Date of Award


Publication Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name




First Advisor

Page, Stewart,


Psychology, Social.




There is debate being waged in universities over the relative merits of a career-oriented approach to university education versus that of a more traditional, liberal arts approach to university education. Previous researchers (e.g., Eison, Pollio, & Milton, 1986; Katchadourian & Boli, 1985) have conceptualized students' academic approach to university as two orthogonal dimensions: learning/intellectual orientation and grade/career orientation. Four categories of educational orientation have been derived from these two dimensions: (1) high learning-orientation/low grade-orientation; (2) low learning-orientation/high grade-orientation; (3) low learning- and grade-orientation; and (4) high learning- and grade-orientation. The present study examined how these four categories of educational orientation may be related to university and career expectations, perceptions of university, life values, and academic and career outcomes. The responses of 214 subjects (first-year undergraduates, senior undergraduates and university alumni), were analyzed on the basis of subject group and educational orientation. Subject group differences indicated that first-year undergraduates were more grade/career-oriented, less learning-oriented, had lower grades, were the least satisfied with university, and had the highest, most positive, career expectations when compared to senior undergraduates and alumni. Analyses of educational orientation differences revealed that high learning-oriented individuals reported the highest grades, the highest university satisfaction, and the highest expected/actual career satisfaction and outcomes when compared to individuals in the other educational orientation categories. High grade-oriented individuals reported the lowest grades, the lowest university satisfaction, and had lower career expectations and outcomes, when compared to high learning-oriented individuals. Subjects who were low on both educational orientation dimensions reported lower university satisfaction, lower expected/actual career satisfaction and career outcomes, but reported moderately high university grades when compared to learning-oriented individuals. Lastly, subjects who were high on both educational orientation dimensions reported expectations and goals that were a combination of both learning-oriented individuals and grade-oriented individuals; however, these individuals were not as academically and vocationally successful as the high learning-oriented individuals. Results indicate that encouraging students to take a more learning-oriented approach to university education may be more conducive to learning and lead to higher career success and satisfaction. Recommendations are presented on how counselors and teachers in high school and university can encourage students to adopt a more learning-oriented approach to university education.Dept. of Psychology. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis1994 .A428. Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 56-11, Section: B, page: 6457. Adviser: Stewart Page. Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1994.