Factors affecting course preferences of first year Engineering and Architecture of Saint Joseph Institute of Technology, Butuan City (Chapter 1)

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Chapter 1
THE PROBLEM AND ITS SCOPE

Introduction
Saint Joseph Institute of Technology, Butuan City offers six (6) programs in College of Engineering and Architecture, the Electronics and Communication Engineering (ECE), Mechanical Engineering (ME), Civil Engineering (CE), Electrical Engineering (EE), Computer Engineering (CpE) and the Architecture. These are the option from which the first year students who are interested in the field of Engineering and Architecture can select from.

Even before admission to college, students underwent several examinations to assess themselves as to what course that best suit to their skills and intellect. One of the said examination that have always been a major basis is the National Career Assessment Examination(NCAE) which helps the students decide to what course they are going to take. Another is the Entrance Examination which is administered by the Saint Joseph Institute of Technology to the freshmen to give additional information with their capacity. Various examination and various factors influence their decision towards their current courses.

Students’ decisions with regard to course preferences are affected by various factors. Guist and Hagg (1998) stated that each student has unique personality with special drives and abilities. These drives affect their motivation to exert energy to decide. Decision-making opens to the portal for student to assess his/her liabilities and assets and how he or she would want to use them. It is necessary to examine individual decisions in the context of a set of need, preferences an individual has and values they seek.

In the realm of education, students serve as one of the most important element which reflects the schools’ performance through excellence. In connection, they are given freedom to choose the course that suit to their abilities, skills and interest. Decision-making plays a vital role in choosing the preferred course. Their decisions are affected by various factors.

With these mind, the researchers of this study decided to make an investigation that would determine the factors that affect the first Year College of Engineering and Architecture students of Saint Joseph Institute of Technology, Butuan City in their course preferences.

Review of Related Literature and Studies
Foreign Literature
A. Concepts on Decision-Making
Decision making can be regarded as the mental processes (cognitive process) resulting in the selection of a course of action among several alternative scenarios. Every decision making process produces a final choice. The output can be an action or an opinion of choice. Nightingale (2007), author of Think Smart, Act Smart, states that “we simply decide without thinking much about the decision process”. In a controlled environment, such as a classroom, instructors encourage students to weigh pros and cons before making a decision.

B. Career Education
The late grown and the crucial exploration stages are subdivided by Gieberg Et.al into three stages: the fantasy sub stage (Roughly 6-13), which contains no elements of self-assessment and no consideration of reality constraints, the tentative sub stage (Roughly 13-18), in which the adolescence moves from a primary concern with interest to a greater concern with his capacities and subsequently his values and begin to relate these various aspects of his self-concept to his perception on the working world, and the realistic sub stage (early childhood), in which individual start to make a choices at first in an exploratory way, and then gradually crystallizing his chosen occupation.

Local Literature
According to Santamaria (2000), in the process of the career planning the first step in knowing yourself or self-assessment of the factors that affects our choices and decision. These factors are: Aptitude, Interest, Personality, Needs, Values and Skills.

Related Studies
Foreign Studies
Marom Et.al (2003) conducted a study about...
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