Modeling Student Choice of STEM Fields of Study: Testing a Conceptual Framework of Motivation, High School Learning, and Postsecondary Context of Support
This study draws upon social cognitive career theory and higher education literature to propose and test a conceptual framework for understanding the selection of postsecondary STEM fields of study by recent high school graduates who attend four-year institutions. Results suggest that high school math achievement, exposure to math and science courses, and math self-efficacy beliefs all affect students’ intent to major in STEM fields, which in turn influences entrance into STEM majors. Entrance into STEM majors also is directly influenced by students’ high school math achievement, graduate degree aspirations, and initial postsecondary experiences, such as academic interaction, and financial aid receipt.
This working paper has been accepted for publication by the American Educational
Research Journal. Information about how to access the final published version will be posted here as soon as it is available.