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ERIC Number: ED529700
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Feb
Pages: 49
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 90
Modeling Student Choice of STEM Fields of Study: Testing a Conceptual Framework of Motivation, High School Learning, and Postsecondary Context of Support. WISCAPE Working Paper
Wang, Xueli
Wisconsin Center for the Advancement of Postsecondary Education (NJ1)
This study draws upon social cognitive career theory and higher education literature to propose and test a conceptual framework for understanding the selection of postsecondary STEM fields of study by recent high school graduates who attend four-year institutions. Results suggest that high school math achievement, exposure to math and science courses, and math self-efficacy beliefs all affect students' intent to major in STEM fields, which in turn influences entrance into STEM majors. Entrance into STEM majors also is directly influenced by students' high school math achievement, graduate degree aspirations, and initial postsecondary experiences, such as academic interaction, and financial aid receipt. Multiple-group structural equation modeling analyses based on gender, race, and socioeconomic status indicate that the proposed theoretical model fits the data well; however, the effects of high school math achievement and exposure to math and science on students' intent to major in STEM fields differ significantly among racial-ethnic groups. (Contains 3 figures and 5 tables.)
Wisconsin Center for the Advancement of Postsecondary Education. University of Wisconsin-Madison, 326 Lathrop Hall, 1050 University Avenue, Madison, WI 53706-1386. Tel: 608-265-6342; Fax: 608-262-4881; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: University of Wisconsin-Madison, Wisconsin Center for the Advancement of Postsecondary Education