An Examination Of A Career And Awareness Program and the Effects on Fifth Grade Students
Type of DegreeDissertation
Leadership and Technology
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Career and educational choices and decisions impact the livelihood and life satisfaction of adults on a daily basis. Students in middle school are required to make critical decisions which will set the stage for their future educational and career choices. This study examined the use of an eight month college and career awareness program designed to influence the ideas and beliefs of fifth grade students about college and careers. In an effort to determine the effectiveness of this type of learning experience, the following questions were investigated: (1) What is the relationship between a college and career awareness program and a participant’s attitude toward college? (2) What is the relationship between a college and career awareness program and a participant’s awareness of career values and planning? and (3) What is the relationship between a college and career awareness program and a participant’s self-concept? These research questions were investigated using pre-existing data from a pre- and post-survey administered to 349 fifth grade students. Independent sample statistical analysis was conducted to determine the impact of the intervention. The findings supported the hypothesis which asked if student’s attitudes toward college will improve following a college and career awareness program. The pre- and post-test groups mean scores indicated that the participant’s attitudes toward college, careers and self-concept were impacted by the intervention program treatment. The data analysis indicated that although much of the participant’s opinions of preferred occupations, career values and attitudes towards favorite subjects and school were formulated prior to the treatment, positive changes were indicated. The most significant change at an alpha level of .05 was found in regard to the student’s awareness of college. It is recommended that future research include the use of instruments with construct reliability. In addition, further studies should consider differences in socio-economic, gender factors, parental influences and teaching styles. The program intervention is highly recommended for university and school system partnerships. The experiential learning and activities involving trips to a university campus is considered a strong addition to traditional career awareness program in elementary schools.