Gender differences in college choice, aspirations, and self-concept among community college students in science, mathematics, and engineering.

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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 ... continued below

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Starobin, Soko Suzuki August 2004.

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  • Starobin, Soko Suzuki

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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 who already enrolled. The results from the model fit analysis revealed that the encouragement from family and others played as a contributing factor in predicting students' college choice, aspirations, and self-concept. This study confirmed that the development of self-concept among community college students in science, mathematics, and engineering is complex and unique. Several recommendations that are pertaining to policy implications, improvement of practice, and future research to increase the representations of female students in science, mathematics, and engineering in the post-secondary education were developed from the findings of this study. The results of this study contribute to the research literature by providing new theoretical models and a comprehensive understanding of aspirants in science, mathematics, and engineering at community college as well as their surrounding environment.

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UNT Theses and Dissertations

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  • August 2004

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 14, 2008, 8:46 p.m.

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  • June 24, 2008, 2:28 p.m.

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Starobin, Soko Suzuki. Gender differences in college choice, aspirations, and self-concept among community college students in science, mathematics, and engineering., dissertation, August 2004; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5553/: accessed September 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .