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GOOD AND BAD REASONS FOR CHANGING A COLLEGE MAJOR: A COMPARISON OF STUDENT AND FACULTY VIEWS.

Since the 1960s, numerous attempts have been made to refine higher education and improve college student learning and retention (Menand, 2011). Extensive research literature exists pertaining to these goals, including supplemental instruction (Drake, 2011), academic support (Thompson, 2008), freshman interest groups (Tinto & Goodsell, 1994), academic advising (Shriner, 2010; Tinto 1999), student expectations (Zafar, 2011), and learning communities (Zhao & Kuh, 2004). Nonetheless, researchers agree that many questions remain unanswered pertaining to students' retention and successful completion of their chosen major programs of study.

Ronan (2005) reported that 40% of undergraduates enrolled in four-year college programs are still enrolled after year six. More recently, the U.S. Department of Education (2015) reported that only 59% of undergraduates completed their degree in six years. Finally, the most recent data from the National Center for Education Statistics (2016) revealed that 58% of undergraduates completed their degree in six years--which suggests that there has been little change in completion rates over a 12-year period, despite the broad range of student retention and success initiatives.

In fact, research shows that more than 50% of undergraduate students change their major at least once during the course of their education (Brooks, 2012), with some students changing their majors two to three times (Ronan, 2005). Even students considered to be academically gifted have experienced challenges with selection and completion of their majors (Grant, 2000). Thus far, these decisional challenges have been widely accepted and understood. In fact, as Wallace and Heffernan (2016) pointed out, part of the college experience is finding where one belongs and learning to manage big decisions in order to get there. Along those lines, a faculty view is that many 18 year-olds are not yet certain what they want to do or who they want to be (Selingo, 2014).

There is abundant literature devoted to examining college students' decisions to change academic majors (e.g., DeMarie & Aloise-Young, 2003; Galotti, 1999; Grant, 2000; Nauta, 2007). However, there is very little research examining how students perceive the appropriateness of various reasons for changing one's major. Furthermore, there is very little research examining how faculty members' view the appropriateness of various reasons for changing one's major. The goal of this study was to compare student and faculty views regarding the changing of academic majors. To begin, we briefly examine the task of deciding on an academic major. Next we summarize the literature on changing an academic major. Then, we identify some of the main advantages and disadvantages of changing a major. Finally, based on the relevant literature, we describe our predictions for the current study.

Deciding on an Academic Major

In reviews of the research literature on choice of major (Adams, Pryor, & Adams, 1994; Beggs, Bantham, & Taylor, 2008), at least four major categories of factors have been identified: sources of information and influence (e.g., parents, friends, relatives, school counselors, and university information), job characteristics (e.g., earning potential, quality of life, type of work, and social and psychological benefits), fit and interest in the subject area (e.g., aptitude, interest in the field, and match with personality), and characteristics of the major/degree (e.g., course variety, characteristics of the faculty, and exposure to the introductory course). Beggs et al. found that college students rated matches of major with personal interests as the most important category when choosing their major.

Given the large number of factors affecting major choice, deciding on an academic major can be a complicated as well as potentially threatening and difficult activity. The research literature on choosing a major has also identified several reasons why students might experience difficulty with their choice of academic major, including being unprepared, having unrefined goals, and showing vocational indecision (Daley, 2010; Mbuva, 2011; Slaney, 1980; Tinto, 1999). Chambliss and Takacs (2014) found that faculty members play an important role in determining students' initial choices of major, frequently via an introductory course in the discipline as well as positive or negative experiences with individual faculty members.

According to Galotti (1999), another problem for some students who are new to the college environment may be the sense of finality that accompanies the task of deciding on a college major. Thompson and Orr (2007) suggested that the transition for first-year students can be so stressful in itself, that the thoughts of academics during that stage become secondary. Hence, a lack of guidance and experience with choosing a major, as well as competing concerns, might help to explain new students' caution. On the other hand, too much guidance, or pressure from parents, can be detrimental in the long run (e.g., Wallace & Heffernan, 2016).

Researchers have noted that taking one's time in selecting a major is not a bad thing. For example, Lee (2007) suggested that some students are better off taking their time and exploring their options. Delaying one's choice of major might actually be advantageous for students (Beggs et al., 2008). On the other hand, taking too much time to declare a major can decrease the odds of a successful outcome. Researchers (e.g., Berret, 2012a; Hecklinger, 1972; Muskat, 1979) have found that extensive indecisiveness can lead to academic failure. In summary, research suggests that deciding upon or changing a major prior to the end of the sophomore year of college can be beneficial.

