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Title:
Online delivery of career choice interventions preferences of first-year students in higher education
Physical Description:
Book
Language:
English
Creator:
Venable, Melissa
Publisher:
University of South Florida
Place of Publication:
Tampa, Fla
Publication Date:

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Student services
Career counseling
Needs analysis
Millennial students
Technology ntegration
Distance education
Dissertations, Academic -- Instructional Technology -- Doctoral -- USF   ( lcsh )
Genre:
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )

Notes

Abstract:
ABSTRACT: Career services professionals are increasingly involved in decisions regarding the use of technology to perform their jobs. The millennial generation, increasingly enrolling in distance education, is characterized as being comfortable with technology, expecting efficient services, and valuing convenience. Understanding the technology-related preferences of today's students is fundamental for those planning and developing student career services. Brown and Ryan Krane (2000) identified five critical interventions important to career decision-making: (a) Written Exercises, (b) Individualized Interpretations and Feedback, (c) Information on the World of Work, (d) Modeling, and (e) Attention to Building Support.^ This study investigated the following questions: (1) what are first-year students' preferences for the delivery method of critical career choice interventions and (2) to what extent are there differences in first-year students' preferences for delivery method based on their prior experience. Specific areas of prior experience included online courses, career counseling, and technology.Participants included 318 undergraduate students enrolled in a two-credit first-year student seminar. A web-based survey was distributed to students via their instructors. Students selected e-mail most frequently as a preferred delivery method for career choice activities followed by in person delivery. Students were most interested in participating in activities related to Modeling and Information on the World of Work.^ They were least interested in participating in activities related to Attention to Building Support.Overall, participants reported a high level of previous experience with e-mail, Internet text chat, and Internet websites. Participants reported low levels of experience with discussion boards, podcasts, and virtual rooms. Participants also reported low levels of previous experience with online courses and career counseling.While no significant differences in preferences for delivery were found based on previous experience, a comparison of students' experiences and preferences did provide interesting information. E-mail is the only technology with which there were high levels of experience and preference. Students also reported high level of experience with text chat, but a low level of preference for text chat as a delivery mode for career choice activities.
Thesis:
Dissertation (Ph.D.)--University of South Florida, 2007.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references.
System Details:
System requirements: World Wide Web browser and PDF reader.
System Details:
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Melissa Venable.
General Note:
Title from PDF of title page.
General Note:
Document formatted into pages; contains 172 pages.
General Note:
Includes vita.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
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University of South Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 001944142
oclc - 231834850
usfldc doi - E14-SFE0002191
usfldc handle - e14.2191
System ID:
SFS0026509:00001


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Online Delivery of Career Choice Interventions: Preferences of First-Year Students in Higher Educat ion by Melissa Venable A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy Department of Secondary Education College of Education University of South Florida Major Professor: Ann E. Barron, Ed.D. Jeffrey D. Kromrey, Ph.D. James A. White, Ph.D. William H. Young, III, Ed.D. Date of Approval: October 25, 2007 Keywords: Student Services, Career Counseling, Need s Analysis, Millennial Students, Technology Integration, Distance Education 2007, Melissa Venable

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Dedication This dedication page seems like little recognition for people who have provided critical support to me during the long process of p ursuing an advanced degree. Thankfully, however, it presents the opportunity to put their names in print so that others will be able to appropriately recognize them for th eir efforts. Adam was there from start to finish providing all t he positive encouragement anyone could ever need to succeed. He took care of all the little details of life that made focusing on this endeavor a bit easier. Not the lea st of which were keeping me healthy – always finding the next race and reason to keep exe rcising, and keeping me fed – making sure I was eating well even after classes that ende d at 9:00pm. My father, Paul, and sister, Allison, played major roles of support. They offered assurance that life went on before, and would go on after this project was finished. They kept me focused on what should really be the priori ties of life. Dad, “the paper” is finished! My mother, Brenda, would have loved to ha ve seen this I think. She was always positive and encouraging about anything I chose to do, especially endeavors related to school, and I think she has been cheering me along even though she couldn’t be here. Thanks to my friends. There are too many to name he re, but a few who should be applauded: Shauna, Amy, Oma, and Ruth. These four i ndividuals listened relentlessly to ideas and concerns and helped out in any way they c ould. And last but not least, two small but special friends who kept me company durin g night after night of typing and always served as alarm clocks to get me going the n ext morning.

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Acknowledgements Many different individuals and groups helped to sh ape the development, focus, and execution of this study. My Major Professor, Dr Ann E. Barron, was a primary force not only in getting me moving, but also moving in t he right direction. She provided the encouragement to pursue a topic of particular inter est to me with the occasional and warranted reality check. Her mentorship is greatly appreciated. The members of my dissertation committee each play ed pivotal and specific roles in helping me, as a student, to fully experience th e process of pursing an advanced degree. Dr. Debra Osborn was gracious enough to agr ee to serve as the Chairperson for this process. She has also been an enthusiastic men tor in my professional development. The CORE group of consultants in the Research and M easurement department should have perhaps been first on this list. Ha Pha n provided crucial support. She was always patient, always positive, and always willing to teach me how to do something new. All over campus there were people always willing to listen to an idea, read a draft, and give me feedback. In the USF Career Center thes e people were Dr. Drema Howard and Eloise Grams. They welcomed me and my interest in technology to several Career Center projects and I learned a lot from working wi th them. In the University Experience First-Year program, Dr. Dave Campaigne was willing to help me reach the first-year students with this study. Lastly, I would like to e xpress my appreciation to USF’s firstyear students. Both those who were in my classes an d others who volunteered to participate in this research.

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i Table of Contents List of Tables..................................... ................................................... ..............................v List of Figures.................................... ................................................... ...........................viii ABSTRACT........................................... ................................................... .........................ix Chapter One: Introduction.......................... ................................................... .....................3 Problem............................................ ................................................... ...................4 Purpose............................................ ................................................... ....................5 Research Questions................................. ................................................... ............6 Rationale.......................................... ................................................... ....................6 Student Services................................... ................................................... ...6 Technology Integration............................. .................................................7 Distance Education Trends.......................... ..............................................8 Researcher’s Perspective........................... .................................................9 Summary............................................ ................................................... ...10 Conceptual Framework............................... ................................................... ......10 Definitions........................................ ................................................... .................11 Limitations and Threats............................ ................................................... .........14 Threats to Statistical Conclusion Validity......... ......................................14 Threats to Internal Validity....................... ...............................................14 Threats to Construct Validity...................... .............................................14 Threats to External Validity....................... ..............................................15 Delimitations...................................... ................................................... ...............15 Organization of the Study.......................... ................................................... ........16 Chapter Two: Literature Review..................... ................................................... ..............17 Student Preferences................................ ................................................... ...........18 Trends in Distance Enrollment...................... ..........................................18 Trends in Student Demographics/Characteristics..... ...............................19 Role of Student Preferences in Learning and Practic e.............................22 First-Year Students and Career Decision-Making..... ..........................................23 Developmental Approach............................. ...........................................23 Career Exploration................................. ..................................................2 4 Online Career Services............................. ................................................... .........25 Background......................................... ................................................... ..25 Advantages and Disadvantages....................... .........................................26 Integration Issues................................. ................................................... .29

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ii Strategic Planning................................. ................................................... 30 Needs Assessment................................... .................................................31 Training........................................... ................................................... ......32 Support............................................ ................................................... ......34 Blended Approach................................... ................................................34 Career Choice Interventions Framework.............. ...............................................36 Completing Written Exercises....................... ..........................................38 Providing Individual Interpretation and Feedback... ................................38 Informing About the World of Work.................. .....................................39 Modeling........................................... ................................................... ....40 Building Support................................... ................................................... 40 Technology Integration............................. ................................................... ........41 Asynchronous....................................... ................................................... 41 Synchronous........................................ ................................................... ..43 Summary............................................ ................................................... ...............44 Chapter Three: Method.............................. ................................................... ....................46 Design............................................. ................................................... ...................47 Participants....................................... ................................................... .................47 Data Collection.................................... ................................................... ..............48 Instrument......................................... ................................................... ....48 Procedure.......................................... ................................................... ....50 Limitations and Threats............................ ................................................... .........51 Threats to Statistical Conclusion Validity......... ......................................51 Threats to Internal Validity....................... ...............................................52 Threats to Construct Validity...................... .............................................52 Threats to External Validity....................... ..............................................52 Ethical Considerations............................. ................................................... ..........53 Pilot Study........................................ ................................................... .................53 Instrument Validation.............................. ................................................53 Pilot Test Data Collection......................... ...............................................57 Participants....................................... ................................................... .....57 Data Analysis...................................... ................................................... ..58 Pilot Test Results................................. ................................................... .64 Implications for the Larger Study.................. ..........................................70 Data Analysis...................................... ................................................... ..............74 Summary............................................ ................................................... ...............78 Chapter Four: Results.............................. ................................................... ......................80 Response........................................... ................................................... .................80 Demographic Data................................... ................................................... ..........81 Preferences for Delivery of Career Choice Intervent ions....................................84 Information on the World of Work................... .......................................86 Written Exercises.................................. ................................................... 88 Individual Interpretation and Feedback............. ......................................90

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iii Attention to Building Support...................... ............................................92 Modeling........................................... ................................................... ....94 Group Differences in Preferences for Delivery of Ca reer Choice Interventions.96 Previous Experience with Online Courses............ ...................................96 Previous Experience with Career Counseling......... ...............................100 Previous Experience with Technology................ ..................................103 E-mail............................................. ..................................103 Discussion Boards................................. ...........................106 Audio/Video Recordings or Podcasts................ ..............108 Websites, Wikis, and/or Blogs..................... ....................110 Internet Text Chat or Instant Messaging........... ...............112 Virtual Rooms with Real-time Interaction.......... .............115 Summary............................................ ................................................... .............117 Chapter Five: Conclusions.......................... ................................................... .................119 Overall Findings................................... ................................................... ...........120 Discussion of Preferences of Delivery for Career Ch oice Interventions...........120 Information on the World of Work................... .....................................121 Written Exercises.................................. .................................................12 2 Individual Interpretation and Feedback............. ....................................123 Attention to Building Support...................... ..........................................124 Modeling........................................... ................................................... ..126 Discussion of Previous Experience and Differences i n Delivery Preferences...127 Previous Experience with Online Courses............ .................................127 Previous Experience with Career Counseling......... ...............................128 Previous Experience with Technology................ ..................................129 E-mail............................................. ..................................130 Blackboard Discussion Boards...................... ..................131 Audio/Video Recordings or Podcasts................ ..............131 Internet Websites, Wikis, and/or Blogs............ ................131 Internet Text Chat or Instant Messaging........... ...............132 Virtual Rooms with Real-time Interaction.......... .............132 Implications for Practice.......................... ................................................... .......132 Resources and Planning............................. ............................................133 Specific Services and Technologies................. ................133 Needs Analysis.................................... .............................135 Marketing.......................................... ................................................... ..135 Counselor Training................................. ...............................................136 Lessons Learned.................................... ................................................... ..........136 Recommendations for Future Research................ .............................................138 Summary............................................ ................................................... .............140 References......................................... ................................................... ...........................143 APPENDICES......................................... ................................................... ....................151

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iv Appendix A: Recruitment E-Mail to Instructors and Students..........................151 Appendix B: Pilot Study Survey Instrument......... .............................................155 Appendix C: Pilot Study Demographic Data.......... ...........................................161 Appendix D: Survey Instrument..................... ................................................... .164 About the Author ................................................... ................................................End Page

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v List of Tables Table 1. Student Preferences for Delivery of Career Choice Activities...........................56 Table 2. Student Preferences for Specific Technolog ies................................................ ..56 Table 3. Summary of Eigenvalues and Average Eigenva lue............................................59 Table 4. Exploratory Factor Analysis Matrix of Stud ent Preference Items Using Promax Rotation Method............................ ................................................... ......60 Table 5. Summary of Student Preference Items within Each Factor................................62 Table 6. Correlation of Five Factors of Student Pre ference for Delivery of Career Choice Interventions.............................. ................................................... ............63 Table 7. Frequency of Responses for Student Prefere nces for Delivery of Career Choice Interventions.............................. ................................................... ............66 Table 8. Frequency of Responses for Student Prefere nces for Technologies...................67 Table 9. Pilot Study Previous Experience with Onlin e Courses.......................................68 Table 10. Pilot Study Chi-square Statistics........ ................................................... ............69 Table 11. Career Choice Interventions and Activitie s.................................................. ....71 Table 12. Demographic Characteristics of Survey Res pondents......................................82 Table 13. Demographic Characteristics of Population ................................................... ..84 Table 14. Delivery Preferences for Information on t he World of Work Explore How the Results of a Career Test Relate to Possible Careers................87 Table 15. Delivery Preferences for Information on t he World of Work Find Information About Current Job Openings....... ............................................87 Table 16. Delivery Preferences for Information on t he World of Work Learn About the Requirements Needed to Work in the Career I am Interested in Pursuing............................ ................................................... ............88

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vi Table 17. Delivery Preferences for Information on t he World of Work Research Typical Salaries Earned by those Working in My Career of Interest.......................................... ................................................... .....................88 Table 18. Delivery Preferences for Written Exercise s Learn More Abour How My Skills and Interests Relate to Various Career F ields......................................89 Table 19. Delivery Preferences for Written Exercise s Complete Worksheets to Identify My Work-related Skills................... ................................................... ....89 Table 20. Delivery Preferences for Written Exercise s Develop a List of Careers I May be Interested in Researching Further........ .................................................90 Table 21. Delivery Preferences for Written Exercise s Explore My Own Thoughts About My Career Choice................... ..................................................9 0 Table 22. Delivery Preferences for Individual Inter pretation and Feedback Get Feedback on Useful Strategies for Making Decis ions About My Career............................................ ................................................... ....................91 Table 23. Delivery Preferences for Individual Inter pretation and Feedback Interview Someone Working in a Job I am Interested in Pursuing......................91 Table 24. Delivery Preferences for Individual Inter pretation and Feedback Get Feedback on My Job Search Skills such as Resum e Writing and Interviewing...................................... ................................................... .................92 Table 25. Delivery Preferences for Attention to Bui lding Support Find Techniques for Including Others such as My Family and Friends in My Career Decision-making......................... ................................................... ....93 Table 26. Delivery Preferences for Attention to Bui lding Support Learn About How Culture and Gender Related Issues May Af fect My Career Choice..................................... ................................................... ...............93 Table 27. Delivery Preferences for Attention to Bui lding Support Find Out How My Career Advisor Decided on His/Her Caree r...................................94 Table 28. Delivery Preferences for Modeling Learn How to Network with Professionals in My Chosen Field.................. ................................................... ...95 Table 29. Delivery Preferences for Modeling Learn from Experienced Professionals Working in a Career I am Interested in Pursuing...........................95

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vii Table 30. Delivery Preferences for Modeling Recei ve Advice from Someone Working in a Career Field I am Interested in Pursu ing........................................96 Table 31. Previous Experience with Online Courses.. ................................................... ...97 Table 32. Chi-square Statistics Previous Experien ce with Online Courses...................99 Table 33. Previous Experience with Career Counselin g................................................10 0 Table 34. Chi-square Statistics Previous Experien ce with Career Counseling............102 Table 35. Previous Experience with E-mail.......... ................................................... ......104 Table 36. Chi-square Statistics Previous Experien ce with E-mail...............................105 Table 37. Previous Experience with Blackboard Discu ssion Boards.............................106 Table 38. Chi-square Statistics Previous Experien ce with Blackboard Discussion Boards................................. ................................................... ..........107 Table 39. Previous Experience with Audio/Video Reco rdings or Podcasts...................108 Table 40. Chi-square Statistics Previous Experien ce with Audio/Video Recordings or Podcasts............................ ................................................... .......109 Table 41. Previous Experience with Websites, Wikis, and/or Blogs..............................110 Table 42. Chi-square Statistics Previous Experien ce with Websites, Wikis, and/or Blogs...................................... ................................................... ..............111 Table 43. Previous Experience with Internet Text Ch at or Instant Messaging..............112 Table 44. Chi-square Statistics Previous Experien ce with Internet Text Chat or Instant Messaging.............................. ................................................... .........114 Table 45. Previous Experience with Virtual Rooms wi th Real-time Interaction...........115 Table 46. Chi-square Statistics Previous Experien ce with Virtual Rooms with Real-time Interaction............................. ................................................... ..........116

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viii List of Figures Figure 1. Frequencies of delivery mode selection – Information on the World of Work..................................... ................................................... ...........122 Figure 2. Frequencies of delivery mode selection – Written Exercises..........................123 Figure 3. Frequencies of delivery mode selection – Individual Interpretation and Feedback...................................... ................................................... .............124 Figure 4. Frequencies of delivery mode selection – Attention to Building Support......125 Figure 5. Frequencies of delivery mode selection – Modeling.......................................127 Figure 6. Overall technology preferences and experi ence of first-year students............130

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ix Online Delivery of Career Choice Interventions: Preferences of First-Year Students in Higher Educat ion Melissa Venable ABSTRACT Career services professionals are increasingly invo lved in decisions regarding the use of technology to perform their jobs. The millennial generation, increasingly enrolling in distance education, is characterized as being co mfortable with technology, expecting efficient services, and valuing convenience. Unders tanding the technology-related preferences of today’s students is fundamental for those planning and developing student career services. Brown and Ryan Krane (2000) identified five critic al interventions important to career decision-making: (a) Written Exercises, (b) Individualized Interpretations and Feedback, (c) Information on the World of Work, (d) Modeling, and (e) Attention to Building Support. This study investigated the follo wing questions: (1) what are first-year students’ preferences for the delivery method of cr itical career choice interventions and (2) to what extent are there differences in first-y ear students’ preferences for delivery method based on their prior experience. Specific ar eas of prior experience included online courses, career counseling, and technology. Participants included 318 undergraduate students en rolled in a two-credit firstyear student seminar. A web-based survey was distri buted to students via their

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2 instructors. Students selected e-mail most frequent ly as a preferred delivery method for career choice activities followed by in person deli very. Students were most interested in participating in activities related to Modeling and Information on the World of Work. They were least interested in participating in acti vities related to Attention to Building Support. Overall, participants reported a high level of prev ious experience with e-mail, Internet text chat, and Internet websites. Particip ants reported low levels of experience with discussion boards, podcasts, and virtual rooms Participants also reported low levels of previous experience with online courses and care er counseling. While no significant differences in preferences for delivery were found based on previous experience, a comparison of students’ expe riences and preferences did provide interesting information. E-mail is the only technol ogy with which there were high levels of experience and preference. Students also reporte d high level of experience with text chat, but a low level of preference for text chat a s a delivery mode for career choice activities.

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3 Chapter One Introduction This descriptive survey study explored the perspect ives of first-year university students regarding their preferences for online del ivery of five critical career choice interventions. These critical interventions are (a) Written Exercises, (b) Individualized Interpretations and Feedback, (c) Information on th e World of Work, (d) Modeling, and (e) Attention to Building Support. These elements a re traditionally offered through faceto-face interaction with career services profession als in an on-campus university Career Center. Data regarding student preferences were col lected, quantified, and analyzed using quantitative methods. Data were collected from first-year students at a h igher education institution with a Carnegie classification of “very high research ac tivity”. Students enrolled in the firstyear student seminar, SLS 1101 The University Exper ience, were surveyed using an online instrument. In addition to demographic infor mation, this instrument included quantitative items seeking student preferences for the delivery methods of five critical career choice interventions. Students were also ask ed to respond to items seeking their experience level with the specific delivery options presented, as well as previous experience with online courses and career counselin g. This research has implications for university caree r center directors and staff members who want to extend delivery of their servic es to students beyond what is currently offered at a physical location on campus. Technology support personnel and

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4 instructional designers, who are increasingly being called upon to assist student service professionals with the process of development and i ssues of integrating technology, may also benefit from the results of this study. In add ition, identification of the potential needs of students who are to be served informs the develo pment of student support services. Problem Professionals working in traditional on-campus Care er Centers are increasingly involved in decisions regarding the use of technolo gy to perform their jobs. Two trends are shaping a new direction in student services, wh ich is to broaden these services by developing web-based versions and offering them onl ine. First, the higher education environment is changing as a result of increased di stance enrollment. Students are choosing online classes for a number of reasons, wh ich means that fewer students are coming to campus. Second, the characteristics of co llege students are changing. The millennial generation, including those students bor n since 1982, prefers efficiency of services, use of technology, and instant gratificat ion (Howe & Strauss, 2003; Kleinglass, 2005; Lowery, 2004; Moneta, 2005). Providing servic es to students effectively may be enhanced by understanding what services and interac tions they prefer from a Career Center. Student support services are beginning to react to the preferences and expectations of millennial generation students (Low ery, 2004). Also labeled “information age learners,” these students are accustomed to mul titasking and view staying connected as a priority (Howell, Williams, & Lindsay, 2003). As Kleinglass asserts, “the technological expectations of students, though powe rful and uncomfortable at times, are forcing a new direction regarding the provision of services, communication, and sharing

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5 of information” (2005, p. 27). This “new direction” is a direction that is described further in chapter two. Purpose Understanding the technology-related preferences of students is fundamental to the planning and development of online student serv ices. These services are provided to students by their institutions to support their aca demic programs. The development and provision of student services in higher education r equires a significant commitment of effort and resources, which include time, funding, and provision of training and support for staff. This is also the case when planning for the conversion, adaptation, and development of alternative forms of service deliver y, such as web-based options. By initially focusing on the potential needs of audien ce members, instead of the resources available, websites for counseling and career cente rs can increase the likelihood that clients can find and use resources that are availab le (Sampson, Carr, Makela, Arkin, Minvielle & Vernick, 2003). As technology continues to advance and evolve, univ ersities need to find the most efficient and effective ways to leverage their reso urces to provide support services for students. Establishment of online career services support may be a way to not only further assist in this effort at the administration level, but also provide high quality alternative access to both traditional and non-trad itional students in an effort to help them realize greater academic achievement (Visser & Viss er, 2000).

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6 Research Questions This study seeks an understanding of first-year uni versity students’ perspective on the delivery of career services in an online environmen t. The following research questions were addressed: What are first-year university students’ preference s for the delivery method of critical career choice interventions? To what extent are there differences in first-year university students’ preferences for the delivery method of critical career choice i nterventions based on their prior experience with the following: (a) online courses; (b) career counseling; (c) email; (d) Blackboard discussion boards; (e) audio a nd video recordings or podcasts; (f) Internet websites, wikis, and blogs; (g) Internet text chat or instant messaging; and (h) virtual rooms? Rationale Student Services Little research has been conducted on what nonacade mic support, and more specifically career services support, is expected a nd preferred by students (Shivy & Koehly, 2002). Student support services, such as ad vising, career counseling, tutoring, mentoring, and library services, relate not only to academic achievement but also to retention (Cain & Lockee, 2002). This study builds on the previous research study of Shivy and Koehly (2002) that examined student preferences and expectations for c areer services in a higher education setting. Shivy and Koehly (2002) sought to map stud ents’ preferences and perceptions of career services through a customer service approach that explored which career services

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7 students preferred. Individual characteristics of s tudents were also taken into consideration and differences were found based on s tudents’ previous experience with career services. Shivy and Koehly (2002) found an o verall preference for off-campus interactions, such as internships. This was particu larly evident in students who had previous experience with career counseling. Partici pants also preferred assistance that involved working directly with a career services pr ofessional, or career counselor. The results of this study reported here not only im pact the decision to offer or not offer a particular service but also inform higher e ducation administrators of the students’ perceived need for specific services. This study al so included the component of online delivery, and was limited to the specific populatio n of first-year university students. Technology Integration Miller and McDaniels (2001) view technology as a re source that is available and practically unavoidable in this age of information. Career services professionals will increasingly be involved in decisions regarding the use of technology to perform their jobs. They ask “what will our constituents expect o f us if we are to continue to perform our jobs effectively” (Miller & McDaniels, 2001, p. 206). Levy (2003) presents a future in which technology i s integrated with the educational process and the provision of student su pport services. Vision and planning are key elements of this integration (Kvavik & Hand berg, 2000; Levy, 2003). Vision and planning become especially important as Career Cent ers are asked to “justify cost of services, document effectiveness and need, increase use of technology, [and] provide a broader range of services” (Hammond, 2001. p. 187). Career Centers, like other student

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8 support offices on campus, continue to be identifie d by upper level administration officials as an area for budget cuts and reallocati ons (Hammond, 2001). Distance Education Trends There is a growing trend nationally in distance edu cation at the undergraduate level. Increasingly, students are enrolling in onli ne or distance courses. This rise in choosing distance courses is increasingly mirrored in the choice of distance services. According to Shea, “today, even campus-based studen ts prefer the convenience of online services” (2005, p. 16). In a study of student use of web-based library resources, Kelley and Orr (2003) found that college students are inde ed “relying more heavily on online resources” than those found in the traditional camp us library over a five year timeframe (p. 176). In addition, Kruger (2005) asserts that m ore than 85% of students access the Internet on a daily basis and that more than 80% of students use e-mail and instant messaging tools on a daily basis. Today’s undergraduate students are looking for educ ational programs that allow them the flexibility they desire to meet their busy schedules. These students also want to incorporate the tools they use to communicate into their learning environments. These students have preferences for multitasking and modu le based curricula (Howell et al., 2003). These preferences move beyond coursework ext ending into the realm of student services. Career Center directors are noticing chan ges in student expectations of these services, such as 3:00 am e-mail messages to career counselors. This shift in student behavior is affecting a shift in how courses, suppo rt services, and resources are being marketed to students (Career Libraries React to Cha nge, 2006).

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9 At the researcher’s institution, the 2004-2005 acad emic year saw an enrollment of 30,180 undergraduate students in distance courses. This is an increase from a distance undergraduate enrollment of 10,980 in 2000-2001 (Di stance Learning Trends and Information, 2005). Significantly, this institution does not currently offer online degree programs at the undergraduate level. Seats in onlin e undergraduate classes are being filled by undergraduate students who are considered to be traditional, on-campus students. Also of note, all undergraduate students at this in stitution are required to complete a 36 credit hour General Education Liberal Arts cur riculum that is traditionally completed in the first two years of college. These courses ar e categorized as English composition, quantitative methods, natural sciences, social scie nces, non-western culture, fine arts, and historical perspectives. These courses are complete d in addition to courses in the student’s major. The General Education Liberal Arts curriculum could be completed through enrollment in online courses if the student chose to do so through careful course selection (General Education Liberal Arts Requireme nts, 2006). These students are choosing online options in a traditional campus set ting. This preference for online delivery of courses may also be seen in the student s’ preferences for delivery of support services. Researcher’s Perspective The author’s personal interest in this study stems from a professional background in higher education administration, specifically ca reer services and academic advising, and an interest and experience in distance educatio n and the development of web-based instructional material. Through participation on a team redesigning the Car eer Center

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10 website at her current institution, the author beca me interested in what services other Career Centers were offering online. Using nine cri tical elements of career services found in the literature, an analysis of 54 University Car eer Center websites revealed that over 50% of these websites included online student acces s to four typical career services: (a) assessments, (b) ongoing support and services, (c) consultation, and (d) job placement and labor market information (Venable, 2006). Summary New demands face higher education today. The millen nial generation of students has arrived bringing with it specific characteristi cs, as well as a preference for and comfort level with technology. Higher education is also experiencing a growth in distance education enrollment (Dare, Zapata, & Thom as, 2005). The results of this study add to the fields of career services, higher educat ion administration, and distance education by examining what preferences first-year university students possess for online delivery of career services in support of their edu cation. The results inform those making decisions about the development, funding, and marke ting of online delivery of career services and programs to undergraduate students. Conceptual Framework Brown and Ryan Krane (2000) and Brown, Ryan Krane, Brecheisen, Castelino, Budisin, Miller et al. (2003) identified the servic es deemed to be most important in an individual’s career decision-making process. The wo rk of these authors yields five critical career choice interventions, which frame t he approach of this study. These interventions are (a) Written Exercises, (b) Indivi dualized Interpretations and Feedback,

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11 (c) Information on the World of Work, (c) Modeling, and (d) Attention to Building Support (Brown & Ryan Krane, 2000). The five career choice interventions listed above t raditionally take place within the career development process. These elements, whi ch are key to successful face-to-face career development, may transfer well to the realm of online career development as led by a professional career services staff member. Th is list of five critical components provides a framework for the development of the sur vey items used in this study. Study participants were asked to provide information on t heir preferences for the delivery of these five critical components. Definitions The following definitions are provided to foster un derstanding of these terms in the context of this study. The definitions without a citation were developed by the researcher. Preferences “The desires regarding the occurrence of an event o r the existence of a condition” (Tinsley, Bowman & Ray, 1988, p. 100). First-Year Student A student currently enrolled in his or her first ye ar of college after graduating from high school. The term “freshman” is often used to describe a first-year student. Online Course For the purposes of this study, an online course is defined as a course that is offered predominantly through the Internet and does not require students to meet in a traditional classroom on a regular basis.

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12 Online Services Services that are available to students through the use of the Internet and, in the case of this study, accessed through a support offi ce’s website. Career Services “A variety of vocational services” traditionally of fered by University Career Centers to students seeking information about and a ssistance with issues related to career decision-making (Shivy & Koehly, 2002, p. 40). Career Counseling Working individually or as part of a group with a p rofessional career counselor trained to “help people make and carry out decision s and plans related to life/career directions” (National Career Development Associatio n, 2007). The following definitions serve to address and furt her clarify the five critical career choice interventions that frame this study. Written Exercises “Requiring [students] to commit their career goals and plans in writing” (Brown & Ryan Krane, 2000, p. 748) and including activitie s that “encourage clients to record reflections, thoughts, or feelings concerning their career development” (Brown & Ryan Krane, 2000, p. 746). This can be achieved through the use of various worksheets and templates as well as journals and diaries. Individualized Interpretations and Feedback “One-on-one dialogue between counselor and client c oncerning vocational issues and career development” (Brown & Ryan Krane, 2000, p. 746). Examples of this include

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13 getting feedback on jobs search skills and feedback provided to a student on his or her decision making strategies. Information on the World of Work “The provision of practical information on earnings opportunities, outlook, work activities, advancement opportunities, and training requirements” (Brown & Ryan Krane, 2000, p. 746-7). Examples of this type of informat ion include job vacancy announcements, projected outlook for growth of care er field, and salary surveys. Modeling “Exposing clients to individuals who have attained success in the process of career exploration, decision-making, and implementa tion” (Brown & Ryan Krane, 2000, p. 747). Modeling of this nature can occur through interaction with guest speakers, shadowing professionals in the workplace, as well a s video presentations of working professionals. Attention to Building Support “Helping clients build support networks” (Brown & R yan Krane, 2000, p. 747). Building a network can mean involving others, such as parents, teachers, and peers in one’s own career-related decisions. Support of this nature can also be provided by addressing the student’s cultural context(s) and ho w that may affect career decisions and development. Networking can also mean teaching stud ents how to make appropriate contact with potential employers.

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14 Limitations and Threats Threats to Statistical Conclusion Validity Depending on the final sample size, statistical po wer could be low, thus threatening the ability to draw appropriate inferen ces from the results. Creswell (2002) recommends using sample size tables and sample erro r formulas for determining desired sample size in survey research. Using these tools, estimates of desired sample size range from 300 to 400. The target population included 184 9 students. The sample size realized by this study was 318 students. Threats to Internal Validity One survey was administered. The primary threat to internal validity is related to selection. The students who chose to return complet ed surveys may not be representative of the larger population. Since the survey instrume nt itself was delivered to participants online, it is possible that students who had an aff inity or experience with computer technologies were more likely to respond. History m ay also be a threat if at the time of this study there were events taking place at the in stitution that would have affected the students’ attitudes overall. An example of this mig ht be the introduction of a new course management system university-wide or introduction o f new technology within certain colleges or academic programs that affect only a po rtion of the students participating in the study. No such threats are known to have taken place. Threats to Construct Validity Threats in this category are related to the measure s used in the study. Efforts have been taken to validate the instrument through a ser ies of activities, including a pilot test. The items used in the instrument should not lead th e participant toward specific

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15 responses. The participants should not have expecta tions about what the researchers hope to find. In this case, the items should not lead th e students to be in favor of or opposed to the use of technology. Bias in the data would resul t if participants responded in a way that they thought they were expected to, rather tha n providing candid information about their preferences. Threats to External Validity The results of this study will be difficult to gene ralize to students who were not enrolled at the university at which the study takes place, who are not involved in the study or who do not share the same characteristics as the respondents. Temporal validity threats also exist. The results of this study will be difficult to generalize over the course of time, even to students at the university being s tudied. Technology development and advances happen rapidly. The emergence of new techn ologies, and the adoption of them by the University at a point in the future, may aff ect student preferences. Delimitations This study was limited to first-year students enro lled in the SLS 1101 University Experience course during the fall semester of 2007. Generalizability of the findings is limited by the characteristics of the final partici pants. The final participants were primarily full-time students who were Caucasian and between the ages of 17 and 19. The majority of participants indicated having already d eclared a major and were also not employed. At the time of this study, all of the par ticipants were enrolled in their first semester of college after graduating from high scho ol.

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16 Organization of the Study Chapter one provided an introduction to this study that included background information, the research problem, the purpose of t he study, research questions addressed, rationale for the study, the conceptual framework, and the limitations and delimitations of the research. Chapter two contains a review of the literature related to student preferences and online career services. The literature review is organized by the following subject areas: student preferences, onlin e career services, career choice interventions, and technology integration. In Chapt er three, the overall research design and methodology are presented as well as the detail s of the pilot study conducted in preparation for the larger study. Participants are described and data collection and analysis stages are presented in detail. Chapter fo ur outlines the results of the study collected through the web-based instrument. Chapter five presents a discussion of what the results reveal about the target population, as well as implications for practice and recommendations for future research.

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17 Chapter Two Literature Review Student support services are part of a greater lear ning system that is the University. The integration of non-academic service s with academic programs creates a more holistic approach to the students’ needs while engaged in formal higher education pursuits (Gordon & Habley, 2000). Higher education institutions are beginning to broaden the services offered to students by making them web-based and available online. This is a reaction to the changing delivery of cour ses, as well as the changing needs of the students (Dodson & Dean, 2003; Gordon & Habley, 200 0). The literature review for this study is presented i n four sections. The first section provides an overview of two national trends in high er education. These trends involve student preferences for distance enrollment and stu dent characteristics, including preferences for technology and efficiency of servic es. The second section presents a background of online career services. Developing on line versions of traditional career services involves consideration of integration issu es such as strategic planning, student needs, as well as training and support. The third s ection of the literature review provides a more thorough description of the five career choi ce interventions that serve as a framework for this study. The fourth and final sect ion of the literature review outlines the current use of a variety of asynchronous and synchr onous technologies in the context of career services in a higher education environment.

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18 Student Preferences Trends in Distance Enrollment According to Dare, Zapata, and Thomas (2005) during the 2000-2001 academic year, 56% of degree granting institutions in the Un ited States offered distance courses. Of this group, 34 % offered degree programs that could be completed entirely through distance delivery options. Distance education is gr owing and expanding to reach students even before they reach college. Recently the Michig an Department of Education announced a requirement for all high school student s to complete an “online course or learning experience” before graduation. This new re quirement began with the students entering the eighth grade in 2006 (Michigan Virtual University, 2006). In quick response to the Michigan announcement, the National Career Development Association Electronic Forum initiated an online discussion thread on this topic. A reply from a Michigan educator indicates t hat the development of a course titled “ Career Development in a Global Economy” is already in progress as an option for students to satisfy the new requirement (Kowen, 200 6). This course would not only familiarize students with online learning but also with online career development and services. Students will likely emerge from this experience wi th a familiarity with distance education and perhaps an expectation for similar ex periences in higher education. The line between on-campus students and distance s tudents is quickly fading. Even students thought of as traditional are likely to take an online course at some point in their undergraduate programs (Howell et al., 2003). Higher education is becoming less of a transition from high school than that experienced by previous generations. It is more and more likely that first-year students will have completed online courses before they

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19 even begin college (Howell et al., 2003). Setzer an d Lewis (2005) report that in the 20022003 academic year, 36% of public secondary school districts had students involved in distance education. This shift is advanced by the d esire of administrators at all levels to get students through academic programs in faster, m ore efficient timeframes (Howell et al., 2003). In addition, “the distinction between distance and local education is disappearing” (Howell et al., 2003, p. 14). Blended and hybrid ap proaches, online assignments, use of portals and course management systems such as Black board are all ways that instructors are incorporating technology. These approaches are often not considered to be online, even though they have an online component (Howell e t al., 2003). The biggest high school class in the history of the United States will graduate in 2009. In anticipation of this population resulting in a rise in higher education enrollment, many institutions are developing more distance opti ons for students as an alternative to building larger physical facilities (Howell et al., 2003). Distance enrollment is indeed on the rise. Stokes (n.d.) reports that “in 2005, 1.2 million higher education students were enrolled in fully-online certificate or degree prog rams” (p.4). This enrollment is expected to increase to approximately 1.8 million students i n 2007 (Stokes, n.d.). Trends in Student Demographics/Characteristics According to Collins (2006) “demographics are impor tant…to effective career services programming, as they enable professionals to model their programs to a portrait of the candidate/student” (p. 16). The millennial g eneration, those born since 1982 and in college since 2000, is a generation characterized b y convenience. They have an expectation for efficiency of service (Lowrey, 2004 ). This efficiency is defined as service

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20 that is of high quality, with responses that are fa st and provided when they are needed or requested (Kvavik & Handberg, 2000, p. 32). Howe an d Strauss (2003) also note that millennial generation students expect to use techno logy and to have the tools necessary to “streamline their educational experience” (p. 81). Millennial students generally consider technology t o be an “advantage” (Howe & Strauss, 2003, p. 78). They seek structured, module based coursework and have a preference for active learning techniques. This gro up of students can also be characterized as multitaskers with “zero tolerance for delays” (Career Libraries Adapt to Changes in Student Expectations, 2006; Howell et al ., 2003, p 3). The continuous advancement of technology makes the delivery of a wide variety of online student services more possible than ever. The existence of effective online career services may help students with the difficul t task of balancing life and work by offering these services in alternative time frames and delivery modes. Mancuso (2001) stated that “convenience and accessibility characte rize the structure of student services which, like delivery of instruction, breaks time an d place barriers” (p. 176). Mancuso’s “convenience and accessibility” could be successful ly addressed through online delivery (2001). Shea (2005) states that students expect that suppor t services will be accessible online and that this delivery mode is “no longer an option for colleges and universities” (p. 15). For students of this generation using tec hnology has become, or always has been, a part of their everyday existence. This level of f amiliarity with technology breeds a level of expectation for availability of services and inf ormation at any-time and in any-place (Shier, 2005).

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21 Convenience seems to be a recurring theme in the li terature surrounding the issues related to distance education. Timm (2006) states t hat “students (and other customers) look for convenience and ease of use in . techn ology” options (p. 35). “Many students with full-time jobs can take classes only in the ev ening and often find . offices closed at that time” (Gordon & Habley, 2000, p. 400). Stud ents who choose to take online or distance courses, regardless of their physical loca tion to campus, often find that they are not able to access support services (Gordon & Hable y, 2000; Howell et al., 2003). These students seek convenience, efficiency, and a studen t-centered approach (Shea, 2005). Katz (2002) presents a study of first-year students and their preferences for distance learning, videoconferencing and online del ivery, as affected by student characteristics. This study found that students who scored high on “independence” preferred less structured, less interactive online delivery as opposed to more interactive videoconferencing with lectures and tutoring (Katz, 2002). Higher education is faced with a number of trends r elated to technology and delivery of education and services. One of these tr ends is a shift in student needs. This shift requires a reaction that is service oriented with the student in the role of customer (Howell et al., 2003). Krauth and Carbajal (1999) a dvocate that online student services appeal to all students, distant and traditional (Do dson & Dean, 2003; Shea, 2005; Smith, 2005). Characteristics of a “typical” student are becomin g harder to define as the student population becomes increasingly diverse in all aspe cts. Students in higher education today are very different from those in past decades Stokes (n.d.) offers the following numbers: 40% of students in higher education are pa rt-time students, 40% of higher

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22 education students are over 25 years of age, and 58 % of higher education students are over 22 years of age. Having an understanding of th e characteristics of this population is important in understanding not only how to approach this group, but also how this group will interact with the Baby Boomer generation, born 1946 to 1954 and Generation X, born 1965 to 1977. Members of the Baby Boomer and Generation X generations are currently members of faculty and student services o ffices in higher education, including career centers (DeBard, 2004). Role of Student Preferences in Learning and Practic e Student preferences for the use of technology and e nrollment in distance, technology-delivered courses, may play a role in le arning. In the academic setting, students are increasingly expecting to see technolo gy used by faculty and support staff (Shier, 2005). Tsai (2007) studied students’ percep tions of the Internet and their preferences for engaging in web-based learning. Thi s study found relationships between preferences and perceptions. For example, students who viewed the “Internet as a tool” were more likely to prefer online learning environm ents that were relevant, challenging, and linked to a variety of Internet resources. In the career services and counseling setting ther e are theories which relate an individual’s development of work-related preference s as a form of learning. Learning theories in the career counseling profession, such as Krumboltz’s Learning Theory, describe career choice as a combination of factors including an individual’s learning experiences (Zunker, 2001). Viewing career decision -making as a learning process may affect the practice of providing career decision-ma king services, one goal of career counseling.

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23 Galassi, Grace, Martin, James, & Wallace (1992) stu died student preferences and expectations for career counseling. This study foun d that counseling clients preferred activities that would assist them to explore career s, explore themselves, and gain general information about careers and majors. Galassi et al (1992) also found no significant differences in preferences based on previous career counseling experience. Providing opportunities for learning can mean, esp ecially for adult learners, the creation of learning communities dedicated to learn ing. Developing these communities includes initial analysis of the characteristics of the context in which the learning is to take place as well as the characteristics of the le arners themselves (Merriam & Caffarella, 1999). Learner analysis is also documented as a cri tical step in the analysis that should occur as part of the design of instruction. This an alysis includes finding out more about the intended learners’ learning styles and preferen ces and taking this information into account as learning opportunities are designed (Mor rison, Ross, & Kemp, 2001; Smith & Regan, 1993). First-Year Students and Career Decision-Making Developmental Approach Gordon and Minnick (2002) address first-year stude nts directly telling them that one’s career is an endeavor carried out through a l ifetime. This encourages a developmental approach to career development. Devel opmental theorists build on the assumption that a career develops over the course o f one’s life span. Some developmental career approaches include working with children as young as those in elementary school on the concepts related to self-knowledge and caree r exploration and awareness activities incorporated into class work (Zunker, 2002).

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24 Career development specialists such as Super (1990) propose that individuals move through stages of life in which specific tasks are completed contributing to vocational development and maturity. The majority o f first-year students likely fall into one of two of Super’s life stages. These two stages are Adolescence, including ages 14 to 25, and Early Adulthood, including ages 25-45. Expl oration is one of the tasks listed for each of these stages. For adolescents, exploration in the context of career development includes finding out about career options. For earl y adults, exploration includes locating opportunities to perform the type of work one is in terested in performing (Super, 1990). Career Exploration Gordon and Minnick (2002) note that while students likely enter college with some ideas about careers, for most there is still a need for self-assessment and career exploration. The traditional four years of college are described as “a time to explore, gather information, test alternatives, and finally, make the first of many career decisions” (Gordon & Minnick, 2002, p. 180). The exploration o f self and potential career fields is an early stage of career decision-making (Sampson, Reardon, Peterson, & Lenz, 2004). With the increasing push for students to declare ma jors upon applying to college or soon thereafter, and thus set themselves on a ca reer path early in their college experience, there is a need for first-year students to become involved in their own career planning as early as possible (Gordon & Minnick, 20 02). Ballard (2002) instructs firstyear students to “learn as much as you can about yo urself and the relationship this information has to careers” (Ballard, 2002, p. 185) This is not the time to make the big decisions about careers or to put career plans into action, but to start the process and

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25 consider all that one should think about when makin g decisions about careers (Ballard, 2002). Online Career Services Background Moore and Kearsley (2005) outline a number of featu res of a distance course or program that should be addressed when planning for student success. Online delivery of student support services is one of these features. Specific suggestions in this area are listed including guidance and counseling as an impo rtant service. Integration with oncampus services is also recommended, as well as 24hour access for students. Having a robust website that works in tandem with existing o n-campus services is an important part of this integration (Carnevale, 2000; Dare, Za pata & Thomas, 2005; Moore & Kearsley, 2005). Career centers are but one of a number of on-campus agencies offering student support services. One of the primary missions of th e university career center is to help students make decisions and choices about their own careers (Hammond, 2001). Career centers established at higher education institution s are beginning to respond to the needs of various student populations that are working thr ough the career decision-making process. Developing online versions of career cente rs to provide traditional career services to a wider range of students is part of th is response (Davidson, 2001). One of the major services provided by career centers is career counseling (Sampson et al., 2004). Career counseling has two major goals: to decrease students’ problems in making career choices and to help each student to move forward in his or her own career decisionmaking (Gati, Kleinman, Saka, & Zakai, 2003). Caree r counseling is comprised of a

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26 series of interventions, which guide the student th rough the process of choosing a career field to pursue (Sampson et al., 2004). It is not just the career services professional sta ff that is dealing with an increase in the use of technology. Employers that hire their students are experiencing the same shift. Today’s employers are using websites, databa ses, and instant messaging to recruit, track, and communicate with college students. Onlin e assessments are also popular with employers, as are, increasingly, the review of soci al websites like Facebook and MySpace.com to evaluate students (Giordani, 2006). In a recent survey, one in 10 employers reported using social networking websites as part of the hiring process (Giordani, 2006). Career centers are not the only student support fun ctions making the transition to online program delivery. Other student services are involved in this effort as well. Kelley and Orr (2003) studied student library usage at the University of Maryland, University College. They found a shift in student access in th at students prefer electronic access to library resources in increasing numbers (Kelley & O rr, 2003). Other student support services are becoming more commonplace online. Stud ents in higher education often use the Internet to apply to the Admissions office, app ly for financial aid and scholarships, as well as register for courses (Kvavik & Handberg, 20 00). Advantages and Disadvantages In a world that increasingly involves the integrati on of new technologies, universities and their career centers are dealing w ith decisions related to this integration. This is partially due to pressure to be cost-effect ive, be effective within their mission, and have currency in their operations with a technology -savvy population of students

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27 (Hammond, 2001; Whiston, Brecheisen, & Stephens, 20 03). Decisions about technology integration require weighing pros and cons of vario us technologies and development of support resources. While the expense of adding new computer hardware continuously decreases, the costs related to development and lea ding to initial implementation can be significant (Norris, Smolka & Soloway, 1999). Knowi ng what services should be developed, as well as where and how to deliver them is key to meeting the needs of the student. Offering career interventions online has advantages and disadvantages. Among the advantages are any-time, any-place options for students; the ease of updating computerized programs and web pages; the ability to link and refer students to other relevant service organizations; and a student-cente red situation where they have ownership of the process (Davidson, 2001). In addit ion, the integration of technologies can increase collaboration and often be established or initiated with existing technology resources, such as course management systems (Wunde rlich, 2006). Students using webbased services essentially do not have to stop and request information at the office’s front desk. They can instead move beyond to the informati on itself (Kvavik & Handberg, 2000). The disadvantages of offering career services onlin e include difficulty in tailoring services to individual needs. Finding a balance in offering flexible services to meet these needs with the right mix of technology and human co ntact can be challenging. Staffing also becomes an issue. Students with any-time, anyplace access often expect feedback at the time and place of their choosing. This feedback is also expected to come from

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28 technology-savvy career professionals (Career Libra ries Adapt to Changes in Student Expectations, 2006; Smith, 2005). Measuring outcomes of career service programs prese nts several challenges; this is particularly true when the services are online. Outcomes such as retention, placement, and student satisfaction are often used to measure career services (Davidson, 2001). Establishing the correct balance for the institutio n, program, and student population can be difficult to achieve. Using technology that is n ot common, is difficult to access, or hard to use, will limit the success of the program overall (Smith, 2005). Privacy and confidentiality also become important i ssues with online delivery of career services, especially career counseling (Gior dani, 2006; Sampson, Kolodinsky, & Greeno, 1997). Career services can include a discus sion of a student’s context in a way that involves personal information. There is an eth ical obligation for career services professionals to ensure that a student’s personal i nformation will remain private (Shaw & Shaw, 2006). Choosing to add technology to an existing program i s choosing to add a new tool. Cahill and Martland (1995) remind us that “each tec hnology has strengths and weaknesses and the choice depends on the task, the availability of equipment, and the cost” (p.3). There is a widespread call for a strat egic approach that can address the choices involved in detail. This approach should al low for consideration of a dynamic rate of change in the technologies available as wel l as the changes that take place in student demographics (Howell et al., 2003).

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29 Integration Issues The work of Kendall, Smith, Moore, and Oaks (2001) presents a list of suggested elements of student services to be offered online. Among these are any-time, any-place access for students; a versatile staff skilled in m ultiple services; and services for distance students that are equal to those for traditional st udents. An emphasis on creating a community and connection between distance students and the university is also important. Kendall et al. (2001) also emphasize the need for a mechanism to receive feedback from students and make changes based on th eir input. Carnevale (2000) reports that achieving “quality” in distance learning envir onments means including support services for students. As part of a three-year federally funded project to explore the creation of webbased student services for distance students, the W estern Cooperative for Educational Telecommunications (WECT) found that many administr ative services are already being offered online in higher education (Western Coopera tive for Educational Telecommunications, 2003). Among the more common se rvices are admissions, financial aid, and course registration. This group also found that distance students reported a need for other services, such as career counseling, advi sing, tutoring, and testing. This project also found that distance students’ needs for servic es were similar to on-campus student needs (Western Cooperative for Educational Telecomm unications, 2003). The WECT study also examined distance student expe ctations of online services. The results revealed expectations of personalized s ervices that were more than just simple websites offering generic information. The students wanted “integrated information” relevant to their programs and needs. This study al so reported a need for integration of

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30 services for distance and traditional students. Cre ating separate and duplicate services online is not the answer, but instead is an ineffic ient use of resources (Western Cooperative for Educational Telecommunications, 200 3). Gati et al. (2003) researched the perceived benefit s of individuals who used Making Better Career Decisions (MCBD), an Internet based system designed to help students make decisions about their own careers. Th eir research found that the participants rated the experience of using the Inte rnet system quite high with 84% recommending the system to friends. In addition, 50 % of participants reported an increased level of “decidedness” after using the MC BD system. As technology resources become more common on an ad ministrative level in higher education, the integration of these resource s across the student’s college experience becomes more evident. Levy (2003) states that, “instruction is shifting from a model of individual use of technology to an integra tion of instruction and student services through technology” (p. 4). The movement toward thi s level of integration is often one geared toward making the distance college experienc e more similar to the traditional oncampus college experience (Levy, 2003). Strategic Planning Lent predicted in 2001 that the Internet would impa ct how career services would be delivered in the future. This prediction is bein g realized today at college and university career centers all over the country and abroad. Unf ortunately, little empirical research has been conducted to guide this development (Gati et a l., 2003). Long-term planning is key to the success of this kind of resource development which can be time consuming and costly. Smith (2005) stresses the need for a strate gic planning approach by institutions

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31 that are developing online student service options. This approach includes a long-term commitment to convenient services that are equivale nt to on-campus services. Smith goes on to say that needs assessment is a critical step to take early in the process (Smith, 2005). Outsourcing of services is not a new concept to bu siness and industry. It is a concept that is becoming more familiar in higher ed ucation as well. This is particularly the case where support services are concerned. Cont racting vendors to provide specific services, i.e. academic tutoring, is a possibility (Kendall, 2005). Vendors offering careerrelated services are increasing and may be able to provide an administration with costeffective options. Outsourcing should be considered as part of the strategic planning process (Brigham, 2001). Needs Assessment Reaching clients in a place and time that meets the ir needs is essential, and technology, particularly mobile technologies and wi reless Internet technologies, can help career center staff to do just that (Savickas, Van Esbroeck & Herr, 2005). There is no one-size-fits-all approach. Each institution and ca reer center must assess its own needs and those of its students to inform an approach to service delivery (Wunderlich, 2006). Timm (2006) reports that career center professional s are now facing a learning curve in technology skills and decision-making skills regard ing the use of various technologies in their centers. Participants in the Timm (2006) stud y named “identifying customer needs and behaviors” as a major step in the decision-maki ng process (p. 35). Meeting the needs of the users should drive decisi ons, not using a particular application because it is new or popular (Krauth & Carbajal, 1999). Technology is ever

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32 changing and evolving. Making a decision about what to buy and support means taking a risk that the selected technology will be around aw hile, as opposed to something that may be a short-lived trend (Career Libraries Adapt to C hanges in Student Expectations, 2006). Training Technology is one of the Counseling Career Competen cies outlined by the National Career Development Association (NCDA). Wit hin the technology competency description, NCDA lists five specific areas in whic h career counselors are expected to use technology to aid students with their career choice s. These areas include understanding the individual differences of students and clients and how these may indicate that technology will benefit the students, as well as an understanding of how to evaluate technology and make choices that “meet local needs” (National Career Development Association, 1997, p.8). Additional knowledge and s kills listed in the technology competency description are computer-based guidance and information systems, standards used for the evaluation of computer-based systems a nd services, and the use of computerbased systems and services as they relate to NCDA e thical standards (National Career Development Association, 1997). There is often a learning curve for professionals on a career center staff related to the use of technology. Existing staff members may n ot know what is currently on their center’s website. Career counselors may or may not be asked to directly implement technology integration. Depending on resources and funding, it may be possible to contract someone or hire someone to join the staff with a primary responsibility of implementing technology integration (Shea, 2005).

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33 While today’s college students are known for prefe rring technology, and having an existing familiarity with technology in general, it is quite possible that they will need training as well. An EDUCAUSE report presents resea rch to support the idea that students tend to overestimate their own skills with technology (Kvavik, 2005). First-year students are particularly susceptible to this kind of overestimate. The specific technologies they are familiar with may not match t hose being used in higher education. While today’s students are likely to be skilled in the use of e-mail, instant messaging, and Internet searches, they are not necessarily skilled in the use of specific software applications. Members of the millennial generation do seem to share some overall characteristics, but there is still some diversity where technology is concerned (Kvavik, 2005). Timm (2006) recommends the addition of technology i n the education programs that are producing tomorrow’s career services profe ssionals. Graduate students in counselor education programs are indeed seeing an i ncreased use of technology in their curricula. It is recognized that counselors in fiel ds such as school and career counseling are increasingly required to possess technological skills not only in performing administrative tasks, but also in communicating and interacting with clients (Clark & Stone, 2002). Clark and Stone (2002) studied the us e of online assignments in traditional counselor education courses and found that their gr aduate students welcomed the opportunity to practice their technology skills onl ine. These students also reported an increased knowledge about the resources available o nline both for themselves and prospective clients.

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34 Support The integration of technology into career choice in terventions offered by university career centers requires a certain level of support. This support comes in multiple forms, including administrative support, f inancial resources, and the capabilities of existing computer systems and infrastructure. Su ccessful decision-making about technology is also dependent on human factors, such as staff members who are willing and eager to accept the changes a new technology ma y bring to the way the career center provides its services to students (Timm, 2006). The re is a need for buy-in at all levels in a way that makes this integration a part of strategic planning (Kvavik & Handberg, 2000; Shea, 2005). In addition, it is necessary to ensure the user population knows about the services and integration through a careful and thor ough marketing effort. This kind of marketing is a necessity at all levels including st udents, faculty, and administrators (Smith, 2005). Blended Approach Shea (2005) outlines four principles of effective o nline student services: (a) a focus on the student, (b) ability to tailor to the individual, (c) opportunities for two-way interaction, and (d) availability of services when the student needs them. A common concern of career services professionals is that th e integration of technology will reduce interaction with the students. Using technology to increase student-staff interaction, instead of decreasing interaction, is in fact a pri mary goal of this kind of integration (Shier, 2005). It is important to keep this goal in mind while planning and training for an increase in the use of technology. Timm (2006) stat es that “technology has created higher service expectations in shorter time frames” as wel l as increased student requests for one-

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35 on-one counseling (p. 35). While technology allows a self-help approach by students accessing general information about careers, these students often approach a point where they want to meet with someone individually to disc uss their career choice options (Timm, 2006). In a meta-analysis conducted by Whitson, Brecheisen and Stephens (2003), modalities of career interventions were evaluated f or effectiveness. This research found that, overall, “there was a general trend toward co unselor-free interventions being less effective than other modalities” (Whitson et al., 2 003, p. 404). This group also found that those who participated in a computer-based career i ntervention reported better career related outcomes if their experience included inter actions with a counselor (Whitson et al., 2003). Use of existing technology, such as learning and co urse management systems like WebCT and Blackboard, can support a blended approac h. Many higher education institutions currently use web portals to organize information presented to students. Career centers are beginning to tap into this form of delivery (Smith, 2005). Dahl (2005) reports that the School of Information Studies at S yracuse University is using WebCT to communicate with students and provide student servi ces information. This effort has been “cost effective and requires minimal resources,” an d has resulted in increased student satisfaction ratings with the support services prov ided (Dahl, 2005, p. 4). Balancing high-tech and high-touch is a desired out come of technology integration (Giordani, 2006; Shea, 2005). The Caree r Management Center at Old Dominion University is currently striving to ensure that all students, distant and oncampus, have access to all of the Center’s services To meet this goal, the institution has

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36 established three separate career service delivery vehicles to serve their students. The first vehicle is a traditional, on-campus career center, referred to as the Career Management Center. This center can be accessed in person durin g traditional business hours and weekdays. Old Dominion’s Virtual Career Center is c ompletely online. It consists of their website and all of the resources and communication tools therein. A third vehicle, the Cyber Career Center, is a separate office space on campus described as a computer lab. It provides a blended approach and is staffed with car eer services professionals who open the lab during non-traditional hours and assist stu dents on a walk-in basis to access and utilize all of the resources that are online (Wunde rlich, 2006). Career Choice Interventions Framework Brown and Ryan Krane (2000) and Brown et al. (2003) identified services deemed to be important in the career decision-makin g process. The work of these authors yields five critical career choice interventions, w hich frame the approach of this study. These interventions are (a) Written Exercises, (b) Individualized Interpretations and Feedback, (c) Information on the World of Work, (c) Modeling, and (d) Attention to Building Support (Brown & Ryan Krane, 2000). These five career choice interventions were identified as “critical” out of a total of 18 specific career choice interventions identified in the meta-analysis studies (Brown et a l., 2003). Brown and Ryan Krane (2000) present meta-analytic d ata that are particular to career counseling interventions as they relate to a ssisting someone with the process of making a successful career choice. This meta-analys is examined 62 studies for number of career counseling sessions as well as type of inter ventions conducted during the sessions with career decision-making self-efficacy and vocat ional identity as outcome variables.

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37 Self-efficacy theory in the field of career counsel ing assumes that “an individual’s belief in his or her ability to perform certain tasks dete rmines whether or not the individual will attempt those tasks and how well he or she will per form” (Zunker, 2002, p. 104.) Vocational identity is defined as “the possession o f a clear and stable picture of one’s goals, interests, personality, and talents” (Hollan d, Daiger, & Power, 1980, p.1). The Brown and Ryan Krane (2000) meta-analysis shows a clear relationship between number of sessions and effect size, peaking at four to five sessions and a mean effect size of 1.26. Brown & Ryan Krane (2000) also found through their weighted leastsquares regression analyses that “specific interven tion components…accounted for between 2% and 38% unique variance in effect sizes” (p. 744). Five specific interventions, listed above, were found to contribu te “significantly to effect size variability in at least one of the analyses” (Brown & Ryan Krane, 2000, p. 744). These five career choice interventions are each imp ortant contributors on their own, and when used together have a cumulative effec t on effect size. In studies where only one of the interventions was used, .45 was the average effect size. In studies where two of the five interventions were used together, t he average effect size was .61. Those that used three had an effect size of .99. None of the studies used more than three of the five interventions. Again, this meta-analysis was f ocused specifically on career choice interventions. There are many other career counseli ng interventions that can be used effectively to assist students and other clients as well (Brown & Ryan Krane, 2000). The five career choice interventions of Written Exe rcises, Individual Interpretation and Feedback, Information on the Wor ld of Work, Modeling, and Attention

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38 to Building Support are further described below. Th e activities that make up these interventions are founded in various career develop ment theories and models. Completing Written Exercises This intervention entails “requiring [students] to commit their career goals and plans in writing” (Brown & Ryan Krane, 2000, p. 748 ). It includes activities that “encourage clients to record reflections, thoughts, or feelings concerning their career development” (Brown & Ryan Krane, 2000, p. 746). A needs analysis conducted by Berrios-Allison, Hill, Park-Curry, Thaci, Henderson and Stevenson (2003) found that first-year students at Ohio State University were i nterested in getting help with their career decisions and placement, but not interested in the career exploration step that should ideally precede the decision-making process. Taking time to do a thorough self-assessment is cru cial to gaining the information one needs to continue in the decision-making proces s (Sampson et al., 2004) The written exercises intervention outlined by Brown and Ryan K rane (2000) can include templates and checklists to guide students through the proces s of self-assessment and reflection. Super (1957) identifies the importance of the devel opmental process of one’s selfconcept in deciding on a career field. Self-knowled ge and self-awareness were also identified by Holland (1985) to play a significant part in finding congruence within a work environment based on six general categories of work. Providing Individual Interpretation and Feedback For the purposes of this study, this intervention i s defined as one which includes “one-on-one dialogue between counselor and client c oncerning vocational issues and career development” (Brown & Ryan Krane, 2000, p. 7 46). This dialogue can occur in

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39 person, in an office setting, or through the use of technology such as e-mail or the telephone. Students often post resumes online and r eceive critique from employers and career counselors. Mock, or practice, interviews ar e also a common way for students to get individual feedback in this context (Kendall, 2 005; Wunderlich, 2006). According to Krumboltz (1996) the career counselor plays a key r ole in educating the client or student about the career decision-making process. This is a complex process in which the counselor guides the student through the stages of career decision-making by reinforcing student responses, directing exploration activities suggesting strategies and developing interventions, and discussing possibilities (Krumbo ltz, 1996; Zunker, 2002). Informing About the World of Work Brown and Ryan Krane (2000) describe this intervent ion as the “provision of practical information on earnings, opportunities, o utlook, work activities, advancement opportunities, and training requirements” (p. 746-7 ). In a study of first-year students conducted at Ohio State University, students report ed that they had reasonable knowledge of the world of work, even though they also reporte d having completed little career exploration. While the students judged themselves t o have a good deal of knowledge about careers they did not have realistic expectati ons for salary and initial job opportunities after graduation. In addition, salary was a major factor in students’ choices of academic major and career field (Berrios-Allison et al., 2003). Completing the career exploration step is important in grounding students’ expectations early in the process. Exploration may include researching information about the requirements to enter specific careers, as well as information about current and projected labor markets. Resources such as those of fered by the U. S. Department of

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40 Labor and Bureau of Labor Statistics provide detail ed information about specific careers and projections for employment in these careers in the future (Schutt, Hilleshiem-Setz, & Drescher, 1999). Modeling Brown and Ryan Krane (2000) define modeling as “exp osing clients to individuals who have attained success in the proces s of career exploration, decision making, and implementation” (p. 747). Ensher, Heun, and Blanchard (2003) outline a number of ways in which a mentor can interact with a protg via the Internet. Of importance to this study is interaction related to the protg observing work-related skills or receiving advice, as well as receiving informati on about the mentors’ career and career choices. Multimedia applications can allow these ty pes of interaction to take place, in addition to the use of computer-mediated communicat ion (CMC) alternatives like e-mail (Ensher et al., 2003). Online mentorship programs are increasingly prevale nt, particularly in corporate environments. Private agencies and foundations also sponsor online environments to encourage mentorship of college students by profess ionals in the workplace. One such service is MentorNet, which focuses on matching fem ale students with professionals in math and science related careers. MentorNet interac tions are conducted through e-mail (Ensher et al., 2003). Building Support This intervention involves “helping clients build s upport networks” (Brown & Ryan Krane, 2000, p. 747). These networks can inclu de members of a student’s family or social community, as well as employers, instructors and counselors. Krauth and Carbajal

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41 (1999) list “establish relationships with alumni an d promote networking opportunities via the web” as part of their comprehensive report addr essing what student services should be developed online (p. 23). Colorado State University’s CareerRAM Network is gi ven as an example of what other institutions should aspire to achieve in the future. The CareerRAM Network actively recruits alumni to serve as mentors to cur rent students. This mentoring relationship involves providing advice on career to pics ranging from resume critiques to graduate school (CareerRAM Network, 2007). Technology Integration There is a seemingly endless list of technology too ls available for use in educational and student services support settings. This list continues to evolve at a rapid pace. A list of currently used technologies is expl ored further in this section of the literature review. The list is divided into the cat egories of asynchronous and synchronous based on the type of interaction involved. This lis t was adapted from a version used in a study conducted by Lohsandt (2005). Examples of how each of the listed technologies is being integrated in career services are also provid ed. Asynchronous Asynchronous technologies allow people to communica te in an environment that is not in real-time, which is to say that there is a delay between the time when a question is asked and a response is sent (Alessi & Trollip, 2001). Examples of this include e-mail, discussion boards, video recording, audio recording s or podcasts, and web pages (Alessi & Trollip, 2001; Gordon & Habley, 2000).

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42 The use of e-mail accounts to communicate is becomi ng widespread globally. In a survey of community colleges, 46% report using e-ma il to answer student questions about careers (Higher Ed Special Report, 2004). In a study conducted by Dare et al. (2005), both distance and on-campus students were s urveyed about their preferences for sending and receiving information about support ser vices. E-mail was selected as the most preferred means of communication by all studen ts. Internet delivery of information was the third most preferred method, after regular mail. Online discussion boards offer students the opport unity to post questions and comments to a group of people or just one person. T hese discussions are typically organized by topic area and can be added to at any time. This is a standard feature in learning management systems such as Blackboard. Car eer service professionals are using this communication tool as they tap into existing l earning management systems already in widespread use on their campuses (Sampson, Kolodins ky, & Greeno, 1997). Video presentations are not new to career service p rofessionals. There are multiple series of videos available that address sp ecific jobs and career fields as well as job search topics such as resume writing and interv iewing. These videos are typically viewed in a career center resource library. These p resentations are increasingly available on the Internet through organizations such as the U .S. Department of Labor (America’s Career InfoNet, 2007). Individual institutions are also developing video options for their students that can be delivered via their own websit es. For example, Florida State University is using multimedia software to present their face-to-face workshops in an optional online format. The online interface includ es video and audio recording of a presenter, as well as PowerPoint slides (Florida St ate University, 2006).

