Impacts of undergraduate experiences on aspirations and plans for graduate and professional education

Research paper by James C. Hearn

Indexed on: 01 Jun '87Published on: 01 Jun '87Published in: Research in higher education


This paper describes a longitudinal path-analytic study of influences upon educational aspirations and plans for graduate and professional schooling among 418 undergraduates at two U.S. universities. The analysis suggests that academic performance, parental supportiveness, faculty-student interaction, and major department context played significant roles in outcomes, beyond the role played by freshman-year background characteristics. There were some differences in the results for men and women, suggesting further attention to gender differences in postcollege educational attainment processes. Overall, the analysis suggests that greater attention to subenvironments, such as major departments, may be warranted in studies of this kind.