Date of Award


Degree Name

EdD Doctor of Education

Dissertation Committee

Susan M. Zgliczynski, PhD; Robert L. Infantino, EdD; Jeff Steindorf, PhD


attributes, commitments, higher education, major, perseverance, scientific and technological disciplines, undergraduates


The purpose of this study was first to determine the characteristics that distinguished persisters from nonpersisters in the fields of science and technology; second, to determine the effects of sex, college choice, parental income, parental educational background, GPA, and academic and social integration factors on persistence; and third, to suggest program implementation for assisting students in the science and technology disciplines to make choices in "fit" of characteristics to college environment. Subjects for this study were randomly selected from a group of 256 juniors at the University of California, San Diego who had initially selected science or technology as an incoming major. A researcher-designed questionnaire, the Strong-Campbell Interest Inventory, and the Pascarella and Terenzini scale were used to collect data for this survey research. The data were tested by chi-square analysis and analysis of variance and t-tests. Some of the findings of this study indicated that persisters and nonpersisters differed significantly in their satisfaction with faculty interaction and faculty concern for student development and teaching. Significant differences were found between persisters and nonpersisters in their confidence in their ability to persist and in their GPAs. Some of the findings also indicated that nonpersisters were mainly hindered by the competitiveness, the course grades, and the difficulty of the subject matter. Persisters were aided by prospects of career and job opportunities in the science and technology fields, family support, and the influence of faculty.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access