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43 Audio recordings, or podcasts, are increasingly bei ng used to communicate to students. These recordings are available as downloa ds from the Internet in a format compatible with many portable music players. Centra l Missouri State University and Emerson College are just two institutions currently offering podcasts to students as a way to hear from alumni and other professionals already working in their career fields (Giordani, 2006). Websites are also widespread in higher education. W hether used to post static information or designed as more interactive formats like wikis and blogs, the websites and web pages are used by many career centers to ma rket services and provide information. The Internet can also be used to provi de “self-serve” materials similar to traditionally printed handouts and brochures or mor e in-depth presentations through the addition of interactive multimedia (Wunderlich, 200 6). Synchronous Synchronous technologies allow people to communicat e simultaneously, in realtime, which is to say that responses to questions a re immediate. Telephone conversations are a basic example of synchronous communication (A lessi & Trollip, 2001). Other examples of synchronous technologies are instant me ssaging, also referred to as text chat, and virtual classrooms, also called virtual offices or virtual learning environments (Alessi & Trollip, 2001; Utah Education Network, 2004). Telephone counseling is not a new idea, but is stil l a current strategy for reaching students and clients who either cannot or choose no t to come to a physical location. An example is the LearnDirect call center in the Unite d Kingdom. This organization supplied trainers to a large number of online classes geared toward adults and career development.

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44 Faced with financial cutbacks, LearnDirect develope d a telephone call center staffed with advisors who provide career counseling and guidance on a wide array of topics ranging from interview tips to making decisions about caree r transitions (Jones, 2006). Old Dominion University is one of many institutions now offering instant messaging related to career services. Through insta nt messaging, students can communicate with career services professionals via text chat in real-time (Wunderlich, 2006). These synchronous, text chat sessions are sc heduled in advance and the hours vary to meet students’ school and work schedules. Virtual rooms are among the newest technologies ava ilable. These “rooms” offer meeting space online where students and counselors can communicate and present information to each other in real-time. Some featur es of virtual classrooms include whiteboards, two-way audio, and video (Schullo, Ven able, Hilbelink & Barron, 2005). A 2004 report on community college distance education pointed out that 8% of community colleges were using synchronous, real-time, environ ments to communicate with students about their career questions (Higher Ed Special Rep ort, 2004). Old Dominion offers “Sametime Webinars” allowing students to attend a c areer-related workshop or seminar from locations of their choice (Wunderlich, 2006). Summary Career Centers have a real-world mission. Stokes (n .d.) reports that 90% of “the fastest growing jobs require some form of postsecon dary education” (p. 2). This increase in a job market requirement may result in an increa se in adult and distance enrollment in postsecondary programs. This combined with the anti cipated increase in college enrollment resulting from the largest U. S. high sc hool class, occurring 2009, means that

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45 career centers will be called on more than ever bef ore to provide their services to a wide range of students (Howell et al., 2003). Career centers assist students with the process of making decisions about their careers. There is a need for a customer service app roach in an environment that is moving toward learner-centered student services. This move mirrors the evolution of the instructional environment. Students should be able to access self-help type services at a time and place of their own choosing (Kvavik & Hand berg, 2000). Selecting and developing, as well as maintaining these services i s informed through conducting a needs assessment with the population being served (Hammon d, 2001). Chapter two presented an overview of two national t rends in higher education, increased distance enrollment and changing student characteristics, and how these are shaping student preferences for services. A backgro und of online career services was discussed, as well as issues surrounding the effort to integrate technology into existing career services programs. The five critical career choice interventions that frame this research were described and examples were provided. Finally, current technologies were discussed in terms of how students and staff intera ct through these interventions in a career services environment. Chapter three describes the methodology of the rese arch study. The design of the study is outlined. The development and validation o f the survey instrument are presented. The procedures and results of a pilot study are pre sented in detail. The impact of the pilot study on the larger study is also described to incl ude changes made to the instrument and further review and testing. Procedures for the larg er study, data collection, and data analysis are also outlined.

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46 Chapter Three Method This chapter presents a discussion of the study’s o verall design; population and sample identification; instrument development and v alidation; and data collection, analysis, and presentation. The results and implica tions of a completed pilot study are also presented. The purpose of this study was to explore the delive ry preferences of first-year university students for career choice interventions traditionally delivered through oncampus career centers. This study also describes fi rst-year students’ previous experience. This previous experience includes online courses, c areer counseling, as well as specific technologies used to deliver activities and content Differences between preferences for delivery methods and previous experience were explo red. The results of this study provide information as a foundation for the plannin g and development of online career services in higher education. The following researc h questions guided the study: What are first-year university students’ preference s for the delivery method of critical career choice interventions? To what extent are there differences in first-year university students’ preferences for the delivery method of critical career choice i nterventions based on their prior experience with the following: (a) online courses; (b) career counseling; (c) email; (d) Blackboard discussion boards; (e) audio a nd video recordings or

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47 podcasts; (f) Internet websites, wikis, and blogs; (g) Internet text chat or instant messaging; and (h) virtual rooms? Design This document presents a descriptive, survey study that took place during the fall 2007 academic semester. This study explored the con text of the first-year student at a large university. Data were gathered regarding stud ent preferences for delivery of five critical career choice interventions as well as reg arding student experience with specific technologies, career counseling, and online courses The five critical career choice interventions used in the study are traditionally o ffered through college and university oncampus career centers. First-year students’ prefere nces regarding online support services were sought in order to inform the development and design of the services for this population. Participants It was a goal of this study to explore the preferen ces and previous experience of students enrolled in their first semester of colleg e. Students, enrolled in SLS 1101: The University Experience at a large public university in the southeast with a Carnegie classification of “very high research activity”, we re asked to respond to a web-based survey. SLS 1101: The University Experience is a seminar co urse developed specifically for first-year students. The discussion format allo ws for a limited enrollment of 24 students per section. The established curriculum fo r this course includes the following topic areas: community building, transitions and tr ansformations, technology, campus resources, campus involvement, health and wellness, understanding self, time

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48 management, academic success skills, career explora tion, academic advising, financial wellness, and diversity. The fall 2007 course sched ule offered 89 sections of the course with a total of 1,849 students enrolled representin g approximately 52% of first year students at the University. The University enrolled a total of 3,551 first-year students during this semester. These students were in their first year of college after graduating from high school. Enrollment in the course was voluntary. Students en tering the University as freshmen, or first-year students, were registered f or this course as part of the preregistration process completed by academic advisors during the summer. Once preregistered by their advisors, students could elect to add or drop any of their courses, including The University Experience. Students were not required to complete The University Experience course but were highly encour aged to do so. Students’ selfselection to remain in the course itself and self-s election to participate in the study may have some impact on the representative nature of th e sample. The demographics of the sample are compared later in this chapter to those of overall first-year student enrollment based on information gathered by the University. Data Collection Instrument QuestionPro, a fee-based online survey service, was used to develop and distribute the final survey instrument. The followi ng four primary sections comprised the instrument. (1) Introduction to provide background information regarding the study and modified informed consent.

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49 (2) Demographic information to include previous exp erience with career counseling and online classes. (3) Items related to participant experience levels with technology. Students were also asked to respond to modified Likert-scale type items related to their previous experience with six specific delivery technologies. (4) Items related to participant preferences. Multi ple choice format items were used to ascertain preferences for delivery of caree r services, in particular activities related to the five career choice interventions outlined by Brown and Ryan Krane (2000) and Brown et al. (2003). The researcher developed the survey instrument with the advice of an expert panel, including persons with expertise in survey d esign, distance education, instructional technology, and career development. In a pilot stud y, the instrument was administered to a group of first-year university students. The deta ils of this pilot study are presented later in this chapter. Modifications to the instrument we re made with the expert panel’s input based on the outcomes of the pilot study and focus groups described later in this chapter. Several general guidelines were followed in the des ign and development of the web-based instrument. Efforts were made to ensure t hat from the student’s perspective, the items and response choices were clearly stated and easily located on each screen. The survey did not include graphics, audio, or other mu ltimedia effects. These types of additions may have increased the download time maki ng the survey take longer than necessary to complete. Visual aspects of the survey such as bold type, were used consistently throughout all of the sections and ite ms of the instrument (Dillman & Smyth, 2007).

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50 Procedure The web-based instrument URL was distributed to stu dents enrolled in SLS 1101 through their course instructors. The recruitment e -mail for instructors and students is located in Appendix A. This request for instructors to send the survey lin k out to their students was distributed via mass e-mail by the dir ector of the University’s First-Year Student program. In accordance with the guidelines presented by Umbach (2004), the initial mass e-mail request to instructors was foll owed-up with a reminder. This reminder e-mail to instructors was sent one week after the i nitial request. The reminder e-mail was personalized and sent individually to each instruct or by the researcher. A sample of the reminder message is also located in Appendix A. The survey instrument was opened for student responses on August 29, 2007 and closed on September 14, 2007. Incentives, in the form of four $25.00 gift cards r edeemable at the University bookstore were used in an attempt to gain the stude nts’ attention, as well as increase the students’ willingness to participate in the study a nd the overall response rate. According to Porter and Whitcomb (2004), a lottery-type of in centive has a minimum impact on response rates. However, the specific incentive for mat and amount used in this study were suggested by students in a focus group, which is further discussed in this chapter. A second incentive registration URL was linked to the last page of the survey instrument. Once the student completed the survey, he/she had t he option to either submit responses without registering for the incentive drawing or to submit responses and be directed to a separate form to register for the incentive drawing A web-based survey was chosen primarily for conveni ence factors in planning for the distribution of the instrument to students thro ugh their instructors. The University

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51 Experience program, through which the survey was di stributed to students via instructors, was particularly willing to assist with survey dist ribution since the web-based format would not require any of the curriculum’s already l imited class time to complete. There is however, evidence that web-based surveys have advan tages beyond convenience. In a study of student athletes, 214 respondents par ticipated in an effort to compare web-based and paper-based delivery modes of survey delivery. Lonsdale, Hodge, and Rose (2006) saw a higher response rate of 57% in th e group that received the web-based instrument, compared to 46% in the paper-based surv ey group. These authors also found that they received faster responses from the web-ba sed groups and saw fewer instances of missing data. In a comparison of web and paper-base d modes of survey delivery in a corporate setting, Smither, Walker, and Yap (2004) found the differences in survey responses to be “entirely artifactual” and due to f actors unrelated to delivery mode (p. 22). Limitations and Threats Threats to Statistical Conclusion Validity Depending on the final sample size, statistical pow er could be low, thus threatening the ability to draw appropriate inferen ces from the results. Creswell (2002) recommends using sample size tables and sample erro r formulas for determining desired sample size in survey research. Using these tools, estimates of desired sample size range from 300 to 400. The target population included 184 9 students. For the analyses related to one of the study’s research questions, participa nts were divided into multiple “experience groups” based on their responses relate d to previous experience with technology, online courses, and career counseling.

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52 Threats to Internal Validity. Only one survey was administered. The primary threa t to internal validity was related to selection of participants. The students who chose to return completed surveys may not be representative of the population. Since the survey instrument itself was delivered to participants online, it is possible th at students who had an affinity for or experience with computer technologies were more lik ely to respond. History may have also been a threat if at the time of this study the re were events taking place at the institution, or within specific colleges or program s, that had an effect on the students’ attitudes overall. No threats of this type are know n to have taken place. Threats to Construct Validity Threats in this category are related to the measure s used in the study. In the proposed study, efforts have been taken to validate the instrument in a pilot test. The items used in the instrument should not lead the pa rticipant toward specific responses. The participants should not have expectations about what the researchers hope to find. In this case, the items should not lead the students t o be in favor of or opposed to the use of technology. Bias in the data would result if partic ipants responded in a way that they thought they were expected to, rather than providin g candid information about their preferences and experience. Threats to External Validity The results of this study will be difficult to gene ralize to students who were not enrolled at the university at which the study took place, who were not involved in the study or who do not share the same characteristics as the respondents. Temporal validity threats also exist. The results of this study will be difficult to gene ralize over the course

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53 of time, even to students at the university being s tudied. Technology development and advances happen rapidly. The emergence of new techn ologies, and the adoption of them by the University at a point in the future, may aff ect student preferences. Ethical Considerations Privacy and confidentiality issues for collection o f student attitude and expectation information exist in this study. Univer sity Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval to conduct the study was sought and receiv ed. While the IRB approved waiver of written documentation of informed consent, IRB g uidelines were followed to ensure informed consent was received from each participant and that all responses were anonymous. Those asked to participate were given ev ery assurance that their information and responses are being used for educational resear ch purposes only and that only aggregate data would be reported. Pilot Study Instrument Validation Measurement quality is an important consideration i n instrument development. The scores should be reliable, measuring responses to individual items consistently, and valid, measuring the concepts intended to be measur ed (Babbie, 1990; Creswell, 2002). The steps used by the researcher to validate the in strument for this study are presented below. Faculty members were key advisors in the instrument development process. The survey instrument used in the pilot study was initi ally drafted by the researcher and reviewed by faculty advisors with expertise in surv ey development and instructional

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54 technology. The instrument underwent multiple itera tions of draft, review and revision. Modifications were made based on the feedback provi ded by the faculty advisors. A small group of first-year students was then asked to review the instrument in advance of the pilot study. Nine students volunteer ed to meet with the researcher in a focus group-type session. In this session the stude nts and researcher reviewed the survey instrument section-by-section. The students were pr ovided with paper copies of the instrument and asked to read and complete one secti on of the survey at a time. An open discussion about the items followed each section. T hese students provided feedback, both written and oral, on the survey instrument in excha nge for extra credit in their coursework. These students were all first-year stud ents enrolled in SLS 1101: The University Experience during the fall 2006 semester The student comments helped to determine the best w ord choices for each item, as well as the vocabulary used overall in the survey i nstrument. It was important to ascertain the first-year students’ understanding of career de velopment concepts listed in the instrument. Key feedback from this group included a dding the study’s purpose and potential benefit to the students in the introducti on. The students’ understanding of each of the technolo gies and delivery options presented in the instrument was also clarified, as well as their understanding of the activities included in the five career choice inter ventions which frame the study. The focus group students were familiar with all of the technologies listed as well as the concepts of the career choice interventions. This s tudent group also provided valuable guidance regarding the use of an incentive to encou rage participation.

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55 Modifications were made to the instrument based on feedback received from the students. The faculty advisors were then asked to r eview the new version of the instrument with the student feedback included. Addi tional changes were made based on faculty input before the instrument was distributed to the pilot participants. The pilot instrument can be found in Appendix B. The survey items were developed directly from the s tudy’s framework of five career choice interventions outlined by Brown and R yan Krane (2000) and Brown et al. (2003). This framework was introduced in chapter on e and further described in the literature review in chapter two. The vocabulary us ed by these authors to both define and provide examples of the five career choice interven tions was used to present the interventions to the student participants. The primary student preferences matrix in the surve y asked students to read 15 items describing activities related to the five car eer choice interventions. For each item students selected a preferred mode of delivery from the following choices: (a) on campus, (b) online, or (c) not at all. The 15 items in this student preferences matrix are presented in Table 1. A second matrix was provided in the pilot survey. T his matrix asked students to again select their preferred delivery mode for the five career choice interventions. The format listed the five career choice interventions more directly, as opposed to the 15 activities listed in the previous matrix. Students were also presented with specific technologies from which to choose. Table 2 contains a list of the options provided in the survey instrument.