Why do Students Change Academic Majors?

As with the case of choosing a major, there are many reasons why students might decide to change their major. Conklin, Dahling, and Garcia (2013) suggested that two criteria be met when considering remaining committed to an academic major: students must perceive that they belong in an academic major via emotional identification (they must feel that they belong in a chosen program) and cognitive evaluation (they must feel that they are achieving positive results). If the two criteria remain positive, the likelihood of eventually changing majors can be minimized and success can be more likely.

Regarding the first criterion, some students feel that they just do not belong in their chosen discipline or major and cannot cope with the situation they have gotten themselves into without changing that major. A lack of a sense of achievement or a lack of a sense of belonging in an academic program can play a significant role in students' choice to change academic majors (Chang, Cerna, Han, & Saenz, 2008; Conklin et al., 2013). With respect to the second criterion, researchers (e.g., Dunwoody & Frank, 1995; Zafar, 2011) have shown that negative grades are a factor that increases the likelihood of changing academic majors.

Some students make quick or uninformed decisions when initially selecting a major. In interviews with undergraduate students who have changed majors, one of the common factors found by Firmin and MacKillop (2008) was students originally choosing a major with a lack of knowledge about the specific field and the careers it offered. For example, some students base their choice of major on assumed job characteristics. Students might also base their choice on the experiences of friends, family members, and parents (Hoover, 2011) and later decide to change their major.

Many college students experience intellectual change and growth as they progress with their education and as a result, begin to take courses that they have become truly interested in (Ayotte & Sevier, 2010; DeMarie & Aloise-Young, 2003; Dunwoody & Frank, 1995), and eventually decide to change majors based on courses they have taken. In summary, there are several factors related to initially choosing and later changing one's academic major, and some of these factors are likely to be related to each other. From the student' and the institution's perspective, there are likely to be both disadvantages and advantages when changing an academic major.

Disadvantages and Advantages of Changing Academic Majors

One of the greatest disadvantages of changing academic majors during the course of study is the possibility of regretting the decision at a later date. In studies of regrets, matters pertaining to education rate high. In fact, Roese and Summerville (2005) found that making wrong educational choices was the leading reported life-regret. Another disadvantage of changing academic majors is the additional time needed to fulfill graduation requirements. Depending on when the change is made, an additional two years of study could be required to complete the courses associated with a new major (Clark, 2013; Ronan, 2005). Cost is also a disadvantage of changing academic majors. Dependent upon a student's academic level of completion at the time of the change, the costs of a typical 4-year college education could increase up to 50%, according to figures provided by the College Board (Clark, 2013).

Although there are several possible disadvantages to changing one's major, there are also some potential advantages to doing so. The college years are a time for reflection, enlightenment, and discovery (Tinto, 1999). It is understandable that during this time many students may still be weighing their options about their goals and be unsure about their future. In these instances, it would be an advantage for students to change majors to one that they have acquired personal knowledge about and fits their own personal interests.

Of course, if failing grades are threatening students' .academic standing, and they do not choose to exert the effort to meet the demands required to improve academically, it would be to the student's advantage to change majors to something in which they are more likely to succeed (Stinebrickner & Stinebrickner, 2011). In regards to low academic standing and GPAs, some students change academic majors in order to keep their financial aid or scholarships and rescue what they can of their education (Kuh, 2007; Parry, 2012). Once students realize that they may not be able to complete college at all because they are not meeting the requirements of their financial aid or scholarships, it may be an advantage to change majors.

Finally, changing from a major that was selected as a result of family or parental influence--or a major chosen too quickly as a result of an uninformed decision--can also be an advantage. Acting on impulse can have a negative impact on educational goals, especially when choosing an academic major. Impulse control is a predictor of academic success (Sparkman, Maulding, & Roberts, 2012) and lower levels of impulsivity are related to educational achievement and successful planning (Spinella & Miley, 2003).

