College Retention, Completion, Graduation
Canada is doing well in graduating students at the college level according to The Conference Board, but there are major concerns:
And, the growing use of invalid career interest tests threatens earlier progress.
- Canada gets a “D” grade for the number of PhD graduates;
- Graduation rates vary significantly among the provinces; Quebec is significantly higher;
- A relatively low proportion of graduates emerging from science and technical fields.
Major studies show that a close personality-major match predicts college and job success. Educators and policymakers should consider the importance of helping students choose a major that fits their personality.
What is “personality-Major match”?
It is the degree to which students’ interests and personality match,
- What they are doing in their major, and
- The personality of the students and faculty in their major.
Why is it important?
- This match affects how students’ feel and act:
People do best in school and work when they are doing what interests them, and are around people who have similar interests, skills, and values.
There is a large body of scientific research that supports this.
- Major studies show that, the more students choose a college major compatible with their “Holland personality type”, the more likely they are to:
- Earn higher grades,
- Stick with their choice of major through graduation,
- Graduate on time, and
- Be more satisfied and successful in their career.
- A significant number of students choose a major that is not “compatible” with their personality. They find themselves studying topics that do not fit their interests or skills, and in a college major environment of students and faculty who have different interests, skills, and values. Their grades and chances of graduation suffer. Those who do graduate are less likely to be satisfied or successful in their career.
School, College, and Government Actions Make
A Good Match More Difficult to Achieve
Invalid career tests are widely used which,
- Give students false information about their interests and personality, and
- Misdirect them toward incompatible programs of study and majors that do not fit their personality.
Personality-major research is relatively recent and unknown. It was done primarily by scientists associated with ACT over the past ten years and has been published in technically-challenging, peer-reviewed scientific journals. It is based on the respected Holland Theory of Career Choice.
This research was recently brought to the public’s attention in the free, e-book download, Choosing a College Major Based on Your Personality, What does the research say? written by Career Key author, Dr. Lawrence K. Jones.
These issues are discussed in a brief white paper, Improving College Completion in Canada: Personality-Major Match. The report also recommends 10 practices to boost students' grades and timely college graduation.