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Highlights from School-Based Career Development: A Synthesis of the Literature Katherine L. Hughes & Melinda Mechur Karp Institute on Education and the.

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Presentation on theme: "Highlights from School-Based Career Development: A Synthesis of the Literature Katherine L. Hughes & Melinda Mechur Karp Institute on Education and the."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Highlights from School-Based Career Development: A Synthesis of the Literature Katherine L. Hughes & Melinda Mechur Karp Institute on Education and the Economy Teachers College, Columbia University

3 Research Questions 1998 Perkins Amendments support career guidance and academic counseling Current emphasis on evidence-based education What types of career guidance and academic counseling interventions exist, and what does the research say about their value?

4 Background Guidance and counseling professions date from turn of 20 th century; had vocational focus Later expansion of counseling role to encompass the social and personal School-based counselors now see their role primarily as helping students with their academic achievement Ideally, guidance now viewed as a school-level program, not an individual-level service

5 Methodology of the Study Review of over 50 studies published from 1983 forward Focus on studies that report program outputs or outcomes Most studies included comparison groups, or were pre-/post- design, or a combination

6 Findings – Divided literature into five categories: Meta-Analyses Comprehensive Guidance Programs Career Courses Counseling Interventions Computer-Assisted Career Guidance

7 Meta-Analyses Two meta-analyses found that career guidance interventions have a positive, though moderate, effect Interventions positively influenced subjects career decision-making, understanding of careers and career-related adjustment Guidance activities directed at junior high school students had the largest effects Individual-level counseling most effective More focused interventions were most effective

8 Comprehensive Guidance Programs Students in schools with more fully- implemented comprehensive guidance programs reported better grades, being better- prepared for their futures, having more college and career information, feeling safer in school, having better relationships with their teachers, believing their education was more relevant, and being more satisfied with the quality of their education Cant assume causality

9 Career Courses Several studies showed positive results for students Career exploration courses, the Real Game, and career decision-making courses positively affected students knowledge of work and occupations, career orientation, career planning, and career decision- making skills A study of a middle-school career course found a positive impact on students math and science grades; students were also more likely to enroll in higher-level math and science courses in high school

10 Counseling Interventions Five studies found positive effects of academic advising/planning: the amount of time students spent with counselors or teachers in planning their high school program was related to higher math motivation, higher test scores, and advanced math and science course-taking

11 Computer-Assisted Career Guidance Studies linked the use of CHOICES and DISCOVER to greater career decision- making commitment, gains in career maturity, and increases in levels of career decidedness

12 Limitations Most studies rely on self-report Many studies rely on pre-/post- psychological inventories Many interventions are low-dosage and effects are possibly short-term Interventions and research focus on changes in students knowledge and attitudes; dont follow up to determine behavioral change

13 Recommendations Invest in career guidance and academic counseling in middle schools Explore relationships between guidance interventions and positive student behaviors


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