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Abstract

One of the most critical issues for colleges and universities today is to adequately understand why students select one program rather than another. Until the early 1980s, few analysts empirically experimented to find out why students pick the one program over another (Chapman 1981; Fuller, Manski, & Wise 1982; Manski & Wise 1983). Recent research and theory posit that choice of field study depends on anticipated earnings after graduation (Boudarbat 2006; Card 1999). In fact, a program in student’s choice depends not only on anticipated earnings but also on their choice interest. However, decision models used for students’ preference are not available (Behrman, Kletzer, McPherson, & Schapiro 1998; Soss 1974), and the choice process is more complicated in terms of psychology (Hossler et al. 1989). In order to provide good programs for students, different colleges offer a variety of courses based on not only their marketing analyses but more importantly, the students’ personality. Motivation is the key factor to influence students’ making decision. This study aimed to explore the relationships between motives and program choices. Data were randomly collected from 277 students at three colleges of the University of West Florida during the fall term 2006. The findings of the study indicated that there were significant relationships between (1) science programs and need for power; (2) business programs and need for affiliation; and (3) hospitality and sport programs and need for achievement.

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THE INFLUENCE OF UNCONSCIOUS NEEDS ON COLLEGE PROGRAM CHOICE

One of the most critical issues for colleges and universities today is to adequately understand why students select one program rather than another. Until the early 1980s, few analysts empirically experimented to find out why students pick the one program over another (Chapman 1981; Fuller, Manski, & Wise 1982; Manski & Wise 1983). Recent research and theory posit that choice of field study depends on anticipated earnings after graduation (Boudarbat 2006; Card 1999). In fact, a program in student’s choice depends not only on anticipated earnings but also on their choice interest. However, decision models used for students’ preference are not available (Behrman, Kletzer, McPherson, & Schapiro 1998; Soss 1974), and the choice process is more complicated in terms of psychology (Hossler et al. 1989). In order to provide good programs for students, different colleges offer a variety of courses based on not only their marketing analyses but more importantly, the students’ personality. Motivation is the key factor to influence students’ making decision. This study aimed to explore the relationships between motives and program choices. Data were randomly collected from 277 students at three colleges of the University of West Florida during the fall term 2006. The findings of the study indicated that there were significant relationships between (1) science programs and need for power; (2) business programs and need for affiliation; and (3) hospitality and sport programs and need for achievement.