International Journal of Exercise Science 10(5): 807-817, 2017. Understanding factors that contribute to a student’s selection of an exercise science-related major is important to student success, higher education and industry. This study sought to 1) better understand why undergraduate students study an exercise science-related major, 2) determine whether positive influences to study an exercise science-related major differ by academic classification, and 3) identify what student’s aspirations are after graduation. Department administrators from four-year colleges and universities offering an exercise science-related major in the Northwest Region of the United States (i.e., Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington) were contacted. Cooperating department administrators were given self-reported questionnaires for students to complete using a snowball sampling method. A total of 388 participants completed the questionnaire. Interest in the subject and potential job opportunities were the most common reasons to study an exercise science-related major. Self-reported Holland’s codes identified that realistic and social personalities were most prevalent among participants. Seniors rated a friend’s influence and college advisors as stronger influences to study an exercise science-related major compared to freshmen. Pay in the field was a stronger influence for freshmen to study an exercise science-related major than for fifth-year seniors, whereas freshmen were less influenced by introductory courses to study an exercise-science related major than fifth-year seniors. The majority of undergraduate students studying an exercise science-related major planned on attending graduate school after completing their baccalaureate degree. These findings can be used to help guide undeclared students and better serve undergraduates enrolled in an exercise science-related major.
Vaartstra, Matthew; Kercher, Vanessa; Start, Amanda; Brown, Amber; Peterson, Mark; and McGrath, Ryan
"Understanding Why Undergraduate Students Declare and Continue to Study an Exercise Science-Related Major,"
International Journal of Exercise Science: Vol. 10
5, Pages 807 - 817.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijes/vol10/iss5/16