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56 Table 1 Student Preference for Delivery of Career Choice Ac tivities Item Item Description Q1 Explore my own thoughts about my career choices. Q2 Explore how the results of a career test relate to possible careers. Q3 Find information about current job openings. Q4 Learn from experienced professionals working in a career I am interested in pursuing. Q5 Find techniques for including others, such as my family and friends, in my career decision-making. Q6 Develop a list of careers I may be interested in researching further. Q7 Get feedback from a career counselor on useful s trategies for making decisions about my career. Q8 Research typical salaries earned by those workin g in my career of interest. Q9 Interview someone working in a job I am interest ed in pursuing. Q10 Learn about how culture and gender related issu es may affect my career choice. Q11 Complete worksheets to identify work-related sk ills that I have. Q12 Learn more about how my skills and interests re late to various career fields. Q13 Learn about the requirements needed to work in the career I am interested in pursuing. Q14 Find out more about how my career counselor dec ided on his/her career. Q15 Learn how to network with professionals in my c hosen career field. Table 2 Student Preferences for Specific Technologies Face-to-Face: In-person Asynchronous: E-mail Discussion Board Video Recording Audio Recording or Podcast Website, Wiki, and/or Blog Synchronous: Telephone Instant Messaging, Text Chat Virtual Room with Real Time Interaction

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57 Pilot Test Data Collection For the pilot test, the data collection instrument was developed using Survey Monkey, an online fee-based survey system. A URL fo r the survey was provided to students via e-mail from the researcher and one add itional University Experience instructor. The survey remained open to new respons es for two weeks with a start date of December 1, 2006 and an end date of December 15, 20 06. An incentive was offered to attract student partici pation. Students who completed the survey were provided with a second URL to regis ter for a prize drawing. This link was to a second instrument, also developed with Sur vey Monkey, which asked only for the student’s name and e-mail address. The research instrument and the registration instrument were not linked. It was not possible to match student names and e-mail addresses with individual student responses. The in centive was a $25.00 gift card redeemable at the University bookstore, which was s uggested by the student reviewers. After the survey closed to new responses, one parti cipant was chosen at random, using a web-based random number generator and the n umbers assigned to the participants by the survey software based on the order in which their responses were recorded. This student was to receive the incentive. This student was notified by e-mail and the gift card was sent via the United States Postal Service. Participants A total of 126 participants responded to the initia l request to complete the survey instrument. Of this group, 64 respondents identifie d themselves as first-year students and completed all of the items on the instrument. The f inal participant group, n = 64,

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58 consisted of 55 (85.94%) females and 9 (14.06%) mal es. None of the participants identified themselves as International Students. Data Analysis The first section of the survey presented the parti cipants with a series of items concerned with collecting demographic information. This information, while not directly related to the research questions, will be necessar y for comparison of the sample participants to those in the larger population. Thi s information will also be helpful in determining how generalizable the results of this s tudy are to students outside of the study. The demographic information of the pilot par ticipants is presented in Appendix C. The average age of participants was 18.65 years. Ag e of participants ranged from 17 to 24. Most of the participants, 88%, were full-time s tudents enrolled in a minimum of 12 credits as defined by their University. The average course load was 14 credits. The number of credits students were enrolled in ranged from six to 17. Upon completion of the data collection an explorato ry factor analysis (EFA) was conducted on the 15 items of the primary student pr eferences matrix of the survey. Conducting an EFA assisted in determining how the 1 5 items loaded compared to the five overall categories of career choice intervention be ing used as the study’s framework. The data were scored for the EFA to reflect a preferenc e for online delivery as an indicator variable, thus responses for “online” were coded as “1” and responses for both “on campus” and “not at all” were coded as “0”. Eigenvalues were calculated as part of the EFA to d etermine how much variance could be explained by each item. These values are p resented in Table 3. Average eigenvalue was examined as a possible cut score. Us ing this measure, eigenvalues larger

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59 than the average eigenvalue would determine the num ber of factors represented by the survey items. With an average eigenvalue of 0.40 a total of six (6) factors should be explored. This is also supported by an examination of the scree plot (Suhr, n.d.). Table 3 Summary of Eigenvalues and Average Eigenvalue Item Eigenvalue Item Eigenvalue Q1 3.36 Q9 0.02 Q2 1.38 Q10 -0.07 Q3 0.72 Q11 -0.12 Q4 0.61 Q12 -0.23 Q5 0.51 Q13 -0.25 Q6 0.45 Q14 -0.28 Q7 0.17 Q15 -0.32 Q8 0.11 Average Eigenvalue: 0.40 In order to better understand the factor loading, t he number of factors was set to correspond with the established framework of the st udy. Using five factors, corresponding with the five career choice intervent ions outlined by Brown and Ryan Krane (2000), the analysis is more consistent with our understanding of the interventions and more interpretable in this context. As a result of these analyses, five factors for the above set of items were retained for further analys is. The data in Table 4 present the factor pattern coef ficient and factor structure coefficient for each of the 15 items as assigned to each of the five factors. The numbers in bold typeface under each factor represent the items that contributed the most to each factor. Refer to Table 5 for a summarized list of t he five factors and the items that are assigned to each.

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60 Table 4 Exploratory Factor Analysis Matrix of Student Prefe rence Items using Promax Rotation Method Factor 1 Factor 2 Factor 3 Factor 4 Factor 5 Item Factor Pattern Factor Structure Factor Pattern Factor Structure Factor Pattern Factor Structure Factor Pattern Factor Structure Factor Pattern Factor Structure Q2 73 62 -4 -3 0 0 -12 -11 6 6 Q3 61 52 -19 -16 -12 -11 12 11 23 21 Q13 58 49 4 4 31 28 3 3 -5 -5 Q12 21 17 64 54 15 14 -16 -15 7 7 Q11 -19 -16 58 49 -6 -5 -1 -1 10 9 Q6 37 31 43 37 9 8 9 8 1 1 Q1 13 11 38 32 -15 -14 22 21 -5 -5 Q8 32 27 36 30 -24 -22 21 19 -11 -10 Q7 13 11 -2 -2 68 62 4 4 -9 -8 Q9 -6 -5 -4 -4 48 44 11 11 0 0 Q5 8 6 -2 -1 16 15 62 58 -7 -8 Q10 -16 -13 45 38 4 4 45 42 7 6 Q14 4 3 -11 -9 28 25 37 35 33 30 Q15 27 23 13 11 -13 -12 -6 -5 61 56 Q4 -13 -11 10 8 38 34 -1 -1 47 44 Factor 1 is comprised of items 2, 3, 13, and 8. The se items loaded the most on this factor (factor pattern coefficients = .73, .61, .58 and .32 respectively). These items also had the strongest positive relationship with this f actor (factor structure coefficients = .62, .52, .49, and .27 respectively). These items each i nvolve content specifically associated with the world of work, such as requirements to wor k in a particular career and information about salaries and current job openings Item 8 also loaded similarly in Factor 2. After reviewing item 8 it appeared that F actor 1 was a better fit. This factor was labeled “Information on the World of Work” to corre spond with the most appropriate element of the framework career choice intervention s.

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61 Factor 2 is comprised of items 12, 11, 6, and 1. T he factor pattern coefficients of these items were .64, .58, .43, and .38, respective ly. The factor structure coefficients of these items were .54, .49, .37, and .32 respectivel y. These four items directly correspond with the framework career choice intervention “Writ ten Exercises”, involving developing lists, completing worksheets, and exploring one’s o wn skills and interests as they relate to career fields. Factor 3 is comprised of items 7 and 9. The factor pattern coefficients of these items were .68 and .48 respectively, and their fact or structure coefficients were .62 and .44. These items address receiving information and feedback about careers and decision making strategies from working professionals and ca reer counselors. These items most closely correspond with the framework career choice intervention of “Individual Interpretation and Feedback”. Factor 4 is comprised of items 5, 10, and 14. The factor pattern coefficients of these items were .62, .45, and .37 respectively, an d their factor structure coefficients were .58, .42, and .35 respectively. The items address i ncluding others in one’s career decision making process, to include consideration of one’s o wn cultural influences, as well as how others make career decisions. This factor was label ed “Attention to Building Support” as the items most closely represent the definition of this framework career choice intervention. Factor 5 is comprised of items 15 and 4, with a fa ctor pattern coefficients of .61 and .47, and a factor structure coefficients of .56 and .44 respectively. Items 15 and 4 involve gathering information from others working i n a career field one may be interested in pursuing. This factor was labeled “Modeling” as it most closely reflects the modeling

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62 framework career choice intervention. Decisions ab out items related to this factor, as well as the previous factors, were based on meaning fulness as they related to the study’s established framework. Table 5 Summary of Student Preference Items within Each Fac tor Factor 1: Information on the World of Work Item 2: Explore how the results of a career te st relate to possible careers. Item 3: Find information about current job ope nings. Item 13: Learn about the requirements needed t o work in the career I am interested in. Item 8: Research typical salaries earned by th ose working in my career of interest. Factor 2: Written Exercises Item 12: Learn more about how my skills and in terests relate to various career fields. Item 11: Complete worksheets to identify workrelated skills that I have. Item 6: Develop a list of careers I may be int erested in researching further. Item 1: Explore my own thoughts about my caree r choices. Factor 3: Individual Interpretation and Feedback Item 7: Get feedback from a career counselor o n useful strategies for making decisions about my c areer. Item 9: Interview someone working in a job I a m interested in. Factor 4: Attention to Building Support Item 5: Find techniques for including others, such as my family and friends, in my career decisio nmaking. Item 10: Learn about how culture and gender re lated issues may affect my career choice. Item 14: Find out more about how my career cou nselor decided on his/her career. Factor 5: Modeling Item 15: Learn how to network with professiona ls in my career field. Item 4: Learn from experienced professionals w orking in a career I am interested in pursuing. Factor inter-correlation was also conducted to exa mine the relationships among all five factors. The data in Table 6 resulted from this analysis. No two factors were strongly correlated. While the majority of the fact or relationships were negative, they ranged from -.45 to .11.

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63 Table 6 Correlations for Five Factors of Student Preference for Delivery of Career Choice Interventions Factor 1 Factor 2 Factor 3 Factor 4 Factor 5 Factor 1 1.00 Factor 2 -.45 1.00 Factor 3 -.05 -.14 1.00 Factor 4 -.19 -.12 -.5 1.00 Factor 5 .11 .1 -.35 -.12 1.00 Chi-square tests of independence were performed to examine the relationship between experience in online classes and preference for delivery mode of career choice intervention activities. There are a number of assumptions to consider when using the chi-square test of independence. Both variables ar e measured on a nominal scale. In this study, both preference and experience were treated as nominal variables. Experience with online courses is nominal and is made up of three g roups, while preference for delivery mode is also nominal and consists of two groups. Th e participants responded independently of each other and each participant ap pears in only once cell. The criterion variable, in this case item scores or responses, do es not represent a random sample. This is a violation of the random sampling assumption. S tudents were asked to voluntarily participate. The resulting group of participants is not necessarily a random sample from the larger population. Additionally, due to the sm all group of participants in the pilot study, some cells had expected frequencies of less than five.

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64 Pilot Test Results The results of the pilot study are presented below as responses to the research questions of the larger study. Research Question What are first-year university students’ preference s for the delivery method of critical career choice intervent ions? Frequencies of response for the 15 survey items in the student preference matrix were calculated. Table 7 presents the overall responses of the 64 participants regarding their preference for delivery of the activity described b y each item. Bold typeface is used to identify the delivery mode preference for each item The data in Table 7 are organized by the five factors established in the exploratory fac tor analysis. In two of the five factors, there is a clear prefe rence for online delivery of each of the activities listed. These factors are Informatio n on the World of Work and Written Exercises. In an additional two factors, there is a clear preference for on campus delivery. These factors are Individual Interpretation and Fee dback and Modeling. While online mentoring and modeling programs are evolving, tradi tionally, modeling takes place through direct observation and interaction between a student and a professional rolemodel. Students also seem to prefer working face-to -face with on campus career professionals to get feedback on their career devel opment. The participant responses to delivery preference f or items related to the remaining factor, Attention to Building Support, are not as c learly defined. The majority of respondents preferred online delivery for one of th e items, “Learn about how culture and gender related issues may affect my career choice”. In contrast, the majority of respondents selected on campus delivery for the rem aining two items in this factor which

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65 are, “Find techniques for including others, such as my family and friends, in my career decision-making” and “Find out more about how my ca reer counselor decided on his/her career”. A blended approach to this factor may be i ndicated where students can access information about cultural and gender issues and me et in person with a career counselor to discuss incorporating others into their own deci sion-making as well as finding out how others made their own career decisions. Participants were given the option to choose “not at all” as a preference. By choosing this option, a student could indicate no i nterest in participating, either on campus or online, in the activity described. Intere stingly, the first-year students participating in the pilot study overwhelmingly cho se to participate in these career choice intervention activities. The items in Factor 4, Att ention to Building Support, received the highest percentage in the “not at all” option, howe ver, this option still scored lowest of the three preference options. A second matrix was provided in the pilot survey in which students were presented with specific technologies from which to choose as delivery options for the five career choice interventions. Data related to freque ncies of responses received are displayed in Table 8. Due to the relatively low num ber of respondents and large number of cells in this matrix that received no responses, it was determined that the categories should be collapsed to show response totals for Fac e-to-Face, Asynchronous, and Synchronous methods of delivery. The full matrix ca n be seen in the instrument in Appendix B.

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66 Table 7 Frequency of Responses for Student Preference for D elivery of Career Choice Interventions On Campus Online Not at All % N % N % N Factor 1: Information on the World of Work Explore how the results of a career test relate to possible careers. 31 20 61 39 8 5 Find information about current job openings. 27 17 69 44 5 3 Learn about the requirements needed to work in the career I am interested in pursuing. 39 25 59 38 2 1 Research typical salaries earned by those working i n my career of interest. 12 8 84 54 3 2 Factor 2: Written Exercises Learn more about how my skills and interests relate to various career fields. 31 20 61 39 8 5 Complete worksheets to identify work-related skills that I have. 20 13 66 42 14 9 Develop a list of careers I may be interested in re searching further. 19 12 78 50 3 2 Explore my own thoughts about my career choices. 30 19 62 40 8 5 Factor 3: Individual Interpretation and Feedback Get feedback from a career counselor on useful stra tegies for making decisions about my career. 73 47 22 14 5 3 Interview someone working in a job I am interested in pursuing 77 49 16 10 8 5 Factor 4: Attention to Building Support Find techniques for including others, such as my fa mily and friends, in my career decision-making. 42 27 34 22 23 15 Learn about how culture and gender related issues m ay affect my career choice. 34 22 44 28 22 14 Find out more about how my career counselor decided on his/her career. 53 34 19 12 28 18 Factor 5: Modeling Learn how to network with professionals in my caree r field. 55 35 30 19 16 10 Learn from experienced professionals working in a c areer I am interested in pursuing. 80 51 14 9 6 4

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67 In this section of the survey, there is an overall preference for face-to face interaction to complete the career choice intervent ions. This in some ways contradicts the responses received in the first matrix. Differences in delivery preferences between the two matrices were likely due to differences in the item stems. The second matrix asked students to consider how they would prefer to “inte ract with career specialists and careerrelated information”. The introduction of a person, specifically a career specialist, may have led the participants to choose face-to-face de livery. Similarities of responses in the two matrices include a preference for online delive ry, specifically using asynchronous technologies, for Factor 1, Information on the Worl d of Work. Also similar to the first matrix, there is a preference for face-to-face, or on campus delivery of Factor 3, Individual Interpretation and Feedback, and Factor 5, Modeling. Table 8 Frequency of Responses for Student Preferences for Technologies Face-to-Face Asynchronous Synchronous % N % N % N Information on the World of Work 27 17 69 44 5 3 Written Exercises 61 39 25 16 14 9 Individual Interpretation and Feedback 66 39 25 16 14 9 Attention to Building Support 47 30 41 26 13 8 Modeling 52 33 44 28 5 3 Research Question To what extent are there differences in first-year University students’ preferences for the delivery methods of c ritical career choice interventions based on their prior experience with online courses? Each of the 64 respondents identified himself/herse lf as a member of one of the following three experience groups: (a) no previous experience with online courses (n = 37), (b)

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68 currently enrolled in first online course (n = 13), (c) previously completed an online course (n = 14). Of those who previously completed an online course, an average of two courses had been completed. This demographic inform ation related to previous experience with online courses is displayed in Tabl e 9. While a majority of participants had no experience with online courses (57.8%), 42.2 % of participants had either previously completed an online course or were enrol led in their first online course at the time of the survey. Table 9 Pilot Study Student Previous Experience with Online Courses % N No – I have never taken an online course 57.8 37 No – But I am in my first online course this s emester 20.3 13 Yes – I have completed an online course 21.9 1 4 Chi-square tests of independence were performed to examine the relationship between experience in online classes and preference for delivery mode of career choice intervention activities. This analysis failed to reveal a significant relati onship in preference among the three experience groups. The p articipants who had no previous experience in online courses responded similarly to participants who had previous or current experience with online courses. The chi-sq uare statistics are displayed in Table 10 for each of the 15 survey items, each representi ng an activity related to the five career choice interventions. The chi-square statistics ran ged from X2 (2, N = 64) = 0.0955, p > .05 to X2 (2, N = 64) = 2.5673, p > .05.

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69 Table 10 Pilot Study Chi-square Statistics DF Value p Factor 1: Information on the World of Work Explore how the results of a career test relate to possible careers. 2 1.1025 0.5762 Find information about current job openings. 2 0.96 73 0.6165 Learn about the requirements needed to work in the career I am interested in pursuing. 2 2.3543 0.3082 Research typical salaries earned by those working i n my career of interest. 2 0.9441 0.6237 Factor 2: Written Exercises Learn more about how my skills and interests relate to various career fields. 2 2.5673 0.2770 Complete worksheets to identify work-related skills that I have. 2 1.0705 0.5855 Develop a list of careers I may be interested in re searching further. 2 0.6892 0.7085 Explore my own thoughts about my career choices. 2 1.9065 0.3855 Factor 3: Individual Interpretation and Feedback Get feedback from a career counselor on useful stra tegies for making decisions about my career. 2 1.6624 0.4355 Interview someone working in a job I am interested in pursuing. 2 0.9441 0.6237 Factor 4: Attention to Building Support Find techniques for including others, such as my fa mily and friends, in my career decision-making. 2 0.0955 0.9534 Learn about how culture and gender related issues m ay affect my career choice. 2 1.5765 0.4546 Find out more about how my career counselor decided on his/her career. 2 1.9646 0.3744 Factor 5: Modeling Learn how to network with professionals in my caree r field. 2 2.4373 0.2956 Learn from experienced professionals working in a c areer I am interested in pursuing. 2 0.9711 0.6154 Overall, participants in the pilot study were found to prefer on campus delivery of activities related to Individual Interpretation and Feedback and Modeling, and online delivery of activities related to Information on th e World of Work and Written Exercises.

