Major Switching: A Discussion of Major Declaration Patterns and Academic Outcomes
*Names in bold indicate Presenter
Using data from five cohorts of first-time-in-college students who entered a single state’s community college system, this study will explore major declaration patterns among a group of students who are mandated to make major decisions at the time of first enrollment. Further, this research aims to uncover the relationship between characteristics of these patterns, specifically related to major switching, and educational outcomes. In order to accomplish this goal, first, I quantifyably summarize and utilize graphical techniques to illustrate patterns of major declaration generated by community college students along their educational pathways. Second, multivariate statistics are used to examine the relationship between salient characteristics of these patterns and a series of student outcomes including total credits earned, number of terms enrolled, cumulative GPA, and associate degree completion (controlling for a range of covariates and college and cohort fixed effects). Regressions will be analyzed for the entire sample as well as for various subgroups including community college completers, non-completers, and transfer students.