Student and Faculty Views on Changing Majors

Although we were unable to find any research on how faculty members view the appropriateness of a variety of reasons for changing majors, there is other research suggesting how faculty might perceive whether a reason for changing is a good or bad one. For example, STEM faculty believe that a lack of mathematical knowledge is a major barrier to success within a STEM major (Gandhi-Lee, Skaza, Marti, Schrader, & Orgill, 2015), suggesting that failure within the core coursework will be seen as an appropriate reason to change one's major. Chamblis and Takacs (2014) note that faculty can serve as gatekeepers for their discipline, by either encouraging or creating barriers for students who are interested in majoring in that field. Many faculty members perceive entering college students as being unprepared for college academics (e.g., Kuh, 2007; Sanoff, 2006). Faculty members might view lack of effort as an inappropriate reason for changing an academic major. If students and faculty members differ in their perceptions of the importance of effort for academic success, then those differences should be reflected in the perceptions about the appropriateness of effort-related reasons for changing a major.

First, we expected that both students and faculty members who had changed their majors in the past will be more understanding or accepting of the appropriateness of various reasons for changing one's major (Hypothesis 1). This prediction is based on the idea that previous experience with changing majors will provide students and faculty with a greater sensitivity to the occurrence of changed majors compared to those who have not changed majors in the past.

Given that many faculty serve or have served as academic advisors to students, and spend numerous hours in the midst of college students, they are presumably privy to many student concerns and the dilemmas that students may face including the possibility of newly discovered alternative choices of academic majors (Tinto, 1999). Thus, according to Hypothesis 2, students and faculty will hold similar views about the appropriateness of changing academic majors due to changes in a student's interests and career goals. We expected that both students and faculty would rate interest- and career-related reasons for changing a major as similarly appropriate.

Research points out that many faculty members embrace the view that college students are often under-prepared and not totally engaged academically (Berret, 2012b; Kuh, 2007; Sanoff, 2006; Wasley, 2006). Based on this research, a student may view it as an advantage to change an academic major because of poor grades, and may have the best of intentions of improving academically as a result of that change. In addition, low grades may reflect low interest or low ability within the major, which most faculty would think of as a "good" reason to change majors. Therefore, we expected that both students and faculty would rate poor academic performance within the major as similarly appropriate for changing a major (Hypothesis 3).

Poor academic performance can also result from a student's lack of effort or the work required to complete a major. It is logical to assume that faculty members may see lack of effort or an unwillingness to put in the work (e.g., there is "too much" reading, writing, or research involved with the major) as inappropriate reasons for a student to change majors. Students should be more willing to see these factors as good reasons to change their major. According to this reasoning, we expected that faculty members would be less favorable toward changing majors for effort- or work-related reasons than students (Hypothesis 4).

Method

Participants

Participants came from a large public university in the southeastern U.S. Students (n = 125) from several academic majors and class standings participated in this study. The age of the student participants (94 female, 29 male, and 3 missing) ranged from 18 to 49, with an average of 22.50 years (SD = 4.18). With respect to credit hours earned, most of the students were upper-division (M = 90.97, SD = 34.52, range = 12-167). In addition, faculty members (n = 135) from all colleges and most departments of the university participated. The age of the faculty member participants (67 female, 55 male) ranged from 24 to 75, with an average of 51.68 years (SD = 11.15). Faculty reported a large number of current undergraduate advisees (M = 27.80, SD = 33.07, range = 0-150). Approval was obtained by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) prior to conducting the study.

Measures

Each participant completed an online survey comprised of several sections. Students and faculty completed their own versions of the survey, which was developed by the researchers. The surveys were identical except for demographic items.

In the first section, participants rated three items pertaining to general aspects of changing a major. These items, rated on a 5-point Likert scale (1 = strongly disagree, 5 = strongly agree), included that students should always feel free to change their major, "even if it means that they will incur additional financial costs" and "even if it means that they will have to spend significantly more time to complete a new major." The third item stated that "Because they might experience regrets at a later time, it is better if students keep rather than change their major."

In the next section, participants received a list of 16 items related to possible reasons why students might decide to change their academic majors. Participants considered the extent to which each item was "a good reason to change one's academic major." They rated each item and scenario using a 5-point Likert scale (1 = strongly disagree, 5 = strongly agree). Examples of personal interest and goals items included: a change in career goals, discovering one's true academic passion, and opting out of a major recommended by peers. Items related to curricular issues included: the hope of improving one's GPA, student is earning low grades in all courses in the major, and student believes that the existing major requires too much writing, math, research, or reading.

