Values and College Major
Dr. Matthew Ringenberg
Arts and Sciences
orcid.org/0000-0003-4596-1051, orcid.org/0000-0001-8028-0935, orcid.org/0000-0003-3015-8207
The aim of this study is to explore how college students' values affect their choice in majors. The research question was as follows: Which values are correlated with college students’ specific choice of major?
The sample frame was 1,285 Valparaiso University upperclassmen. The sample only included students who declared their first major in one of the following groups: business, communication, criminology, engineering, English, foreign languages and literatures, kinesiology, math, meteorology, political science, psychology, science, and sociology. Participates were both male and female and between the ages of eighteen and twenty-three. The class standing and major choice of these students was based on an official list provided by the Valparaiso University Registrar’s Office.
The construct that was measured is as follows: values- beliefs that define what is most important to you.
Implications of this research included understanding if a link between values and college major exists. The information from this research is intended to help students find a major that fits them in accordance to their values, or to help students determine if their major is a good fit for them. This research may be especially useful for undecided students at the college level as well as high school students exploring possible college level studies.
Kazdoy, Rebecca; Seyfert, Elizabeth; and Wilson, Nichol, "Values and College Major" (2016). Symposium on Undergraduate Research and Creative Expression (SOURCE). 559.
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