Enhancing Students' Loyalty to the Information Systems Major

Enhancing Students' Loyalty to the Information Systems Major

D. Scott Hunsinger (Appalachian State University, USA), Judy Land (North Carolina Central University, USA) and Charlie C. Chen (Appalachian State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/jicte.2010091107
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Abstract

Many colleges and universities face the problem of recruiting and retaining students in information systems related majors. The authors’ study proposes a model to identify the primary factors leading to the retention of existing Computer Information Systems (CIS) majors. They identify four factors leading to student intention to remain a CIS major or to refer others to become a CIS major: (1) expectations, (2) perceived service quality, (3) satisfaction, and (4) regret. They discover that certain factors play a significant role in influencing a student’s intention to remain a CIS major and/or to encourage others to major in CIS. By determining which factors impact students’ intentions to remain a CIS major and to encourage others to major in CIS, we can focus our resources on these areas instead of spending time and money on those services which are not influential.
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Literature Review

A customer-oriented approach to students can increase their satisfaction with college life (DeShields Jr., Kara, & Kaynak, 2005). Students are internal customers, laborers, users, and products of the learning process (Sirvanci, 1996). Students need to pursue their own learning interests and enjoy the learning process. Aside from personal motivations of pursuing a discipline, a student’s experience with academic, professional and extracurricular services provided by a major has a strong influence on increasing student satisfaction, thereby decreasing attrition rates. These experiences are particularly important for computer-related majors. The pattern of high attrition in computer-related majors has become a norm; drop rates of these majors are as high as 30% to 40% (Beaubouef & Mason, 2005).

Our study integrates research from several areas to examine the primary factors leading to students’ satisfaction with the CIS major. A clear understanding of these factors can help us better understand how to alter today’s trend of a continuous decrease in computer-related majors. The ability of doing so can create a win-win situation for several stakeholders, including IS students, employers, instructors, and academic institutions who have a growing need for IS talents. We identify four factors leading to student intention to remain a CIS major or to refer others to become a CIS major: (1) expectations, (2) perceived service quality, (3) satisfaction, and (4) regret. The following section will examine the causal relationships between these theoretical constructs and learn which relationships are useful at increasing student’s loyalty to CIS major.

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