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Differences in Career Development Among First-Year Students: A Proposed Typology for Intervention Planning

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Most universities provide career development services to their students. Research on the effectiveness of these services in promoting retention and graduation is minimal and focused on global outcomes rather than differences among participants. Research to date suggests that between three and nine clusters (groups) of individuals would benefit from customized career development interventions (Brown & Krane, 2000). This study uses multiple measures to examine and organize the range of career decision-making strengths and challenges of first-year college students. The findings indicate that eight clusters of first-year students with discrete patterns of strengths and challenges can be identified. Moreover, while academic, affective, career, gender, and personality variables significantly distinguished the clusters, age, race/ethnicity, and socioeconomic status did not. Understanding the range of differences among first-year students will facilitate increased sophistication in program planning and research to enhance student retention and graduation.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2017

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition is a semiannual refereed journal providing current research on the first college year and other significant student transitions. The primary purpose of the Journal is to disseminate empirical research findings on student transition issues that inform practice in all sectors of postsecondary education, such as explorations into the academic, personal, and social experiences (including outcomes related to success, learning, and development) of students at a range of transition points throughout the college years; transition issues unique to specific populations (e.g., non-traditional, traditional, historically underrepresented students, transfer students, commuters, part-time students); and explorations of faculty development, curriculum, and pedagogical innovations connected to college transitions.
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