Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS)


Liberal Studies

First Advisor

Joan Douglas

Second Advisor

Jeffrey Segrave


The study of the college experience and student self-esteem contributes to the understanding of human development. There are biological, environmental, and cognitive factors that influence student behavior. For women, the process is often preordained by gender roles shaped by men. The effects play a strong part in career development. This paper explores social, psychological, and biological research that informs human behavior. Studies about college influences on women's self-concept and self-esteem reveal the factors involved in their career persistence, and decision-making. The evidence exposes the process that embodies student development, more than it suggests conclusions about ' career development. Helen Astin's (1984) socio-psychological model of career choice and work behavior is embraced as a need-based explanation utilizing motivation, socialization, expectations, and opportunities.