CHAPTER having a college degree has now become

CHAPTER 1

INTRODUCTION

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Background of the Study

Investing in a college education is precisely the key to better careers
and broader life choices (Hernandez, 2015). In the Philippines, education is
one of the major factors, and having a college degree has now become a
necessity to acquire a high-paying job. Every year, colleges from all around
the country produce a great number of fresh graduates of different courses.
However, despite being able to have acquired a college degree, some find it
hard to be employed and some become misfit for the job they are applying for.

In a study released by Aspiring Minds, an Indian-based employment
solution firm, it shows that the Philippines produce an estimated number of
600,000 college graduates each year. However, it also stated that only one out
of three graduates are considered “employable”. This means that 65 percent of
the graduates do not possess the right skills and training to qualify for the
jobs they wish to apply for. The study assessed 60,000 fresh graduates from
different universities based on their language, cognitive, behavioral, and
functional skills. In business sectors, the report showed that the employment
figures show lack of adequate and needed skills among the total number of aspiring
graduates in this industry. Particularly those who aspire for inbound customer
service jobs, for outbound sales and for information technology helpdesk, show
deficiency in required cognitive skills, which most employers see as an
indication of trainability on the job (Mercurio, 2017). The study revealed that
the overall employability of graduates needed to be improved and that Filipinos
needed more educational help and training.

            According to Dr.
Pascual (2014), the unemployment rate in the Philippines “is commonly
associated with the misfit graduates produced by universities and colleges.”
They are the primary cause why unemployment has been a rampant issue on our
society nowadays. The reason behind this is that the produced course of
graduates is not apt to the needs and demands of the society, or it could also
be that these graduates are not properly equipped with the prerequisite skills
needed by different sectors. This results to the graduates not having adequate
skills and competency to satisfy the industry’s needs and standards. It could
also be associated to the wrong choice of the students in choosing the right
course suitable for them that is highly caused by their unguided decisions.

According to Lee, S. & Chatfield, H. (n.d.), in the past 30 years,
higher education has transformed in many ways, becoming more competitive
(James, et al., 1999, from Lee, S. & Chatfield, H., n.d.), allowing high
school students experience a complex decision-making during college
enrollments. Choosing a college course can really be a struggle for some people
especially if they are not exactly sure what career they want to pursue. Back
then, choosing a college course or major was simple but now it is much more
complicated because there are a lot of varieties of college courses and
programs to choose from. This makes it a lot harder for them to decide on what
course to take. Given that there are now a lot of courses offered by
universities and colleges it might be a bit complicated to choose just one
(Perez, 2009).

Hence, due to this dilemma, the K-12 program of the Department of
Education was implemented to help students on their college preferences to
avoid misfit qualifications of graduates to the needed demand of industries.
This program is very helpful for students to nurture their skills and abilities
that must be taken into consideration in choosing their own career path and
equip them with the necessary knowledge and skills to succeed in it. This
program, will provide a curriculum that will enable learners to acquire
specialized skills and competencies to improve their employee readiness,
whether they decide to take a college course or not (Hernandez, 2015).

As for those who know exactly what they wish to take they have an
advantage compared to those who don’t. Research shows that the choices made by
middle school students make a strong bearing on their educational career
development in the future. But in order for them to really achieve and succeed
in their chosen career path, proper guidance and counseling should be given to
the student in choosing the right college course suitable for the student’s
interest, aptitudes, personality, and intelligence. Helping students choose
their career can possibly be done by investing career plans within the
curriculum to allow students make right decisions in what course to take in
college. It is also necessary for the school administration and parents to work
collaboratively to make better career plans for every student.  

Since it is said that high employment rate is associated to misfit
courses of college students, the researchers will conduct a study that would
acquaint Senior High School students on what course should they take that is
appropriate in pursuing their tertiary education. Moreover, it is necessary to
investigate the factors that might influence their college course preference to
help them in their decision-making. The researchers also aim to determine the
common mistakes and inevitable dilemmas that students encounter in choosing a
college course, and propose ways on how each mistake can be avoided and how
problem can be addressed.

 

Statement of the Problem

The purpose of this analysis is to determine and
scrutinize the general factors that affect the college course preference of
senior high school students from Saint Joseph School to educate students of the
aspects they need to consider in choosing the right college
course appropriate for them.

