Paper Type

Doctoral Dissertation


College of Education and Human Services

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)


Leadership, School Counseling & Sport Management

NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. Department of Leadership, School Counseling & Sports Management

First Advisor

Dr. Dan Dinsmore

Second Advisor

Dr. Matthew Ohlson

Third Advisor

Dr. Amanda Pascale

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Brian Zoellner

Department Chair

Dr. David Hoppey

College Dean

Dr. Diane Yendol-Hoppey


Federal and state agencies in the United States have pressured institutions in higher education to increase the number of graduates in STEM disciplines and supply an educated workforce for the increasing shortages in the STEM economy. Undergraduate research experience is one potential mechanism for supporting retention and student success within STEM disciplines. Most evaluations of the impact of undergraduate research to this point have been qualitative research studies. The purpose of this study was to use a quantitative model to examine domain knowledge, domain interest, and career aspirations in undergraduate biology majors and how participation in research experiences may impact each of these aspects. Path analysis was performed with data collected from an online survey that was administered to six upper level biology courses during one semester. Domain interest and career aspirations was the only significant relation in the path model. Research experiences may indirectly impact career aspirations by increasing domain interest, but additional work is needed to examine this relationship. Stakeholders in undergraduate research at institutions may consider the implications of this study as they develop policies to reduce barriers for student participation in research.

Available for download on Thursday, April 18, 2024