The third section of the survey included six specific circumstances under which students might change their major: changing from a major recommended by others to a major selected via personal growth and knowledge, changing majors to avoid failing grades, changing majors to avoid the possible loss of scholarships and financial aid, the additional time required to complete a new academic program, the additional cost to complete a new academic program, and choosing a new academic major impulsively. For each of these circumstances, participants rated, using a 5-point Likert scale (1 = strongly disagree, 5 = strongly agree), whether it was a good reason to change one's major, was likely to lead to later regrets, and depended on how far students were in their education.

Finally, participants answered several demographic items. Common demographic items for students and faculty members included age, gender, whether respondents had changed academic majors and, if so, how many times they had done so. The student survey differed by asking open-ended questions about academic major and number of credits completed. The faculty survey differed by asking open-ended questions about academic discipline/field and years spent advising undergraduate students.

Procedure

Faculty members were recruited through a university-wide email invitation providing a link to the Informed Consent Form and the appropriate survey. Students were recruited from classes from a variety of disciplines including: Human Sciences, Health and Human Performance, Organizational Communication, Foreign Languages, and Management and Marketing. They received a link to the Informed Consent Form and the appropriate survey. Some students received research participation credit for their participation in the study, at the discretion of their teacher. The consent page explained that the purpose of the study was to gain a better understanding of student and faculty views and opinions of changing academic majors.

All participants completed the survey using a commercial online survey program. The survey took approximately 15 minutes to complete. At the end of the survey, they received a thank-you note explaining that we hoped that the results would be useful as institutions continue to address issues related to improving student success, retention, and graduation.

Results

Descriptive Statistics

The number of students who reported that they had changed their major at least once as an undergraduate (n = 98, 79%) was significantly higher than the number who never changed their major (n = 26, 21%, I missing), [X.sup.2])]) = 41.81, p < .001. Comparison of the student major changers with the non-changers on the survey ratings revealed only one significant difference between the two groups. Students who had not changed their major rated the "because they might experience regrets at a later time, it is better if students keep rather than change their major" item higher (M = 2.85, SD = 1.12) than students who had changed their major (M = 2.39, SD = 0.92), t(122) = 2.16, p = .03.

The number of faculty who reported that they had changed their major at least once as an undergraduate (n = 67, 52%) was slightly higher than the number who never changed their major (n = 62, 48%, 6 missing), [X.sup.2](1) = 0.19, p = .66. Comparison of the faculty major changers with the non-changers on the survey ratings revealed no significant differences between the two groups. Thus, there was no support for Hypothesis 1 that previous major-changing experience would be associated with different perceptions of the appropriateness of changing majors.

A Chi-square test of independence indicated that faculty and students differed significantly in their frequency of having changed their academic major, with students reporting having changed academic majors at a higher rate than faculty, [X.sup.2](1) = 20.46, p < .001. Moreover, among only those participants who changed majors, students (M = 2.42, SD = 1.34) reported changing more frequently than faculty (M = 1.64, SD= 1.11), /(161) = 2.01, p = .05.

With respect to general aspects of changing an academic major, students (M = 2.49, SD = .97) were less likely to disagree than faculty (M = 2.07, SD = .77) on the "Because they might experience regrets at a later time, it is better if students keep rather than change their major" item, /(258) = 3.90, p < .001. In addition, with respect to the role that teachers of a given major might play in a student's decision to change majors, faculty rated it significantly more appropriate (M = 2.70, SD = .99) than students (M = 2.45, SD = 1.04) for a student to change academic majors if the student does not like the teachers in a chosen major t(258) = 1.97, p = .05.

Analysis of gender differences for the entire sample revealed very few significant differences. Female respondents agreed more strongly than male respondents that a change in career goals, an existing major was recommended by parents, and changing majors to avoid the possible loss of scholarships and financial are good reasons to change an academic major, and choosing an academic major impulsively depends on how far along the student is in their education; male respondents agreed more strongly than female respondents that a poor current job market for the existing major is a good reason to change an academic major (all ps < .05).

Tests of Other Hypotheses

Hypothesis 2 stated that student and faculty views would be similar regarding the appropriateness of changing academic majors due to changes in a student's interests and career goals. As predicted, faculty and student opinions were similar concerning the appropriateness of changing academic majors based on a change in career goals and discovering one's true academic passion (see Table 1). Both faculty and students rated these reasons as appropriate (i.e., above the scale midpoint). Interestingly, faculty agreed more strongly than students with the appropriateness of changing from a major recommended by others to one selected via personal growth and knowledge. Alternatively, students disagreed less strongly than faculty that changing from a major recommended by others to one selected via personal growth and knowledge would lead to later regrets. Thus, we found partial support for hypothesis 2.

