DEVELOPING A CHOICE OF MAJOR MODEL FOR THE SMEAL COLLEGE OF BUSINESS

Open Access
Author:
Colangelo, Augustus B
Graduate Program:
Higher Education
Degree:
Doctor of Education
Document Type:
Dissertation
Date of Defense:
September 21, 2009
Committee Members:
  • Robert D Reason, Committee Chair
  • Lisa R Lattuca, Committee Member
  • Susan Ruth Rankin, Committee Member
  • Ingrid Maria Blood, Committee Member
  • Dorothy H Evensen, Committee Member
Keywords:
  • CHOICE OF MAJOR
Abstract:
ABSTRACT The purpose of this dissertation was to develop a dynamic model and survey instruments to study the presence, strength, and susceptibility to change of the factors that influence the ‘choice of major’ decision in an undergraduate population of business school students, and to determine if the factors are the same for male and female students. Preliminary focus group studies revealed several thematic areas which supported the conceptual model under review, and which informed the development of an initial survey questionnaire. Following bench tests and refinement, the survey was administered to 953 undergraduate students in the Smeal College of Business at Penn State. Results show that the conceptual model is appropriate for future studies, that the survey questionnaires provide strong factors to be used in those future studies, and that the factors are the same for male and female students. In addition, the focus group studies pointed out the anxiety and stress for students in the midst of this ‘choice of major’ process, and recommendations for amelioration of this stress are provided.