Date of Award
University or Center
Clark Atlanta University(CAU)
School of Education
Curriculum and Instruction- Science or Mathematics
Dr. Ruby Thompson
The purpose of this study was to identify and explore factors (science
participation and experience, academic preparation and science achievement,
persons, and socio-personal) which influence African American college students'
choice of science as a career.
Three hypotheses were tested using Analysis of Variance, regression
analysis, and Pearson r:
Hoj: There are no significant relationships between science
career choice influences, (science participation and
experience, academic preparation and science
achievement, significant others, and socio-personal
experiences) and selected demographic variables
(classification, gender or GPA) of African American
Ho2: There are no significant differences between factors
which influence African American students at HBCUs
to choose science as a career and factors which
influence African American students at predominantly
white universities to choose science as a career.
Ho3: There are no significant differences between factors
which influence African American graduate students
and factors which influence African American
undergraduates to choose careers in science.
A researcher-developed questionnaire was used to collect data from 163
African American students at 15 HBCUs and 16 non-HBCUs. Students rated
science interest, science attitudes, science motivation, and the value of being
successful and creative as influential factors in their choice of science as a career.
Mathematics and science ability and skills, quality of science instruction, class
environment, involvement of other students, and parents were also cited as
Findings and conclusions suggested that affective factors significantly impact
African American college students' choice of science as a career. Among the
study recommendations are the following: (1) pre-college science teachers and
counselors should promote the involvement of African American parents in their
children's career explorations and stress the importance of parental encourage
ment; and (2) non-HBCU graduate programs in science and engineering for
African American students should provide experiences that encompass students'
cognitive and affective needs.
Washington, Pauline B., "Factors that influence African American college students to choose careers in science and engineering" (1994). ETD Collection for AUC Robert W. Woodruff Library. 1001.