Understanding Undergraduate Course Consideration
37 Pages Posted: 8 Aug 2019 Last revised: 22 Apr 2020
Date Written: August 4, 2019
In elective curriculums, undergraduates are encouraged to consider a range of academic courses for possible enrollment each term, yet course consideration has not been explicitly theorized and is difficult to observe. We develop a conceptual framework and a novel web-based mechanism for observing consideration, and use them to study consideration among an entire cohort of students at a private university between 2016-2018. Our findings reveal (1) substantial winnowing from available to considered courses; (2) homogeneous consideration set sizes regardless of students’ subsequent majors; and (3) heterogeneous consideration set compositions correlated with subsequent majors. Our work demonstrates that course consideration is an empirically demonstrable component of course selection and suggests mechanisms for intervening in consideration to support informed choice and efficient academic progress.
Keywords: higher education, academic consideration, decision-making
JEL Classification: I23
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation