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The career aspirations of females and males in a high performing STEM-based career academy vocational high school

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TitleInfo
Title
The career aspirations of females and males in a high performing STEM-based career academy vocational high school
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Rafalowski
NamePart (type = given)
Paul C.
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Paul C. Rafalowski
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author
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Barnett
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W. Steven
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W. Steven Barnett
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Advisory Committee
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chair
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Chiu
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Chia
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Chia Chiu
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Advisory Committee
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internal member
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Lugg
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Catherine A.
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Catherine A. Lugg
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Advisory Committee
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Rutgers University
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degree grantor
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Graduate School of Education
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school
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theses
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2019
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2019-05
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2019
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English
Abstract
The relatively small number of female students who pursue a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) career is a significant educational and social problem. This dissertation addresses aspects of the STEM education pipeline problem through a quantitative study of the career aspirations of students in a high performing STEM-based career academy vocational high school. This study examines students’ career aspirations in the context of a three-year change initiative that substantially addresses the absence of curricula pertaining to the high school’s intended engineering-focused vocational program. This study draws upon social cognitive career theory (SCCT) as a theoretical framework, and calculates descriptive statistics and multifactorial analysis of covariance to analyze factors such as outcome expectations, self-efficacy, background contextual supports, and personal inputs to predict gender differences in aspirations for a career in engineering.
The results of this quantitative research study were summarily categorized according to two primary research questions, which produced several key findings. First, the main effect of interests explained significant amounts of variance in goals, while grade-level and background contextual affordances explained significant amounts of variance in interests. The main effect of gender, when including grade-level and interests, explained significant amounts of variance in goals. However, this effect disappeared when outcome expectations and background contextual affordances were added to the model. Similarly, neither the main effect of semester nor any two-way interactions involving semester explained significant amounts of variance in either interests or goals.
Rather than advancing the numerous studies that explore the decisions made and persistence towards STEM careers during and after postsecondary levels, this study addresses the gap in the extant literature by virtue of its focus on the high school context. It is the hope that these findings inform the research on this issue generally and provide information that can support other high schools with similar STEM programs to develop ways to reduce the gender gap in mathematics-intensive STEM fields like engineering.
Subject (authority = local)
Topic
STEM
Subject (authority = RUETD)
Topic
Educational Leadership
Subject (authority = ETD-LCSH)
Topic
Science -- Vocational guidance
Subject (authority = ETD-LCSH)
Topic
Science -- Study and teaching (Secondary)
Subject (authority = ETD-LCSH)
Topic
Women in science
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Title
Rutgers University Electronic Theses and Dissertations
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ETD_9646
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application/pdf
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text/xml
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1 online resource (xiii, 159 pages) : illustrations
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Ed.D.
Note (type = bibliography)
Includes bibliographical references
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Graduate School of Education Electronic Theses and Dissertations
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rucore10001500001
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NjNbRU
Identifier (type = doi)
doi:10.7282/t3-rsd4-4m81
Genre (authority = ExL-Esploro)
ETD doctoral
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Rights

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The author owns the copyright to this work.
RightsHolder (type = personal)
Name
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Rafalowski
GivenName
Paul
MiddleName
C.
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Permission or license
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2019-04-01 14:01:35
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Paul C. Rafalowski
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Affiliation
Rutgers University. Graduate School of Education
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Author Agreement License
Detail
I hereby grant to the Rutgers University Libraries and to my school the non-exclusive right to archive, reproduce and distribute my thesis or dissertation, in whole or in part, and/or my abstract, in whole or in part, in and from an electronic format, subject to the release date subsequently stipulated in this submittal form and approved by my school. I represent and stipulate that the thesis or dissertation and its abstract are my original work, that they do not infringe or violate any rights of others, and that I make these grants as the sole owner of the rights to my thesis or dissertation and its abstract. I represent that I have obtained written permissions, when necessary, from the owner(s) of each third party copyrighted matter to be included in my thesis or dissertation and will supply copies of such upon request by my school. I acknowledge that RU ETD and my school will not distribute my thesis or dissertation or its abstract if, in their reasonable judgment, they believe all such rights have not been secured. I acknowledge that I retain ownership rights to the copyright of my work. I also retain the right to use all or part of this thesis or dissertation in future works, such as articles or books.
Copyright
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Copyright protected
Availability
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Open
Reason
Permission or license
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