Next, we examined grades as a factor that a student may consider as an appropriate reason when changing academic majors. Hypothesis 3 predicted that faculty and student views would be similar on issues pertaining to grades as a reason for changing academic majors. However, as Table 2 indicates, students and faculty differed significantly on several of the grades-related items. In particular, students were more likely than faculty to agree that trying to improve one's GPA was a good reason to change majors. Students also were more likely than faculty to agree that changing majors to avoid failing grades will lead to later regrets and would depend on how far along the student is. On the other hand, faculty were more likely than students to agree that having low grades in all major courses was a good reason to change majors. Thus, the results indicated differences rather than similarities between faculty and students in their perceptions related to grades.

Finally, student and faculty views regarding the appropriateness of changing academic majors due to effort-related factors (e.g., too much writing, math, or research) appear in Table 3. As the table shows, faculty and student responses for each measure showed no significant differences with both groups rating each measure as more inappropriate than appropriate (i.e., below the scale midpoint) for a student to change an academic major. Thus, hypothesis 4 was not supported.

Additional Analyses

Several other items revealed significant differences in the perceptions of faculty and students within the specific domains of scholarships/financial aid, time, costs, and impulsiveness (see Table 4). First, students agreed more strongly (or disagreed less strongly) than faculty that avoiding loss of financial aid, added costs, and choosing a major impulsively were good reasons for changing one's major. Second, students were more likely than faculty to agree that avoiding loss of scholarships or financial aid, additional time, and additional costs would be likely to lead to later regrets. Finally, students were more likely than faculty to agree that changing majors to avoid loss of scholarships or financial aid and choosing a new major impulsively would depend on how far along the student was in their education.

Discussion

The purpose of this study was to compare student and faculty views regarding college students changing their academic majors. Results showed that contemporary college students are changing academic majors at a higher rate and with greater frequency than their faculty members. In addition, students and faculty showed both similarities and differences in their ratings of the appropriateness of a variety of potential reasons for changing a major.

We found no support for our expectation that students and faculty who had changed their majors would show more acceptance of various reasons for changing majors than students and faculty who had never changed their major. Apparently, changing one's major, in and of itself, does not differentially relate to perceptions of what are good and bad reasons for changing a major. It is conceivable that asking participants whether they agreed, all things considered, that changing a major is a good or bad thing, might have led to differences between the major changers and non-changers.

Hypothesis 2 stated that changing an academic major due to changes in a student's interests and career goals would garner similar views of faculty and students. As predicted, the results showed that both groups agreed that changing majors based on newly acquired knowledge, interests, and career goals was appropriate. These results support the findings of research on both reasons for choosing a major (Adams et al., 1994; Beggs et al., 2008) and changing majors (Conklin et al., 2013; Parry, 2012; Sparkman et al., 2012). These data also provide some insight into the "best" and "worst" reasons to change a major according to students and faculty. Both groups agreed that changes in career goals or personal growth and development were very good reasons for changing a major, whereas choosing a new major impulsively was rated as the least appropriate reason to change.

We expected that faculty and students would report similar appropriateness ratings regarding grades (Hypothesis 3). However, we found differences between the two groups. Whereas students were more likely than faculty to agree that trying to improve one's GPA was a good reason to change majors, faculty were more likely than students to agree that having low grades in all major courses was a good reason to change majors. Stinebrickner and Stinebrickner (2011) explained that some students who perform poorly are too optimistic when considering their cumulative GPA and beliefs about their future GPA. This optimism might help explain the existence of a perception of probable success in changing an academic major to improve a GPA. Research suggests that active involvement in academics (Tinto, 1999), exerting effort and maintaining a determination to be involved with academics (Kuh, 2007), and thinking of class material and monitoring individual learning (Chapman, 2005) are the effective methods to become academically successful. There is little evidence, to our knowledge, that changing one's major will result in a higher GPA. This stronger faculty agreement on the failing all courses in the major is consistent with research implying that this situation is more likely a problem within the student and not the academic major. There are many reasons that a student can be failing in all of the courses in a given major. A lack of academic engagement (Kuh, 2007), a lack of effort (Wasley, 2006), and being unprepared (Sanoff, 2006) are all possible contributing factors.

