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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Effectiveness of a mini course career education program Hardie, Margaret Jean

Abstract

The purpose of this research was to assess the effect of a mini-career education program on students' career maturity as measured by Crites Career Maturity Inventory (CMI) Competence test, using a pretest/posttest design. The relationship of sex, grade point average (GPA), academic/vocational streaming (curriculum), and Career Maturity Inventory Attitude Scale scores with scores obtained on the Career Maturity Inventory Competence subtests was analyzed. The location chosen for this study was a medium-sized city in the Interior of British Columbia. The sample consisted of ninety-five senior high school students from one of three local senior secondary schools. Fifty-one students were in the experimental group, the remainder (44) formed the control group. The entire sample was administered both the Crites Career Maturity Inventory Attitude Scale and the five Competence subtests as a pretest. Only the five Competence subtests were given as a posttest. A review of the literature indicates that, although career education is being implemented, there is a continuing need to investigate what format career education should take to be most productive for the individual and for society. The career program was developed, in part, to be similar in content to career education materials available to schools in B.C. The theoretical background included Super's ideal/real occupational self concept theory, and emphasis was placed on personal assessment of abilities, interest, and experiences related to the world of work. There are a variety of tests available to measure the effectiveness of a career education program. Crites Career Maturity Inventory, in a study of six career development tests (Westbrook, 1974), appeared to encompass cognitive, psychomotor, and affective domains of career maturity more completely than did other tests. The Career Maturity Inventory Competence subtests relate to specific topics, eg. planning, knowing about jobs, which provides a framework for assessing areas of students' strength and weakness. Three objectives of this study were as follows: a) to compare the level of career maturity, using adjusted posttest mean scores, of a group of students receiving instruction (experimental group) with a similar group of students not receiving instruction (control group); b) to compare pretest and posttest scores, of the experimental group only, to determine if there was a statistically significant change following treatment (career education); c) to investigate whether sex, grade point average, academic/vocational streaming, and Career Maturity Inventory Attitude Scale scores correlated with the career maturity level of the students. The analysis of results showed there was a statistically significant increase between pretest and posttest mean scores of the experimental and control groups (using adjusted posttest scores) for the Career Maturity Inventory subtests "Knowing Yourself" and "Knowing About Jobs". When comparing pretest mean scores and posttest mean scores of the students in the experimental group only, "Knowing About Jobs" was the only one of the five subtests to register a statistically significant gain. The individual items were analyzed to determine whether one item, or group of items, contributed specifically to the attained scores, however this did not appear to be the case. There was a positive relationship (Spearman r = .30) between all Competence subtests and the scores obtained on the Attitude Scale. Grade point average correlated positively (r = .31) with all of the Career Maturity Inventory subtests, except "Problem Solving"; the type of program (curriculum) and career maturity scores showed statistically significant correlation (Pearson point biserial r = .22) for the subtests "Knowing Yourself" and "Choosing a Job" and there was no statistically significant correlation observed between sex and scores on the Career Maturity Inventory subtests. The relationships studied could suggest that grade point average and Attitude Scale scores may be used as predictors of students' career maturity levels, the higher the scores, the greater the career maturity level. Crites has indicated that gains can be expected on the Career Maturity Inventory Competence subtests following career education. Although the Career Maturity Inventory subtest "Problem Solving" could stand further research, it would seem that a mini, or short, career program of the nature implemented has limited usefulness in increasing the career maturity level of students. Future recommendations include lengthening the time of career programs, and enriching the content presented in this study.

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