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dc.contributor.advisorMorris, Casandra Harpereng
dc.contributor.authorOrr, Rachaeleng
dc.date.issued2020eng
dc.date.submitted2020 Springeng
dc.description.abstractSelecting a college major is a big decision for college students and research suggests the majority of first-year students are unsure of their career and major plans (Foote, 1980; Kramer, Higley, & Olsen, 1994; Theophilides, Terenzini, & Lorang, 1984; Titley & Titley, 1980). Although the research is dated, studies suggest that the majority of college students struggle with deciding on a college major and may need time to explore majors and careers in order to make a selection. Students who select undecided as their major indicate an interest in learning more about majors and careers before making an official selection. Though few students select undecided as a major, research on undecided students informs policies and interventions that are relevant to many more students. This research study identifies institutional resources, policies, and practices (collectively referred to as institutional factors) can significantly and positively impact students’ major selection and decision-making process. Understanding the student experience and employing techniques to support and facilitate the major selection process create a context in which all students, undecided and declared, explore major and career options and confirm goals that enable them to persist and complete their degree in four years.purpose of this study is to understand how the relationship between undecided student experiences and institutional factors, including policies and advising interventions, come together to inform students’ selection of a college major. This sequential qualitatively-driven mixed methods multisite case study employed a number of methodological approaches but was particularly informed by the bioecological model of human development. The bioecological model recognizes the role of an individuals’ immediate setting as well as indirect influences on development. The bioecological human development model provides a framework that elucidates the interplay between the myriad factors that influence the major selection process. The quantitative portion of the study uses survey methods to identify research sites and learn about the student context from an academic advising perspective. The study draws primarily on the qualitative interviews of 23 students from three different research sites, who started college with an undecided major, to capture narrative descriptions of their experiences navigating the process of major selection. This research study illustrates that understanding the undecided student major selection process and the reasons for their choices, provides institutions the opportunity to develop policies and practices that better serve students transition into higher education and during their first year of college. This study offers an updated in-depth examination of undecided students and contributes to the literature that highlights the critical relationship between undecided student experiences and influences on the major selection process and institutional factors.eng
dc.description.bibrefIncludes bibliographical references.eng
dc.format.extentxvi, 342 pages : illustrationseng
dc.identifier.urihttps://hdl.handle.net/10355/91831
dc.identifier.urihttps://doi.org/10.32469/10355/91831eng
dc.languageEnglisheng
dc.publisherUniversity of Missouri--Columbiaeng
dc.relation.ispartofcommunityUniversity of Missouri--Columbia. Graduate School. Theses and Dissertationseng
dc.rightsOpenAccess.eng
dc.rights.licenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License. Copyright held by author.
dc.titleFinding the path: a mixed method multisite case study of undecided student experienceseng
dc.typeThesiseng
thesis.degree.disciplineEducational leadership and policy analysis (MU)eng
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Missouri--Columbiaeng
thesis.degree.levelDoctoraleng
thesis.degree.namePh. D.eng


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