New Publication in PLoS One: the Effects of Vocational Interest on Study Results: Student Person – Environment Fit and Program Interest Diversity

The extent to which a good person-environment (PE) interest fit between student and study program leads to better study results in higher education is an ongoing debate wherein the role of the study program environment has remained inadequately studied. Unanswered questions include: how diverse study programs are in the interests of their student populations, and how this program interest diversity influences study results, in comparison to individual PE fit? The present study addressed these questions in students (N = 4,635) enrolled in open-access university education. In such an open access system, students are allowed to make study choices without prior limitations based on previous achievement or high stakes testing. Starting from the homogeneity assumption applied to this open access setting, we propose several hypotheses regarding program interest diversity, motivation, student-program interest fit, and study
results. Furthermore, we applied a method of measuring interest diversity based on an existing measure of correlational person-environment fit. Results indicated that interest diversity in an open access study environment was low across study programs. Results also showed the variance present in program interest diversity was linked to autonomous and controlled motivation in the programs’ student populations. Finally, program interest diversity better explained study results than individual student fit with their program of choice. Indeed, program interest diversity explained up to 44% of the variance in the average program’s study results while individual student-program fit hardly predicted study success at all. Educational policy makers should therefore be aware of the importance of both interest fit and interest diversity during the process of study orientation.

Schelfhout, S., Wille, B., Fonteyne, L., Roels, E., De Fruyt, F., & Duyck, W. (in press). The Effects of Vocational Interest on Study Results: Student Person – Environment Fit and Program Interest Diversity. PLoS One. Impact Factor: 2.766. Ranking Q1. PDF available here

Comments are closed.

Post Navigation