For our fourth hypothesis, we expected that faculty would see work- or effort-related factors as less appropriate reasons for changing a major than would students. However, there was no evidence to support this prediction. The ostensible reason for the lack of differences here is that both students and faculty tended to disagree that these were good reasons (i.e., too much writing, too much research) for changing one's major.

Finally, the data indicated that students more strongly agreed than faculty that changing majors for a variety of reasons was likely to lead to later regrets. These data support research on life regrets (Roese & Summerville, 2005) and likely reflect a continuing search for vocational and overall identity among the students (Fouad, Ghosh, Chang, Figueiredo, & Bachhuber, 2016). Keyes (2010) pointed out that a typical reaction of some students when deciding on or changing a major is the deliberation of their true interest versus their fear of making the wrong decision.

Limitations and Implications for Future Research

It is conceivable that the student results were affected by the courses from which we drew the sample. Although we did not obtain students' actual or likely majors, it is conceivable that students majoring in different disciplines (e.g., STEM and liberal arts) might report different perceptions of the appropriateness of reasons for changing a major. Future research might explore this possibility more directly.

There are other ways to measure the effort factor, such as by noting that students might be unwilling to put in the work required to succeed in the major. It is possible that both faculty and students would rate behavior such as this as being a more appropriate reason to change a major, although respondents might make attributions about the student (e.g., "unwilling to put in the work") that generalize across any major. Effort could also be examined by class standing to determine if students differ in their appropriateness ratings for students in their upper division compared to lower division years.

Although we found very few gender differences, there were more female (75%) than male (25%) student participants in the study. Recent research shows that the graduation rates for females (62%) are higher than for males (56%) (U.S. Department of Education, May, 2015). Consequently, future research on this topic might aim for a more balanced ratio of male and female students.

We also did not ask why participants had changed their majors. Perhaps appropriateness ratings align will more strongly with those reasons that reflected the participants' experiences. However, given the high percentage of students in the current sample who had changed their majors at least once (nearly 80%), future research might focus on the experiences and motivations of these students and how their experiences relate to what they consider appropriate and inappropriate reasons for changing a major.

In conclusion, to our knowledge, this is the first study that examines student and faculty perceptions of the appropriateness of a variety of reasons for changing an academic major. We believe that the kinds of questions we addressed are a fruitful way for researchers to explore the factors that might affect decisions about and perceptions of changing one's academic major.

Angelo A. Marade

University of Memphis

Thomas M. Brinthaupt

Middle Tennessee State University

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Table 1. Appropriateness Ratings for Changing a Major due
to Changes in Interests or Career Coals

                                       Students
                                       (n = 125)

Measures                                M      SD

A change in career goals is a good    4.38     .75
reason to change one's major

Discovering one's true academic       4.61     .62
passion is a good reason to change
one's major

Changing from a major recommended     4.22     .92
by others to a major selected via
personal growth and knowledge is
a good reason to change one's major

Changing from a major recommended     2.45    1.07
by others to a major selected via
personal growth and knowledge is
likely to lead to later regrets

Changing from a major recommended     3.06     .93
by others to a major selected via
personal growth and knowledge
depends on how far along the
student is in their education

                                        Faculty
                                       (n = 135)

Measures                                M      SD       t       p

A change in career goals is a good    4.53     52     1.79     08
reason to change one's major

Discovering one's true academic       4.57     .61     .50     .62
passion is a good reason to change
one's major

Changing from a major recommended     4.49     .71    2.62     .01
by others to a major selected via
personal growth and knowledge is
a good reason to change one's major

Changing from a major recommended     2.14     86     2.56     .01
by others to a major selected via
personal growth and knowledge is
likely to lead to later regrets

Changing from a major recommended     2.88     .90    1.61     11
by others to a major selected via
personal growth and knowledge
depends on how far along the
student is in their education

Note. Each item was based on a 5-point Likert scale
(1 = strongly disagree, 5 = strongly agree)

Table 2. Appropriateness Ratings for Changing a Major
due to Grades Earned within the Major

                                        Students
                                        (n = 125)

Measures                                M        SD

The hope of improving one's GPA        2.95     1.10
is a good reason to change majors.

Student is earning low grades in
about half the courses in the          3.25     .89
major is a good reason to
change one's major

Student is earning low grades in
all the courses of the major is a      3.55     .95
good reason to change one's major

Changing majors to avoid failing
grades is a good reason to change      3.09     .99
majors

Changing majors to avoid failing
grades is likely to lead to later      3.24     .95
regrets

Changing majors to avoid failing
grades depends on how far along        3.34     .89
the student is in their education

                                         Faculty
                                        (n = 135)

Measures                                M        SD       t        p

The hope of improving one's GPA        2.58     .93      2.98     .00
is a good reason to change majors.

