A survey and analysis of selected background factors influencing students' decisions to attend the Manitoba Institute of Technology
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A survey of recent literature revealed that much effort has already been expended trying to understand the selective process by which individuals are recruited into various occupational fields and/or into educational programs and institutions considered preparatory for these positions. However, the survey also revealed a paucity of research on the forces which shape students' decisions to enter a relatively new, but crucially important form of training -- technological training at the post secondary level. To help fill this gap the present study was undertaken. The problem on the study was two-fold: first, to isolate factors which characteristically infleunce post secodnary educational decisions and second, to determine whether the selected factors were significantly related to students' decisions to attend the Manitoba Institute of Technology. Accordingly, a review of pertinent literature was made on the basis of which the following relationships were hypothesized: 1. Students' decisions to attend the Manitoba Institute of Technology were significantly influenced by the following endogenous factors in the backgrounds: sex and scholastic performance. 2. Students' decisions to attend the Manitoba Institute of Technology were significantly influenced by the following exogenous factors in the backgrounds: home situation, religious affiliation, ethnic origin, citizenship status, social status, educational level of parents, perceived attitudes toward the decision of parents, peers,and teachers, and community of residence. Data secured by means of a questionnaire which was administered to first-year technology students in June, 1966 was organized into frequency distribution tables. Both the chi square test and direct comparison (this was used only when appropriate "comparable" data were not available) were used for determining whether the obtained results were significant. Where a relationship was found to be significant, successive cross-tabulations were undertaken. The purpose of this further analysis was to detect spuriousness and/or to "specify" the obtained relationship. The results of the study suggested the following principal conclusions: first, that there was a strong possibility that the obtained results were applicable not only to decisions to atend the M.I.T., but also to choices in other forms of post secondary education; second, that subtle and pervasive barriers to entry to high status educational goals still] persist; third, that possibly as a consequence of the lack of information about and negative attitudes against technical education, some counsellors and teachers may have thwarted legitimate aspirations of the students.