Research in Higher Education

, Volume 56, Issue 2, pp 178–201 | Cite as

College Seniors’ Plans for Graduate School: Do Deep Approaches Learning and Holland Academic Environments Matter?

  • Louis M. Rocconi
  • Amy K. Ribera
  • Thomas F. Nelson Laird
Article

Abstract

This study examines the extent to which college seniors’ plans for graduate school are related to their tendency to engage in deep approaches to learning (DAL) and their academic environments (majors) as classified by Holland type. Using data from the National Survey of Student Engagement, we analyzed responses from over 116,000 seniors attending 499 four-year institutions. Findings revealed a significant positive relationship between seniors’ uses of DAL and plans for earning a graduate degree. Further, seniors majoring in Investigative and Social environments were more likely to hold higher degree expectations. Significant interaction effects by DAL and Holland academic environment were also found. The impact of DAL on graduate degree expectations was greater for seniors majoring in Artistic environments than otherwise similar students in Investigative, Enterprising, or Social environments. In addition, the impact of DAL on degree expectations was greater for seniors in Enterprising environments than otherwise similar students in Social environments

Keywords

Degree aspirations Degree expectations Deep approaches to learning Holland’s theory 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Louis M. Rocconi
    • 1
  • Amy K. Ribera
    • 1
  • Thomas F. Nelson Laird
    • 1
  1. 1.Indiana University Center for Postsecondary ResearchIndiana University Bloomington BloomingtonUSA

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