Date: August 2004
Creator: Starobin, Soko Suzuki
Description: Educational researchers, practitioners, and policy makers have long expressed their concern that gender disparity of academic performance and participation in science and mathematics education continues to increase with educational progress of students through the pipeline. Educational and occupational aspirations, high school experience, external support from family members and significant others appear to be influential factors that develop strong self-concept among female students who aspire to study science and mathematics. Using a national sample of aspirants in science, mathematics, and engineering majors in public community colleges, that participated in the 1996 Cooperative Institutional Research Program American Freshman Survey, this study investigated the influences of students' pre-college experiences on their college choice, aspirations, and self-concept by examining three theoretical structural models. In addition, gender differences were tested by using multiple group analysis. The findings from the multiple group analysis revealed that there was no statistically significant gender difference in predicting college choice, aspirations, and self-concept. The results from the descriptive analysis indicated that the female students were already underrepresented in science, mathematics, and engineering majors. Taken together, the findings challenge researchers, practitioners, and policy makers to examine why the persistent fall off, and how can community colleges support and retain these students ...
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