Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Higher Education


Educational Leadership

First Committee Member

Mario Martinez, Chair

Second Committee Member

Bob Ackerman

Third Committee Member

Vicki Rosser

Graduate Faculty Representative

Carole Anne Kardash

Number of Pages



College and university administrators have increased the use of measurements of student engagement to gauge the levels on their campuses. However, little research measures student engagement levels among different academic environments or different academic majors. Some research has been done that used Holland's theory of person/environment fit, and accompanying Hexagonal model, as a means to compare differences among academic environments. However, the validity of the assumptions that the model is based on has not been examined, nor the validity of the grouping of academic majors into environments.

The data set used for this study is the 2005 National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE). Multivariate analysis of six academic environments, comprised of 25 academic majors, found mixed results concerning the validity of Holland's hexagonal model and its use as a categorization to compare academic environments. Cluster analysis of 25 academic majors revealed mixed results concerning the grouping of majors into Holland assigned academic environments.


Academic environments; College campuses; College majors; College students; Holland's theory; Student engagement; Universities and colleges


Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Higher Education Administration