Date of Award

7-1-1994

Degree Type

Thesis

University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)

School

School of Education

Degree Name

Ed.S.

Department

Curriculum and Instruction- Science or Mathematics

First Advisor

Dr. Ruby Thompson

Abstract

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

college students.

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

influential factors.

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.

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