Student is earning low grades in
about half the courses in the          3.29     .89      .37      .71
major is a good reason to
change one's major

Student is earning low grades in
all the courses of the major is a      3.86     .82     2 .79     .01
good reason to change one's major

Changing majors to avoid failing
grades is a good reason to change      3.16     1.06     .53      .60
majors

Changing majors to avoid failing
grades is likely to lead to later      2.98     .83      2.38     .02
regrets

Changing majors to avoid failing
grades depends on how far along        3.05     .88      2.60     .01
the student is in their education

Note. Ratings were based on a 5-point Likert scale
(1 = strongly disagree, 5 = strongly agree)

Table 3. Appropriateness Ratings for Changing a Major
due to Work or Effort Required within the Major

                                        Students
                                        (n = 125)

Measures                                M      SD

Too much writing in current major
is a good reason to change majors     2.37    1.05

Too much math in current major is
a good reason to change majors        2.60    1.14

Too much research in current major
is a good reason to change majors     2.37    1.05

Too much reading in current is a
good reason to change majors          2.33    1.05

Too much lab-work in current major
is a good reason to change majors     2.47    1.07

                                        Faculty
                                        (n = 135)

Measures                                M      SD       t       p

Too much writing in current major
is a good reason to change majors     2.38     .99     .08     .93

Too much math in current major is
a good reason to change majors        2.50    1.02     .77     .47

Too much research in current major
is a good reason to change majors     2.39    1.00     .19     .85

Too much reading in current is a
good reason to change majors          2.26    1.00     .54     .59

Too much lab-work in current major
is a good reason to change majors     2.53     .99     .48     .63

Note. Ratings were based on a 5-point Likert scale
(1 = strongly disagree, 5 = strongly agree)

Table 4. Appropriateness Ratings for Changing a Major due
to Financial Aid, Time, Cost, and Impulsiveness Factors

                                     Students
                                     (n = 125)

  Measures                           M      SD

Changing majors to avoid the
possible loss of scholarships
and financial aid ...

  is a good reason to              3.32     .98
  change one's major

  is likely to lead                3.34     .93
  to later regrets

  depends on how far along the     3.38     .88
  student is in their education

The additional time required
to complete a new academic
program ...

  is a good reason to change       2.85     .92
  one's major

  is likely to lead to later       3.12     .92
  regrets

  depends on how far along the     3.38     .88
  student is in their education

The additional cost to complete
a new academic program ...

  is a good reason to change       2.91     .99
  one's major

  is likely to lead to later       3.21     .81
  regrets

  depends on how far along the     3.38     .86
  student is in their education

Choosing a new academic major
impulsively ...

  is a good reason to change       2.06    1.07
  one's major

  is likely to lead to later       4.04     .90
  regrets

  depends on how far along the     3.07     .99
  student is in their education

                                     Faculty
                                     (n = 135)

  Measures                           M      SD       t       P

Changing majors to avoid the
possible loss of scholarships
and financial aid ...

  is a good reason to              3.04     .94    2.32     .02
  change one's major

  is likely to lead                3.04     .81    2.83    .005
  to later regrets

  depends on how far along the     3.05     .72    3.35    .001
  student is in their education

The additional time required
to complete a new academic
program ...

  is a good reason to change       2.65     .84    1.65     .10
  one's major

  is likely to lead to later       2.72     .77    3.83    .000
  regrets

  depends on how far along the     3.18     .86    1.91     .06
  student is in their education

The additional cost to complete
a new academic program ...

  is a good reason to change       2.63     .82    2.49     .01
  one's major

  is likely to lead to later       2.84     .77    3.74    .000
  regrets

  depends on how far along the     3.23     .80    1.47     .14
  student is in their education

Choosing a new academic major
impulsively ...

  is a good reason to change       1.59     .83    3.90    .000
  one's major

  is likely to lead to later       3.96     .99     .66     .51
  regrets

  depends on how far along the     2.64    1.01    3.43    .001
  student is in their education

Note. Ratings were based on a 5-point Likert scale
(1 = strongly disagree, 5 = strongly agree)
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Date:Jun 22, 2018
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