Science Attrition among High-performing College Students: An Analysis of Motivational Factors to Improve Retention Strategies

Alexis S Pope, Tennessee State University

Abstract

Presented is a quantitative study on top-performing undergraduate science majors at a mid-size, master’s large, public institution in the United States’ South for the purpose of improving understanding of how motivation to learn science affects a student’s decision to leave or remain in the sciences. The Science Motivation Questionnaire (SMQII) revealed significant relationships to motivation and science attrition in independent samples t-tests and significant demographic patterns were revealed utilizing multiple linear regressions. Science attrition was found to be significantly and negatively related to intrinsic motivation, self-efficacy, and career motivation levels. Furthermore, self- efficacy levels among female science undergraduates were found to be significantly lower than self-efficacy levels of similar males. Recommendations for retention practices are discussed and areas of future research are suggested.^

Subject Area

Higher education administration|Educational psychology

Recommended Citation

Alexis S Pope, "Science Attrition among High-performing College Students: An Analysis of Motivational Factors to Improve Retention Strategies" (2018). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI10752105.
https://digitalscholarship.tnstate.edu/dissertations/AAI10752105

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