Title page for ETD etd-0320103-135616


Type of Document Dissertation
Author Feduccia, Mary D.
Author's Email Address mfeducc@lsu.edu
URN etd-0320103-135616
Title Career Counseling for College Students: The Influence of a Computer-Assisted Career Decision-Making Program on the Stability of College Major Selection at a Research-Extensive University
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Vocational Education
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Michael F. Burnett Committee Chair
Geraldine Holmes Committee Member
Margo Abadie Committee Member
Sharon Naquin Committee Member
Eugene Kennedy Dean's Representative
Keywords
  • undecided college students
  • career indecision
  • internet-based career assessments
  • career strategies
  • career technology
  • career development
  • college major choice
Date of Defense 2003-03-14
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
The primary purpose of this study was to determine the influence of Career Discovery I, the first module in a computer-assisted program for career decision-making, on the stability of the choice of college majors. This study sought to determine whether any differences existed in the stability of college majors between students who entered a Research-Extensive University with undeclared majors, used Career Discovery I, and declared a major by the end of the first semester of enrollment and students who entered the same University with declared majors and did not use Career Discovery I during the investigation. In addition, the study compared students who were undecided to those with declared majors on selected personal and academic characteristics to determine their impact on the stability of college major/career choices. Finally, the study sought to determine if a model exists which explains a significant portion of the variance in the stability of college major from selected demographic and academic factors.

The target population for this study was all first semester freshmen enrolled in research-extensive universities in the southern portion of the United States. The accessible population was first semester freshmen in University Center for Freshman Year at the University at which the study was conducted. Through stratified random sampling procedures, a sample of 300 freshmen who entered the University with declared majors and did not use Career Discovery I was compared with a sample of 300 freshmen who entered as undecided, used Career Discovery I, and declared a major by December 2000.

Findings were that students who entered the University as undecided about majors and used the program had a higher rate of retention than students who entered as decided and did not use the program. Additionally, the use of Career Discovery I entered both the discriminant and regression models as a factor that had a significant influence on whether or not students changed majors as well as in the number of times students changed majors. The findings of this study support the use of Career Discovery I as an effective use of Web-based career technology.

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