Honors Theses

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Degree Name



Political Science and Criminal Justice

Faculty Mentor

Phillip Habel


Colina Schultze and Scott Liebertz


This project will investigate the influence of descriptive representation as it pertains to efficacy in a democratic system. It is possible that policy outputs are heavily dependent upon motivations of an elected official, even more so than the anticipated or predictable effects of an ideological stance. We expect that, following the juxtaposition of a state legislator’s voting records with his or her biographical data, these claims will be supported by data related to higher education and its funding allocations. We are especially interested in the specific relationship between the educational background of state legislators, and whether or not a correlation exists with regard to their respective legislature’s spending on higher education. This research question will also prove to involve measures of professionalization for state representatives and senators. Such a dichotomy is essential to effective representation of a legislator’s constituency, seeing as legislatures with higher professionalization scores are equipped with better resources. However, the attainment of a bachelor’s degree is much more accessible at public institutions for most Americans.


An additional title page was added to the thesis document for better readability because the scan of the original title page was blurry.