Amy Joy

Closed (1) Choosing a Major: How and Why do Students Select their College Majors

Closed. This professor is continuing with Spring 2021 apprentices on this project; no new apprentices needed for Fall 2021.

A challenging and important decision for undergraduates is in choosing their college major. Although a Gallup Poll of 90,000 interviews in 2017 indicated that 40% of adults who graduated from college reported that they would choose a different major, the evidence of this is far from conclusive. In January 2021, several emeriti professors from different departments (Archeology, East Asian Studies, History, Journalism, Nutritional Sciences, Social Welfare, and Sociology) have developed a project to assist entering Freshman, Sophomore, and Transfer students about the many different ways of choosing a major. A new website is under construction to feature a video library of a wide range of personal faculty and student experiences in the form of 3-minute videos. We conducted a focus group with 16 freshman students to collect data on this project, specifically the interest level for students. A tool kit of instructions on how to create a selfie video using an iPhone was developed. We are now planning to do survey interviews to collect data on how and why different majors are selected.

Undergraduate students will work with Professor Emerita Amy Block Joy and others:

1. Students will assist in developing and pre-testing a short interview survey to collect data on how and why undergraduates choose their college majors.

2. Students will assist in finding and reviewing resources (literature, videos, media blogs, etc.) on about how undergraduates select their major.

Day-to-day supervisor for this project: Amy Block Joy, Professor Emerita

Qualifications: No specific qualifications are required. We are looking for enthusiastic students who are motivated, enjoy networking with other students, and can work remotely.

Weekly Hours: 3-5 hrs

Off-Campus Research Site: We will be using Zoom for this project.