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ERIC Number: EJ1018916
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Oct
Pages: 41
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0002-8312
Why Students Choose STEM Majors: Motivation, High School Learning, and Postsecondary Context of Support
Wang, Xueli
American Educational Research Journal, v50 n5 p1081-1121 Oct 2013
This study draws upon social cognitive career theory and higher education literature to test a conceptual framework for understanding the entrance into science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) majors by recent high school graduates attending 4-year institutions. Results suggest that choosing a STEM major is directly influenced by intent to major in STEM, high school math achievement, and initial postsecondary experiences, such as academic interaction and financial aid receipt. Exerting the largest impact on STEM entrance, intent to major in STEM is directly affected by 12th-grade math achievement, exposure to math and science courses, and math self-efficacy beliefs--all three subject to the influence of early achievement in and attitudes toward math. Multiple-group structural equation modeling analyses indicated heterogeneous effects of math achievement and exposure to math and science across racial groups, with their positive impact on STEM intent accruing most to White students and least to underrepresented minority students.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A
IES Cited: ED565641