Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Examining Career-based Learning Partnerships in Support of Self-authored Career Decision-making
by Henley, Paige L., M.S., California State University, Long Beach, 2019, 175; 13856826
Abstract (Summary)

The ability to make successful career decisions while enrolled in college represents one of the most important outcomes for higher education. Using Baxter Magolda’s theory of self-authorship and Baxter Magolda’s Learning Partnership Model, this case study examined the process by which an upper-division psychology career course supports students toward internally motivated career decision-making and looked at the impact of learning partnerships within the structure of a nontraditional online course. A mixed-methods design was used and data collection included 264 quantitative pre-post student surveys using the Career Decision-Making Survey–Self Authorship (CDMS–SA), 240 open-ended student surveys, and 7 interviews with faculty and course assistants. A paired-samples t-test showed a statistically significant decrease in externally motivated decisions (t[263]=-21.72, p<.001) and indicated that this change from external to internal decision-making may be cognitively driven (t[263]=3.49, p<0.001). Qualitative results showed that students were validated as capable learners, had their experiences situated in the learning, and experienced a mutual construction of knowledge through both the design, topic and structure of the course as well as through interactions with course assistants. Evidence of these outcomes included aspects like an internally committed career decision, an application of the material toward attaining academic and career goals, an increase in knowledge about careers and graduate school, an increase in confidence in students’ own abilities to pursue a career path, and an increase in optimism and motivation for their futures. Implications for these findings support the use of career courses as a developmentally effective intervention for self-authored decision-making.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Ortiz, Anna
Commitee: Olson, Avery, Maxfield, Lisa
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Educational Leadership
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 81/1(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Higher education
Keywords: Career course, Career decision-making, Learning partnership model, Self-authorship
Publication Number: 13856826
ISBN: 9781085560962
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