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70 There is not a clear preference for delivery mode o f Attention to Building Support. Approximately 42% of the first-year students who pa rticipated in the pilot study had some previous experience with online courses. After comparing the experience subgroups, no significant differences were found. P references for delivery of the five framework career choice interventions were similar for students with no online course experience and students with current or previous on line course experience. Implications for the Larger Study The results of the pilot study indicated that sever al changes should be made to the data collection instrument before use in the larger study. Two matrices were used in the pilot instrument. The first matrix offered three op tions for delivery of 15 career choice intervention activities. These choices were (a) on campus, (b) online, and (c) not at all. The second matrix offered a similar choice but with expanded options listing specific technologies for the delivery of the five career ch oice interventions, which frame this study. The revised instrument used in the larger st udy can be found in Appendix D. The revised instrument provided a series of multiple ch oice items that in effect was a combination of the two matrices used in the pilot. The new format included all 15 activities used prev iously in the first matrix plus two additional activities for a total of 17. These items present individual activities that relate to the five career choice interventions, whi ch frame the study. The two additional items were developed directly from the definitions provided by Brown and Ryan Krane (2000). One of these items was designed to become a part of Factor 3, Individual Interpretation and Feedback, which was composed of only two items through the Exploratory Factor Analysis conducted in the pilot study. The second additional item was

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71 designed to become a part of Factor 5, Modeling, wh ich was also composed of only two items in the Exploratory Factor Analysis conducted in the pilot study. It is desirable for each factor to be composed of a minimum of three it ems (Suhr, n.d.). Table 11 Career Choice Interventions and Activities Information on the World of Work Explore how the results of a career test relat e to possible careers. Find information about current job openings. Learn about the requirements needed to work in the career I am interested in pursuing. Research typical salaries earned by those work ing in my career of interest. Written Exercises Learn more about how my skills and interests r elate to various career fields. Complete worksheets to identify work-related s kills that I have. Develop a list of careers I may be interested in researching further. Explore my own thoughts about my career choice s. Individual Interpretation and Feedback Get feedback on useful strategies for making d ecisions about my career. Interview someone working in a job I am intere sted in pursuing. Get feedback on my job search skills, such as resume writing and interviewing. Attention to Building Support Find techniques for including others, such as my family and friends, in my career decision-making Learn about how culture and gender related iss ues may affect my career choice. Find out more about how my career advisor deci ded on his/her career. Modeling Learn how to network with professionals in my career field. Learn from experienced professionals working i n a career I am interested in pursuing. Receive advice from someone working in a caree r field I am interested in pursuing. The revised instrument also included the delivery m odes presented in the second matrix of the pilot. Participants were asked to cho ose their preferred delivery modes for each of the 17 items. Delivery options included the following: (a) in person; (b) e-mail;

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72 (c) discussion board in Blackboard; (d) audio or vi deo recording or podcast; (e) website, wiki, and/or blog; (f) telephone call, (g) Internet text chat or instant messaging, (h) virtual room with real-time interaction; and (i) I am not interested in participating in this activity. The term “podcast” refers to both audio a nd video recordings. Podcasts had evolved along with the changes to MP3 players to al low for video as well as audio playback or downloaded recordings in the time since the pilot study was conducted. Another revision of the survey instrument after the pilot study came from the recommendation that the participants be given the o pportunity to select more than one delivery mode preference for each of the 17 career choice intervention activities. Using multiple response items, the items on the revised i nstrument provided instructions to the student to “check all that apply”. It was also rec ommended that these 17 items be presented to each student in a random order. In an effort to reduce possible effects created by the order of the presentation of the 17 items, t hese items were presented randomly by the survey software. Using the Question Block Rotat ion feature of QuestionPro, these items were set to appear on the computer screen in random order each time the survey was accessed by a respondent. A review of the revised survey was conducted after the pilot test and the issue of viability was addressed. The viability of several o f the options was questioned as they related to each of the activities. It was thought t hat each activity may not be viable, or even likely to occur, through each of the delivery modes presented. A further review of the viability of the options was conducted. Three professionals representing the fields of care er counseling, distance education, and instructional technology were asked to review the activities and delivery

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73 options and identify which options were not viable, or likely, based on their practice and perspectives. This review produced very little over lap in opinion. It was noted that some options may be better than others depending on the context of the student and the career professionals delivering the services. It should al so be noted that the delivery option of “audio or video recording, or podcast” was the one most questioned for viability of delivering the activities overall. After review of the completed research proposal, re visions were made to the survey instrument and another student focus group w as conducted. In this session, a small group of first-year students was asked to review th e instrument in advance of the planned data collection. Seven students volunteered to meet with the researcher to review the instrument. The students were provided with paper c opies of the instrument and asked to read and complete one section of the survey at a ti me. An open discussion about the items followed each section. These students provided feed back, both written and oral, on the survey instrument. These students were all first-ye ar students previously enrolled in the SLS 1101 course. The student comments, as in a previous focus group, helped to determine the best word choices for each item, as well as the vocabula ry used overall in the survey instrument. Key feedback from the students in this group included clarification of their understanding of each delivery option presented, as well as their response to the instruction to “check all that apply” for the 17 ac tivity items. None of these students selected all options for any one item. Their respon ses seemed thoughtful and were varied from student to student.

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74 In addition to the second student focus group outli ned above, a smaller group of students reviewed the survey instrument through com pleting the survey online. After completing the survey, four open-ended questions we re provided regarding usability. These questions were adapted from Usability.gov (n. d.) and included items regarding overall impressions, suggested improvements, and co mments, as well as an opportunity to describe any mistakes or problems found while ta king the survey. This group of users identified several areas of imp rovement, which were incorporated into the survey instrument. Three impr ovements were made based on this feedback: (a) using alternating boldface to make on e block of questions easier to read on screen, (b) including validation of textbox items t o ensure that numbers were entered where numerical data were expected, and (c) using p rogress indicators (i.e. page 1 of 3) and motivational phrases (i.e. “keep going… this is the last section!”) to encourage the user to continue. These changes are also supported by the literature. Clarity and consistency of questions and response options is li sted by Dillman and Smyth (2007) as an essential part of web survey design. Couper, Tra ugott, and Lamias (2001) studied the use of progress indicators and motivational screens in web-survey design to see if there was any effect on response rate. The study conclude d that these additions may lead to increased response rate if they do not add to downl oad time. Data Analysis For the larger study, the analyses of data respond ing to the established research questions are outlined below. Research Question What are first-year students’ preferences for the d elivery method of critical career choice interventions?

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75 A series of 17 career choice activities was present ed. Each of these activities is associated with one of the five career choice inter ventions as determined through the pilot test for this study. The 17 activities were present ed with multiple choice type survey items for which participants were asked to choose d elivery mode preferences from the following: (a) in person; (b) e-mail; (c) discussio n board in Blackboard; (d) audio or video recording or podcast; (e) website, wiki, and/ or blog; (f) Internet text chat or instant messaging; (g) telephone call; (h) virtual room; an d (i) I am not interested in participating in this activity. Students were instructed to “chec k all that apply” for each of these 17 multiple choice items. Results related to this ques tion are presented in chapter four. Responses were summarized with frequencies. Include d are the 95% confidence intervals. Research Question To what extent are there differences in first-year university students’ preferences for the delivery method of cr itical career choice interventions based on their prior experience with each of the following: (a) online courses; (b) career counseling; (c) e-mail; (d) Blackboard discussion boards; (e) audio and video recordings or podcasts; (f) Internet websites, wikis, and/or blogs; (g) Internet text chat or instant mes saging; and (h) virtual rooms with real-time interaction? Data regarding student previous experience with onl ine courses were collected through a multiple choice questions provided in the demographic portion of the survey instrument. Respondents were asked to choose one st atement which best described his or her previous experience with online courses. The re sponse options provided included (a) I have never taken an online course, (b) I am enrol led in my first online course this

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76 semester, (c) I have completed one or two online co urses, and (d) I have completed three or more online courses. The response options were p resented in a modified Likert-scale format. Responses to this item were summarized with frequencies for each of the four “experience groups” with online courses. A series o f Chi square tests of independence were conducted to explore differences in preference s for technology delivery of career choice interventions among these experience groups. Data regarding previous experience with career coun seling were also collected through a multiple choice question with a modified Likert-scale set of response options in the demographic portion of the survey. Respondents were asked to choose one response to the following question: “Have you ever participa ted in career advising or guidance activities? (Examples of these activities include i dentifying your skills and career interests, exploring career options, and developing a career plan.)” The response options were (a) I have no experience with career advising, (b) I have very little experience with career advising, (c) I have some experience with ca reer advising, and (d) I have a lot of experience with career advising. Responses to this item were summarized with frequencies for each of the four “experience groups ” with career counseling. A series of Chi-square tests of independence were conducted to explore differences in preferences for technology delivery methods of career choice in terventions among these experience groups. Data regarding previous experience with each of the six specific technologies listed as possible delivery modes for career choice activities in the survey were collected with a separate survey item. This item required eac h student to select his or her experience level with each of the technologies. A m odified Likert-scale type format was

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77 used. The item presented students with the followin g question: “What is your experience level with the following types of technology?” Stud ents selected their experience levels from these statements: (a) I am not familiar with t his technology at all, (b) I am familiar with this but have no experience, (c) I have very l ittle experience with this, (d) I have some experience with this, and (e) I have a lot of experience with this. Responses to this item were summarized with frequencies and percentag es. A series of Chi square tests of independence were also conducted. These tests explo red group differences regarding technology delivery mode preferences of each of the 17 career choice activities. Data regarding preference for technology delivery m ode were coded for the analyses related to previous experience. The design of the survey items allowed each participant to select more than one delivery method for each of the career choice activities presented. Participant data were combine d for the various technology options offered, including e-mail, discussion board, record ing or podcast, website, telephone, text chat, and virtual room. Participants who selected a t least one technology delivery option were coded with a “1” response for that activity. P articipants who selected no technology delivery options or indicated no interest in partic ipating were coded with a “0” for that activity regarding preference for delivery. When conducting the chi-square test of independence several assumptions should be taken into consideration. In this study, both pr eference and experience were treated as nominal, categorical variables. The participants re sponded independently of each other and each participant appears in only once cell. The criterion variable, in this case preference responses, does not include a random sam ple. This is a violation of the random sampling assumption. Students were asked to voluntarily participate and the

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78 resulting group of participants may not represent a random sample of the population. Additionally, due to the small group of participant s in several of the comparisons, specifically looking at experience in the areas of career counseling, e-mail, and text chat, several cells had expected frequencies of less than five. These analyses involve hypothesis testing. In testi ng group differences, the null hypothesis states that there are no differences amo ng or between groups (O’Rourke et al., 2005). With multiple hypothesis testing there is th e possibility of Type I error, or rejecting the null hypothesis when it is true. In t his situation, finding a difference where there is none can lead to the presentation of misle ading results and the drawing of erroneous conclusions (Creswell, 2002). The Bonferr oni inequality technique was used to “estimate the maximum probability of a Type I error in any set of significance tests” (Glass & Hopkins, 1996, p. 456.). The possibility o f Type II error also exists and can be increased by making a very conservative correction procedure such as the Bonferroni adjustment (O’Rourke, Hatcher, & Stepanski, 2005). This type of error occurs when a null hypothesis is accepted when it is actually fal se. Raising the alpha level reduces the level Type II error. Larger sample size reduces the occurrence of Type II error (Glass & Hopkins, 1996). Summary Chapter three outlined the methods and procedures of the study. A pilot study was conducted, which included development and validatio n of the survey instrument and results after administration to a small group of st udents in the target population. Recommendations for changes to the survey instrumen t were made based on the validation process conducted through the pilot stud y. The steps taken to make revisions to

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79 the survey instrument subsequent to the pilot study were outlined. Data analysis procedures conducted in the larger study were also outlined. Chapter four presents the results of the study.

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80 Chapter Four Results This chapter presents the analyses of responses rec eived through the web-based survey instrument used in this study. The survey wa s distributed to students enrolled in the SLS 1101: The University Experience course duri ng the fall semester of 2007. This chapter includes sections reporting the response ra te, participant demographic data, and findings relevant to each of the established resear ch questions. The purpose of this study was to explore first-year students’ delivery mode p references for critical career choice interventions. This study also explored differences in delivery preferences based on students’ previous experience with online courses, career counseling, and specific technologies. Response The population for this study included 1,849 firstyear students enrolled in SLS 1101: The University Experience during the fall sem ester of 2007 as of the drop/add registration date at the University. A total of 334 completed surveys were received. Each returned survey was judged to be “usable” if it wa s complete and the respondent selected “yes” in response to the question “is this your fir st year of college since graduating from high school?” In this study, surveys that were judg ed to be “unusable” were submitted by students who selected “no” in response to this ques tion. While SLS 1101 is designed for first-year students, continuing and transfer studen ts are not barred from registering for the

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81 course. A total of 318 surveys were used for the an alysis. These surveys were complete, with no missing data, and submitted by first-year s tudents. An incentive was offered to students in an effort to increase their participation in the study. After completing the survey, each studen t had the option to submit his or her responses or to submit responses and move to a regi stration page. Of the 318 study participants, 233 (73.27%) elected to register for the incentive drawing. At the completion of data collection, four students were s elected randomly to receive the gift cards. These students were notified by e-mail. Demographic Data Demographic characteristics of the study participan ts are shown in Table 12. Of the 318 participants, 73 (22.96%) were male and 245 (77.04%) were female. The age of respondents ranged from 17 to 28 with an average ag e of 18. A majority of respondents 206 (64.78%), identified themselves as White, follo wed by 38 (11.95%) Hispanic, 30 (9.43%) African American or Black, 25 (7.86%) Other and 19 (5.97%) Asian or Pacific Islander. The majority of those who responded “othe r” indicated “mixed race”, “multiracial”. A small number of respondents, 12 (3.77%), indicate d that they were International Students. When asked how many credits they were enr olled in at the time of the survey, 312 (98.11%) indicated full-time student status enr olled in a minimum of 12 credit hours. The remainder of respondents, 6 (1.89%) reported a part-time credit load of 11 credit hours or less. The credit load of participants rang ed from 4 to 18 with an average credit load of 14.37.

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82 When asked to select statements identifying current employment situation students were given the option to check all that ap ply. Most students selected only one response. The majority of students, 219 (67.80%), r esponded that they were currently not working. Of the students completing the survey, 256 (80.50%), indicated that they had already declared a major. These students listed 44 different major areas that together represented all of the university’s colleges. Table 12 Demographic Characteristics of Survey Respondents Characteristics N % Gender Male 73 22.96 Female 245 77.04 Race African American or Black 30 9.43 Asian or Pacific Islander 19 5.97 Hispanic 38 11.95 Native American White 206 64.78 Other 25 7.86 International No 306 96.23 Yes 12 3.77 Credit Load Part-time 6 1.89 Full-time 312 98.11 Employment Off-campus part-time 77 23.84 Off-campus full-time 6 1.86 On-campus part-time 20 6.19 On-campus full-time 1 .31 Not working 219 67.80 Declared Major No 62 19.50 Yes 256 80.50

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83 Available demographic characteristics of all firstyear students enrolled in the participants’ institution are presented in Table 13 These data were available from the University via an online reporting feature of the u niversity’s website (New Student Headcount, 2007). A series of Chi-square Goodness o f Fit tests were conducted to compare the characteristics of the sample students and population students in the areas of gender, international status, credit load, and race The group of first-year students who chose to compl ete the survey is similar to the larger population of first-year students at the ins titution in that the majority of students were female, from the United States, enrolled fulltime, and Caucasian. A closer examination of these characteristics of the sample as compared to those of the population does, however, reveal the magnitude of differences between the two groups. While the majority of students in both the sample a nd larger population were female, the disparity between female and male is le ss in the larger group ( X = 45.8643, 1 d.f., p = <.0001) with a small effect size of .11. Internat ional students appeared as a larger percentage of the sample than of the larger populat ion ( X = 10.7767, 1 d.f., p = .0010) with a small effect size of .05. Part-time students were not represented in the sample in as large a percentage as they appear in the larger pop ulation ( X = 5.1842, 1 d.f., p = .0228) with a small effect size of .04. While proportion o f students reporting race as “White” in both the sample and population was similar, there w ere differences in the two groups in other categories. The sample included larger percen tages of students reporting race as “African American or Black” and “Other”, while the population included larger percentages of students reporting race as “Asian or Pacific Islander”, “Hispanic”, and

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84 “Native American or American Indian” ( X = 13.5517, 4 d.f., p = .0089) with a small effect size of .06. Table 13 Demographic Characteristics of Population Characteristics N % Male 1505 42.38 Female 2041 57.47 Gender Not reported 5 .01 No 3502 98.62 International Yes 49 1.38 Part-time 164 4.61 Credit Load Full-time 3387 95.38 Black 255 7.18 American Indian 18 .51 Asian/Pacific Islander 254 7.15 Hispanic 535 15.07 White 2197 61.87 Race Other/Not reported 143 4.03 Preferences for Delivery of Career Choice Intervent ions The results of the data analysis conducted to respo nd to the established research questions are outlined below. Research Question What are first-year students’ preferences for the d elivery method of critical career choice interventions? Through pilot testing, a list of 17 activities was developed with each of the activities representing one of the five career choice interven tions. In a series of multiple choice questions, each of the 17 activities was presented with a choice of nine response options

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85 including “in person”, seven specific technologies, and “not interested”. Students were instructed to “check all that apply”. Frequencies of responses for each of the 17 survey items were calculated. These activities are organized by the five career choice interventions that frame this study. The tables included in this section include rata relate d to the overall responses of the 318 participants regarding their preferences for the de livery mode of each activity. The delivery modes for each activity are listed from hi ghest response to lowest response. Confidence intervals are also presented. Overall e-mail and in person were the two most sele cted delivery options. E-mail was the most selected delivery mode for 12 of the 1 7 activities. In person was the most selected delivery mode for the remaining five activ ities. Audio/video recordings or podcasts, and virtual rooms were the two least sele cted delivery options for each of the 17 activities. There are several findings to report related to ove rall reaction to the career choice activities. Students were given the option to indic ate that they were not interested in participating in each activity. The activities asso ciated with Attention to Building Support received the highest number of “not interested” res ponses. The percentages of students selecting “not interested” for these activities ran ged from 29.87% to 34.91%. The activities associated with Modeling received the le ast number of “not interested” responses ranging from 14.47% to 20.75%. The activi ties associated with Information on the World of Work also received low numbers of “not interested” responses ranging from 14.47% to 25.79%.

