Retention and Attrition Patterns of Students Pursuing a Degree in Nutritional Sciences: A Critical Feminist Perspective
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction, presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractWomen’s college enrollment rates have increased dramatically in the last century, with more recent gains in the applied agricultural sciences. While statistical enrollment information exists, there have been few qualitative studies to explore this phenomenon. Using Acker’s (2012) theory of gendered organizations as the framework, the central research question that guided this study was: what experiences influence the retention and attrition of men and women students pursuing a degree in Nutritional Sciences within the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at the University of Arizona? This research was conducted using one-on-one semi-structured interviews with a total of seventeen participants. Eleven participants were currently majoring in the Nutritional Science degree program, while six of the participants had transferred from the NSC program to another major. Four major themes emerged from the data: gendered identities and power dynamics; the connection between NSC major and body image; positive relationships with advisors and professors and the desire for representative role models; and the culture of the student environment- competition, togetherness, and feminine energy. These themes support future research into gendered organizations and gender inequality in a woman dominated major.
Degree ProgramGraduate College