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{ Evaluating the effects of a career exploration unit in a first-year experience course MIMSAC 2014.

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Presentation on theme: "{ Evaluating the effects of a career exploration unit in a first-year experience course MIMSAC 2014."— Presentation transcript:

1 { Evaluating the effects of a career exploration unit in a first-year experience course MIMSAC 2014

2  Participants will learn:  Career-related factors linked to retention/persistence.  Development of a career exploration unit in the ACAD 1100 course (first-year experience course) at the University of Memphis  Retention/persistence outcomes for 715 freshmen students who completed the ACAD 1100 Career Exploration Unit during the Fall 2010 semester. Learning Objectives

3  Advising and Helping  Assessment, Evaluation, and Research  Student Learning and Development Related Competencies

4  Astin (1975) ; Levitz and Noel (1985)  Students who delayed decisions on academic majors and career goals were more likely not to complete a degree.  Gray (2006)  Fewer than 40% of students will earn a college degree in four years and less than 60% will earn a degree in six years.  Lewallen (1993)  National study concluded that declared or undeclared status was not a predictor of retention. Brief Literature Review

5  Lounsbury, Saudargas, and Gibson (2004)  Suggested that activities to improve retention should include programs that focus on helping students to increase their personal sense of identity, career decidedness, and emotional stability.  Upcraft, Finney, and Garland (1984)  Early declarers may be pushed into an unsuitable choice by parents, may choose a popular major/career with little understanding of it, or may choose a random major simply to relieve anxiety. Brief Literature Review

6  Cuseo (2002)  Hypothesized that an academic decision-making and career planning program delivered proactively in a first-year experience course might:  Produce satisfaction and retention benefits for students and institutions;  Increase the likelihood that students will discover meaningful and fulfilling academic and career paths. Brief Literature Review

7  Course Purpose:  Help students develop academic skills to be successful at the university.  Familiarize students with resources that can assist them in being academically successful.  Career Exploration Unit:  Two class periods;  Engage students in basic career assessment;  Complete a capstone project focused on identifying an academic major and career path. ACAD Career Unit

8  Are students able to identify an academic major of interest after completing the ACAD career exploration unit?  Does a relationship exist between level of confidence in identified academic major and retention over a three year period for those students who identified a major during the career exploration unit? Research Questions

9  ACAD Career Learning Assessment (F10)  Question 2a: Have you determined a major?  Question 6a: How confident are you that you selected the best major based on your personality, interests, values, skills, and academic abilities? Materials

10 Methods  Archival data  Fall 2010 cohort  1637 freshman students enrolled in ACAD 1100 (67%) (F10)  915 responses received (56%) (F10)  715 usable responses  Enrollment data from Institutional Research

11  Chi Square Goodness of Fit Analysis: Were students equally distributed between the categories Identified a major; Did not identify a major?  3x4 Chi Square for n Cases: Was there an association between level of confidence in identified major and retention to subsequent years?  Student responses divided into three groups: No confidence/below average confidence, average confidence, above average/extensive confidence. Methods

12 Results  591 of 715 students in sample retained to sophomore year (82.66%).  Retained: Chi Square Goodness of Fit significant at.001, χ 2 (1, n = 591) = , p <.05.  Non-retained: Also significant at.001, χ 2 (1, n = 124) = 39, p <.05.  Appears to be a strong relationship between completion of ACAD Career Unit and ability to identify an academic major.

13  Association between level of confidence in academic major selection and retention to the second, third, and fourth years was non- significant, χ 2 (6, n = 591) = 10.48, p <.05. Results

14  Appears to counter, in part, Cuseo’s (2002) hypothesis about the retention-related benefits of career and academic planning during a first year experience course.  Appears to counter, in part, Astin ‘s(1975) ; Levitz and Noel’s (1985) conclusion that undeclared status is associated with attrition.  Appears to support Lewallan’s (1993) conclusion that declared or undeclared status is not a predictor of retention.  May be related to Upcraft’s (1984) conclusion that early deciders may be pushed to inappropriate choices by others, may choose a popular major, or may choose a random major. More research needed to address this hypothesis. Implications

15  40% of first-time, full-time, degree seeking freshmen were first generation students in F10.  These first generation students had a one year retention rate of 75.50%.  Retention rate dropped to 56.20% for the third year and 53% for the fourth year.  First generation students are at risk for dropping out of the University. Mitigating Factors

16  Financial factors may play a significant role  1224 students in the F10 cohort planned to work while in school while 377 did not.  2328 (unduplicated) in the F10 cohort received some type of financial assistance.  Internal research conducted by the University suggests that most students leave the university due to financial and work related issues.  Those who leave after completing 90+ hours cite financial and psychosocial issues as factors, according to an internal pilot study. Mitigating Factors

17  2010 cohort did not appear to differ demographically from other groups of entering freshmen at the university.  Limitation of this research includes that only one cohort (2010) was studied.  Additional research needed to compare 2010 cohort group to other cohort groups. Conclusion

18 Questions and Discussion

19 Clay Woemmel, M.S. Associate Director, Career Services The University of Memphis 400 John S. Wilder Tower Memphis, TN Contact

20 1.To use Grupio App: a.Click on Schedule b.Find session c.Click on (Name of Session) Survey d.Complete Survey 2.To use URL: 3.If no mobile device or prefer to wait, fill out conference evaluation which will arrive in your inbox by Tuesday! Please evaluate the session! Takes less than two minutes to do three question evaluation!


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