Paper Type

Doctoral Dissertation


College of Education and Human Services

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. Larry Daniel

Second Advisor

Dr. Sandra Gupton

Third Advisor

Dr. Marianne Barnes

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Susan Wallace

Department Chair

Dr. Kenneth T. Wilburn

College Dean

Dr. Katherine M. Kasten


The purpose of the present study was to examine how perceptions of a chilly climate differ between students in traditionally female-dominated majors versus traditionally male-dominated majors, and how these perceptions relate to students' intentions to persist or pursue higher education in their chosen field. Participants were 403 students attending a community college in the southern United States, including students majoring in information technology (IT), engineering, education, and nursing. Participants completed the 28-item Perceived Chilly Climate Scale (PCCS) and other informational items.

The primary research question asked: To what extent can scores on the five subscales of the PCCS be explained by the predictor variable set of gender, ethnicity, age, college major, and intent to leave the field? Canonical correlation analysis yielded an initial canonical root of .40 (Rc^2 = .16, p < .001), indicating that the predictor variables accounted for a moderate portion of the variance in PCCS subscale scores. Gender (rs = .89) accounted for the highest proportion of explained variance, followed by major (rs = .75).

Findings indicated that women found the climate chillier than men, non-white students found the climate chillier than white students, younger students perceived the climate chillier than older students, and students in traditionally female-dominated majors perceived the climate chillier than students in traditionally male-dominated majors. Intent to leave the field was not a significant predictor of perceptions of chilly climate.