Research findings about this issue will be gathered
through different methodologies. And these questions are ought to be answered
throughout the research process:

1.   
What are the factors that affect Senior High School
students’ decision in choosing their college courses?

1.1.  Do parents dictate to their children what course must they choose?

1.2.  Does financial stability affect student’s course preference?

1.3.  Do students consider the practicality of the course?

1.4.  Does “bandwagon effect” influence much the students’ course preference?

1.5.  Are students concerned with the country’s labor demands in choosing
their courses?

1.6.  Are there more factors that affect their college course preference?

2.   
How do these factors either positively or
negatively affect the decisions made by senior high school students in choosing
their college courses?

3.   
How do students cope with these unavoidable factors
that affect their college course preferences?

4.   
What are the common mistakes of Senior High School
students in choosing their college course?

5.   
How can students mitigate these common mistakes in
choosing their college course?

 

Significance of the Study

The findings of this study determined and investigated
the general factors affecting Senior High School student’s college course
preference with the hope that findings would prove useful to the following:

Senior High School Students. This study will directly benefit the students, particularly
the senior high school students. They will be acquainted with the different
aspects affecting their college course preference. This will allow them to be
more aware of their the factors they need to consider, especially their
interests, in choosing their college course, and be  more certain of what they want to become in
the near future.

            Parents. This research will serve their
guide in counseling their children regarding their college course preference.
This aims to help the parents comprehend their child’s academic endeavors. They
would also be acquainted to work and support the teachers in giving assistance
to their children. Moreover, they will be enlightened that their roles have a
great impact in fostering decision making towards the students’ future and in
setting their future.

Administrators. This study will enable them to work with the
educators in assisting students in choosing their appropriate career paths that
they are about to take. It will also help them in conducting workshops and
seminars in alignment with decision making.

Teachers. The research findings will be beneficial to educators
in giving appropriate recommendations regarding the students’ abilities. This
may help them understand the great role they will play in motivating students
in picking a goal cause for a better future.

 

Scope & Delimitation of the Study

This study aims to determine and analyze the factors
that affect senior high school students’ decisions in choosing a college
course. This study was limited only to currently enrolled senior high school
students, both Grade 11 and 12 of Saint Joseph School and was conducted during
the last two months of the academic year 2017-2018. The researchers chose 15
students purposively to be interviewed and to answer the questionnaires.

            The
study investigated on the factors that can possibly affect the students’
college course preference and come up with recommendations that will help these
students make the right choice. This study also determined and investigated on
the inevitable problems that these students might encounter in the process of
deciding and used it to probe and come up with ways on how students can cope
and overcome these problems.

            The
study also included certain variables such as financial capability of the
student’s family, student’s academic performance, and student’s reasons that
made them choose a college course. These variables were used to determine the
effects of the factors to the decision of the students regarding their college
course.

 

Definition of Terms

The following keywords are conceptually and operationally
defined for better understanding of the readers and clarity in the context of
the research.

Aptitude. An
aptitude is a potential for success in an area after undergoing some training.
(Pascual, 2014)

Academic
Progress. This is the measure of an individual’s academic
advancement when it comes to his commitment to school. (Alba et al., 2010)

Bandwagon.
This is a cause or party that attracts increasing number of adherents.
(Alba et al., 2010)

Career
Planning. This is an ongoing process that can help an individual
manage his/her learning and development. (Career Centre, 2017)

College
Course Decision-Making. This refers to the critical state in which young
individuals decide which paths are they are in to. (Alba et al., 2010)

Financial
Stability.  It is the
capacity of which each household has a monetary balance. (Alba et al., 2010)

Grade
Point Average. It is the weighted average grade of students and is
used by universities as a mode of reference for admission. (Alba et al., 2010)

Learning Environment. It refers to
the diverse physical locations, contexts, and cultures in which students learn.
(The Glossary of Educational Reform, 2014)

Misfit.
This pertains to a person who is poorly adapted to a situation or
environment. (Meriam-Webster, 2017)

Self-assessment.
It is a way to enhance self-understanding, regarding one’s skills,
values, and interests. (Career Development Office, n.d.)

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