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ERIC Number: EJ1170044
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Mar
Pages: 28
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0361-0365
Understanding College Students' Major Choices Using Social Network Analysis
Baker, Rachel
Research in Higher Education, v59 n2 p198-225 Mar 2018
Concerns about the low completion rates in community colleges have led policy makers and administrators to examine interventions that aim to increase persistence and success by making colleges easier to navigate for students. One of the best supported and most well researched of the current reforms is "guided pathways" which aims to simplify student decision making. "Meta majors," the grouping of all available majors into a handful of buckets, is an important components of these whole school reforms. In this paper I test an underlying assumption of this reform--that there are consistent groupings of majors that students would consider choosing--using tools from social network analysis. I draw on these consideration networks to examine how different groups of students cluster majors together; differences in how various groups of students group majors provides insight into how such interventions could increase efficiency or exacerbate inequality. These findings provide guidance for schools on what factors to consider when forming meta major groupings.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Institute of Education Sciences (ED)
Authoring Institution: N/A
IES Funded: Yes
Grant or Contract Numbers: R305B090016