The purpose of this longitudinal study was to determine whether the degree of science interests and educational aspirations in students’ first year of university would significantly differentiate those students who graduated with a science major from those students who did not graduate with a science major. Moreover, the authors expected that educational aspirations would moderate the relation between science interests and graduating with/without a science major. First-year college students in introductory science courses were surveyed in their first semester and then again upon graduation. These 166 students’ science interests and educational aspirations were assessed at Time 1; their educational major was assessed upon graduation. The findings supported both hypotheses. Science interests and educational aspirations significantly differentiated whether or not students graduated with science majors. Moreover, the interaction of science interests and educational aspirations also significantly differentiated whether or not students graduated with a science major. In short, students who graduated with science majors, compared to their counterparts who graduated with nonscience majors, had significantly higher interests only when they also had higher educational aspirations.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/lisa_larson/11/