyond Longitudinal Study (NCES)