Ge-whiz! How students choose their general education classes

Eugene Lyle Seeley (Department of Strategic Management and Operations, Utah Valley University, Orem, Utah, USA)
Todd Goddard (Department of English, Utah Valley University, Orem, Utah, USA)
Ronald Mellado Miller (Department of Strategic Management and Operations, Utah Valley University, Orem, Utah, USA)

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education

ISSN: 2050-7003

Publication date: 2 July 2018

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand how students choose their general education elective courses.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey was given to 12,000 undergraduate students at Utah Valley University (UVU) that asked about how they selected distribution courses to fulfill the requirements for the general education. UVU offers 113 different courses in the general education distribution area, but only six are needed to meet the requirements. Students were asked to both select all methods that they used and then to rank their selected methods. The results were analyzed using χ2 methods.

Findings

“Personal interest” and “What best fit my schedule” were the top choices and where chosen as a method used by 69 and 67 percent of the students respectively. When asked to rank the methods, “Personal interest” ranked first most frequently at 32 percent and “What best fits my schedule” was ranked first by 29 percent of students. The results indicate that although personal interest is the most used method for choosing these classes, it does not dominate, and schedule remains a significant factor for students at UVU.

Originality/value

The data provide a look into the perceptions and attitudes of students at what is predominately a commuter school. This research provides the first step in understanding student motives in selecting elective classes.

Keywords

Citation

Seeley, E., Goddard, T. and Mellado Miller, R. (2018), "Ge-whiz! How students choose their general education classes", Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, Vol. 10 No. 3, pp. 322-332. https://doi.org/10.1108/JARHE-09-2017-0106

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Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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