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ERIC Number: EJ1064616
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Aug
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 40
Precursors of Professionalism in College Seniors: Influence of Major, Gender, and Institution
Nino, Lana S.
Research in Higher Education Journal, v21 Aug 2013
Professionalism is a desirable quality linked to the evolution of democratic society and values (Brint, 1996; Freidson, 2001; Millerson, 1964). Nearly 68% of senior-level undergraduate students are driven to enter the professional world and serve society in their respective areas of expertise such as nursing, engineering, education, and business (Colby, Ehrlich, Sullivan, & Dolle, 2011; National Center for Educational Statistics, 2010). This research using, a cross-sectional study, explores the role that higher education may play in developing competencies of professionalism. These "precursors of professionalism" are estimated from survey responses of senior-level undergraduate students from the US across four dimensions: "autonomy of judgment," "desire for expertise," "self-concept", and "social agency". The data were collected by the Higher Education Research Institute (HERI) at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) across two academic years and students were sampled to form a nationally representative sample. Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) validate the model prior to testing for relationships between gender, institutional type, and academic major. Higher education training of this population is a critical element to their development as professionals. Recently higher education models have focused more on content area expertise when training students (Brint, 1996; Slaughter & Rhoades, 2004) rather than a holistic model incorporating all facets of professionalism. The study reveals differences in the "precursors of professionalism" between selected majors that provide an opportunity for educators internationally to interweave these elements of learning that may result in the improvement of students' professionalism.
Descriptors: College Seniors, Gender Differences, Majors (Students), Factor Analysis, Undergraduate Students, Case Studies, Higher Education, Self Concept, Personal Autonomy, Decision Making, Ethics, Expertise, Student Surveys, Student Attitudes, Models, Correlation, Institutional Characteristics, Holistic Approach, Professional Education
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A