CHAPTER of the dilemmas that senior high school



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This chapter reviews the literature and conducted
studies related to the college course preference of undergraduates or senior
high school students. This chapter reveals various data gatherings of studies
and researches that focus on the factors affecting students’ career decisions. Exploration of the related literature ranges from 2005-2016
using keywords: factors, college course preference, aptitudes, parental and
peer pressure, economic stability, and school environment. Related pieces of
information were gathered through these research tools: and
collaboration with researchers and practitioners that studied the college
course preference of undergraduates. The following chapter includes the significance
of choosing the appropriate college course, the commonly identified factors
affecting student’s college course preference, and the mistakes that are often
encountered by students during career decision-making.



Significance of Choosing the Appropriate College Course

In this life full of possibilities, decisions are
essential in making our lives head towards success and attainment. It gives our
lives the appropriate direction that we are opts to take in our future. Hence,
decision-making is a logical way of choosing one from the unlimited options to
satisfy a man’s ease (Alba, K. et al., 2010). It is one of the dilemmas that
senior high school students encounter in their lives where they face the
reality that this certain adjudication will be a step closer to their future
careers. Compared to the decisions that students make in high school, the
decisions that they make regarding their college life are more critical since
these can greatly affect the rest of their life and career (Kuehnnle, 2017).

According to Sabao, T. (2010), choosing a college
course is the first step on one’s journey to having a good, fulfilling and
successful career. Choosing a college course well is the first step in
achieving one’s career goals therefore it must be well-thought through and all
factors related to this decision must be considered. It is important to choose
the right one suitable for an individual to save them from ending up in misery
because this decision was not given importance to. It can also save them a lot
of money, effort, and time since there will be less setbacks and complications
in the future. Rather than having to transfer and shift between courses while
in college, it is more convenient and practical to begin your college right and
start by carefully deciding on what to take.

            Moreover, it is not a matter of fun
and enjoyment, but a matter of life and death because it requires mature and
rigid discussions among the students (Alba, K. et al., 2010). However, during
the career decision, it is inevitable for students to be spared from conflicts
and issues that is why there are identified factors that either positively or
negatively affect the future career decisions of senior high school students.

In the Philippines, the Department of Education has
implemented a new educational system to address the problem of high
unemployment rate in the country (Pascual, 2014). The program that was
implemented was the K-12 program and its objective is improve the quality of
education and prepare students for their tertiary education. It aims to produce
students who are possess the knowledge and skills needed to excel in their
chosen career path and promote economic development in the future. After a
student completes this program, he or she will be given the choice to either
work or choose a college course and continue with their postsecondary

Nowadays, it has become more challenging for students
to decide what college course or major to take. Given that there are so many
college courses available these days, it is difficult for people to decide on what
is right and appropriate for them (Kuehnle, 2017). There are many types of
college courses under different subject and fields such as Humanities, Social
Sciences, Natural Sciences, Formal Sciences, Professions and Applied Sciences,
Agriculture, Architecture and Design, Business, Health Science, Education, and
many more. As time progresses, more and more courses are made specifically for
a specific field thus causing it to evolve and increase in complexity.  Although college students may have a lot of
time to tryout and discover new courses, it is still inconvenient and not
cost-efficient to try out and transfer from one course to another.



Factors Affecting College Course Preference

Interests, Aptitudes, & Abilities

A study conducted by the group of Alba, K. in the year
2010, found out that student’s abilities or academic performances gave much
impact on the student’s college course preference. Since student’s mistakes are
highly inevitable, it would be necessary to contemplate on their profile of
abilities that which will be guided and counseled by their parents and
counselor. The researchers suggested that the higher the students are aware about
their aptitudes; they are more likely to anticipate the career option and
course choice that is best suited for them. This will aid in lessening the
burden of students in decision-making. Moreover, the National Career Development
Association (NCDA) in the United States in 1993 specified that it would be
highly necessary to assist students in contemplating their “abilities,
interests, values and goals” which are the “vital foundations of the career
development process” (Pascual, N., 2014, pg. 2). Thus, Qualifax, Ireland’s
National Learner’s Database (2018), also concluded that it is one of the prerequisites
for students in choosing a college course to develop a certain level of
self-awareness and to complexly evaluate one’s aptitudes, which will be the
basis for the success of their career choices.

A recent study by Malgwi, C. et al. (2005) showed that
the most influential factor that affect undergraduates’ college choice
preference, regardless of their gender, is their interest towards different
fields. It was supported by the studies of Kim et al. (2002) and Strasser et
al. (2002). However, there are still gender differences that influence the
student’s decision – women influenced by their aptitude in the subject, and men
influenced by the level of pay in the field. Hence, in the end, these gender
differences changed over time and the researchers concluded that both genders –
men and women – seem to be more alike in the factors that influence their
college course preference (Malgawi, C. et al., 2005).



Furthermore, parental interference also influence the
career decisions made by students, but as modern day dawns, maturity precedes
over these individuals that allows them to revolt from the choices made by their
parents (Shukla, A., 2009). This was supported by Thao (2009), where he
conducted a study of the Hmong/Mong students. His results led to a conclusion
where parental involvement has a great role to play in the career choice of the
adolescent students. Likewise, a student is most likely to succeed in their
careers due to parental pressure where they are obliged to submit their selves and
follow the aspirations of their parents (Saysay, K., 2011). In addition, a
study conducted by Keller, B. and Whiston, S. (2008) concurred that parents
could be a “source of general psychosocial support” that motivates, inspires,
and encourages their children in pursuing their future careers. Among the other
general factors, it is said that parental guidance is more salient in
influencing career preparation.

It is said that Filipinos are known for their loyalty
and respect to their elders. Hence, when it comes to decision making, individuals
always seek for guidance from their family members, especially their parents.
According to Pascual (2014), “out of respect and loyalty, it may not be
appropriate to express personal desires; rather, one may alter one’s interests
to maintain harmony” (pg. 4). He then concurred that due to the obedient virtue
of young Filipinos, they tend to follow their parent’s decisions regarding
their college courses. In this manner, the young Filipinos are able to fulfill
the aspirations of their parents and accomplish them not just for the sake of
their selves, but for their families.