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86 A group of 26 (8.18%) students selected “not intere sted” for each of the 17 activities presented. An average of 2.04 delivery m ethods per activity was selected by the remaining 292 (91.82%) participants. The number of student selections for any one activity ranged from one to eight. A small group of 3 (.94%) students selected only “in person” delivery for all of the activities presente d. A group of 25 (7.86%) participants selected only technology options. These students di d not select “in person” for any of the activities. None of the participants selected all o f the delivery options for all of the activities. Information on the World of Work Preferences for delivery of the four the activitie s related to Information on the World of Work were similar. E-mail was selected mos t frequently for each of these activities. In person and website, wiki, and/or blo g, were selected either second or third most frequently for the four activities. Students s elected “not interested” most frequently for the first activity, regarding exploration throu gh career tests and assessments. The results related to the career choice intervention o f Information on the World of Work are presented in Tables 14 through 17.

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87 Table 14 Delivery Preferences for Information on the World o f Work – Explore How the Results of a Career Test Relate to Possible Careers Delivery Option N % 95% CI E-mail 145 45.60 40.21, 51.09 In person 127 39.94 34.71, 45.41 Website, wiki, blog 83 26.10 21.58, 31.19 Telephone call 47 14.78 11.30, 19.10 Discussion board 41 12.89 9.65, 17.02 Text chat 26 8.18 5.64, 11.72 Recording/Podcast 7 2.20 1.07, 4.47 Virtual room 5 1.57 .67, 3.62 Not interested 82 25.79 21.29, 30.87 Table 15 Delivery Preferences for Information on the World o f Work – Find Information about Current Job Openings Delivery Option N % 95% CI E-mail 189 59.43 53.95, 64.68 In person 124 38.99 33.79, 44.45 Website, wiki, blog 93 29.25 24.52, 34.47 Telephone call 72 22.64 18.38, 27.55 Discussion board 50 15.72 12.13, 20.12 Text chat 35 11.01 08.02, 14.93 Recording/Podcast 13 4.09 02.41, 06.87 Virtual room 9 2.83 1.50, 5.29 Not interested 62 19.50 15.52, 24.21

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88 Table 16 Delivery Preferences for Information on the World o f Work – Learn About the Requirements Needed to Work in the Career I am Interested in Pursuing Delivery Option N % 95% CI E-mail 190 59.75 54.28, 64.99 In person 176 55.35 49.86, 60.72 Website, wiki, blog 89 27.99 23.34, 33.17 Telephone call 63 19.81 15.80, 24.54 Discussion board 52 16.35 12.69, 20.81 Text chat 37 11.64 8.57, 15.63 Recording/Podcast 17 5.35 3.37, 8.40 Virtual room 14 4.40 2.64, 7.25 Not interested 46 14.47 11.03, 18.76 Table 17 Delivery Preferences for Information on the World o f Work – Research Typical Salaries Earned by Those Working in My Career of Interest Delivery Option N % 95% CI E-mail 162 50.94 45.47, 56.39 Website, wiki, blog 112 35.22 30.18, 40.62 In person 103 32.40 27.49, 37.73 Discussion board 48 15.09 11.57, 19.44 Telephone call 41 12.89 9.65, 17.02 Text chat 34 10.69 7.75, 14.57 Recording/Podcast 11 3.46 1.94, 6.09 Virtual room 10 3.14 1.71, 5.69 Not interested 71 22.33 18.10, 27.22 Written Exercises Preferences for delivery of the four the activitie s related to Written Exercises were also similar. E-mail was selected most frequently f or three of activities. In person was selected most frequently for the fourth activity. I n person and website, wiki, and/or blog, were also selected frequently for the four activiti es. Students selected “not interested”

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89 most frequently for the activity related to complet ing worksheets to identify skills. The results related to the intervention of Written Exer cises are presented in Table 18 through 21. Table 18 Delivery Preferences for Written Exercises – Learn More about How My Skills and Interests Relate to Various Career Fields Delivery Option N % 95% CI E-mail 152 47.78 42.35, 53.26 In person 148 46.54 41.13, 52.03 Website, wiki, blog 82 25.79 21.29, 30.87 Discussion board 47 14.78 11.30, 19.10 Telephone call 31 9.75 6.95, 13.51 Text chat 26 8.12 5.59, 11.65 Recording/Podcast 18 5.66 3.61, 8.77 Virtual room 7 2.20 1.07, 4.47 Not interested 73 22.96 18.68, 27.89 Table 19 Delivery Preferences for Written Exercises – Comple te Worksheets to Identify My Work-related Skills Delivery Option N % 95% CI E-mail 141 44.34 38.40, 49.84 In person 124 38.99 33.79, 44.45 Website, wiki, blog 69 21.70 17.52, 26.55 Discussion board 41 12.89 9.65, 17.02 Text chat 21 6.60 4.36, 9.88 Telephone call 20 6.29 4.11, 9.52 Virtual room 10 3.14 1.71, 5.69 Recording/Podcast 7 2.20 1.07, 4.47 Not interested 85 26.73 22.17, 31.85

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90 Table 20 Delivery Preferences for Written Exercises – Develo p a List of Careers I May be Interested in Research ing Further Delivery Option N % 95% CI E-mail 154 48.43 42.99, 53.91 In person 129 40.57 35.32, 46.05 Website, wiki, blog 68 21.38 17.23, 26.21 Discussion board 46 14.47 11.03, 18.76 Telephone call 27 8.49 5.90, 12.07 Text chat 21 6.60 4.36, 9.88 Recording/Podcast 8 2.52 1.28, 4.89 Virtual room 7 2.20 1.07, 4.47 Not interested 80 25.16 20.71, 30.21 Table 21 Delivery Preferences for Written Exercises – Explor e My Own Thoughts about My Career Choice Delivery Option N % 95% CI In person 138 43.40 38.06, 48.89 E-mail 114 35.85 30.78, 41.26 Website, wiki, blog 81 25.47 20.99, 30.53 Discussion board 48 15.09 11.57, 19.44 Telephone call 34 10.69 7.75, 14.57 Text chat 29 9.12 6.42, 12.79 Recording/Podcast 11 3.46 1.94, 6.09 Virtual room 10 3.14 1.71, 5.69 Not interested 76 23.90 19.54, 28.88 Individual Interpretation and Feedback Preferences for delivery of the three activities r elated to Individual Interpretation and Feedback are presented in Tables 22 through 24. E-mail was selected most frequently for two of the activities. In person was selected m ost frequently for the remaining activity regarding interviewing someone. Telephone call was also selected frequently for each of

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91 these activities, particularly the activity regardi ng interviewing. Students’ reaction to these three activities was similar concerning overa ll interest. Approximately 20% of students reported being not interested in activitie s related to individual interpretation and feedback. Table 22 Delivery Preferences for Individual Interpretation and Feedback – Get Feedback on Useful Strategies fo r Making Decisions about My Career Delivery Option N % 95% CI E-mail 189 59.43 53.95, 64.68 In person 139 43.71 38.37, 49.21 Discussion Board 53 16.67 12.98, 21.16 Telephone call 53 16.67 12.98, 21.16 Website, wiki, blog 50 15.72 12.13, 20.13 Text chat 36 11.32 8.30, 15.27 Recording/Podcast 10 3.14 1.71, 5.69 Virtual room 7 2.20 1.07, 4.47 Not interested 66 20.75 16.66, 25.54 Table 23 Delivery Preferences for Individual Interpretation and Feedback –Interview Someone Working in a Job I am Interested in Pursuing Delivery Option N % 95% CI In person 205 64.47 59.07, 69.53 E-mail 103 32.29 27.39, 37.61 Telephone call 68 21.38 17.23, 26.21 Text chat 29 9.12 6.43, 12.79 Discussion board 22 6.92 4.61, 10.25 Website, wiki, blog 14 4.40 2.64, 7.25 Virtual room 8 2.52 1.28, 4.89 Recording/Podcast 6 1.89 .87, 4.06 Not interested 64 20.13 16.09, 24.88

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92 Table 24 Delivery Preferences for Individual Interpretation and Feedback – Get Feedback on My Job Search Skills such as Resume Writing and Interviewing Delivery Option N % 95% CI E-mail 162 50.94 45.47, 56.39 In person 158 49.69 44.23, 55.16 Telephone call 52 16.35 12.69, 20.81 Discussion board 46 14.47 11.03, 18.76 Website, wiki, blog 44 13.84 10.47, 18.07 Text chat 24 7.55 5.13, 10.99 Recording/Podcast 13 4.09 2.41, 6.87 Virtual room 7 2.20 1.07, 4.47 Not interested 66 20.75 16.66, 25.54 Attention to Building Support Preferences for delivery of the three activities r elated to Attention to Building Support are presented in Tables 25 through 27. Thes e three activities received the highest number of “not interested” selections of the total 17 activities ranging from 28.9% to 34.9% of participants. E-mail was selected most fre quently for two of the activities. In person was selected most frequently for the remaini ng activity regarding a career advisor’s career decision-making. E-mail and in per son were the top two delivery preferences for each of these activities.

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93 Table 25 Delivery Preferences for Attention to Building Supp ort – Find Techniques for Including Others, such as My Family and Friends, in My Career Decision-making Delivery Option N % 95% CI E-mail 123 38.68 33.50, 44.14 In person 119 37.42 32.28, 42.90 Telephone call 59 18.55 14.66, 23.19 Website, wiki, blog 43 13.52 10.19, 17.72 Discussion board 41 12.89 9.65, 17.02 Text chat 35 11.01 8.02, 14.93 Recording/Podcast 9 2.83 1.50, 5.29 Virtual room 6 1.89 .87, 4.06 Not interested 111 34.91 29.88, 40.30 Table 26 Delivery Preferences for Attention to Building Supp ort – Learn about How Culture and Gender Related Issues May Affect My Career Choice Delivery Option N % 95% CI E-mail 115 36.16 31.07, 41.58 In person 98 30.82 26.00, 36.10 Website, wiki, blog 91 28.62 23.93, 33.82 Discussion board 58 18.24 14.38, 22.86 Telephone call 31 9.75 6.95, 13.51 Text chat 28 8.81 6.17, 12.44 Recording/Podcast 17 5.35 3.37, 8.40 Virtual room 8 2.52 1.28, 4.89 Not interested 95 29.87 25.10, 35.12

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94 Table 27 Delivery Preferences for Attention to Building Supp ort – Find Out How My Career Advisor Decided on His/Her Career Delivery Option N % 95% CI In person 156 49.06 43.61, 54.53 E-mail 128 40.25 35.01, 45.73 Telephone call 33 10.38 7.49, 14.22 Discussion board 30 9.43 6.69, 13.14 Website, wiki, blog 20 6.29 4.11, .9.52 Text chat 16 5.03 3.12, 8.01 Recording/Podcast 7 2.20 1.07, 4.47 Virtual room 4 1.26 .49, 3.19 Not interested 97 30.50 25.70, 35.77 Modeling Preferences for delivery of the three activities r elated to Modeling are presented in Tables 28 through 30. As in previous interventions, e-mail and in person were the two most selected delivery options for each of the Mode ling activities. In person was selected most for two of these activities. Website, wiki, an d/or blog, and telephone call were also highly selected for each of these three activities. These activities as a group saw the lowest selection of “not interested” by participati ng students.

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95 Table 28 Delivery Preferences for Modeling – Learn How to Ne twork with Professionals in My Chosen Field Delivery Option N % 95% CI E-mail 155 48.74 43.29, 54.22 In person 154 48.43 42.99, 53.91 Website, wiki, blog 61 19.18 15.23, 23.87 Telephone call 53 16.67 12.98, 21.16 Text chat 41 12.89 9.65, 17.02 Discussion board 40 12.58 9.38, 16.68 Virtual room 12 3.77 2.17, 6.48 Recording/Podcast 10 3.14 1.71, 5.69 Not interested 66 20.75 16.66, 25.54 Table 29 Delivery Preferences for Modeling – Learn from Expe rienced Professionals Working in a Career I am Interested in Pursuing Delivery Option N % 95% CI In person 212 66.67 61.32, 71.63 E-mail 130 40.88 35.62, 46.36 Telephone call 51 16.04 12.42, 20.48 Website, wiki, blog 34 10.69 07.75, 14.57 Discussion board 28 8.81 6.17, 12.44 Text chat 26 8.18 5.64, 11.72 Recording/Podcast 11 3.46 1.94, 6.09 Virtual room 9 2.83 1.50, 5.29 Not interested 53 16.67 12.98, 21.16

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96 Table 30 Delivery Preferences for Modeling – Receive Advice from Someone Working in a Career Field I am Interested in Pursuing Delivery Option N % 95% CI In person 196 61.64 56.19, 66.82 E-mail 188 59.12 53.64, 64.38 Website, wiki, blog 51 16.04 12.42, 20.48 Telephone call 45 14.15 10.75, 18.41 Discussion board 45 14.15 10.75, 18.41 Text chat 42 13.21 9.92, 17.37 Recording/Podcast 12 3.77 2.17, 6.48 Virtual room 8 2.52 1.28, 4.89 Not interested 46 14.47 11.03, 18.76 Group Differences in Preferences for Delivery of Ca reer Choice Interventions Results related to the second established research question are presented below. Research Question To what extent are there differences in first-year university students’ preferences for the delivery method of cr itical career choice interventions based on their prior experience with each of the following: (a) online courses; (b) career counseling; (c) e-mail; (d) Blackboard discussion boards; (e) audio and video recordings or podcasts; (f) Internet websites, wikis, and/or blogs; (g) Internet text chat or instant mes saging; and (h) virtual rooms with real-time interaction? Previous Experience with Online Courses Each of the 318 respondents identified himself/her self as a member of one of the following four experience groups: (a) no previous e xperience with online courses (n = 195), (b) currently enrolled in first online course (n = 40), (c) previously completed one or two online courses (n = 73), or (d) previously c ompleted three or more online courses

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97 (n = 10). This demographic information related to p revious experience with online courses is presented in Table 31. While a majority of participants had no experience with online courses (61.32%), 38.68% of participants had some experience either through previously completed online courses or enrollment i n their first online course at the time of the study. Table 31 Previous Experience with Online Courses N % I have never taken an online course 195 61.32 I am in my first online course this semester 40 12.58 I have completed 1 or 2 online courses 73 22.96 I have completed 3 or more online courses 10 3. 14 Chi square tests of independence were performed to examine the relationship between experience in online classes and preference for technology delivery of each of 17 career choice activities. The chi-square statist ics are displayed in Table 32 for each of the 17 career choice activities. Using .05 as the p reset alpha value, three items in the list of 17 seem to show a significant difference in pref erences across the experience groups. These three items are (a) Learn about the requireme nts needed to work in the career I am interested in pursuing, (b) Research typical salari es earned by those working in my career of interest, and (c) Get feedback on my job search skills, such as resume writing and interviewing. When performing multiple significance tests, the pr obability of Type I error or finding significance when there is none, increases. The Bonferroni inequality technique was adopted to control for Type I error for this se t of tests. The alpha level was adjusted

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98 to .0029 for each of the tests ( =.05/17 = .0029). This adjusted value was then use d to determine significance. This analysis failed to rev eal a significant relationship in preference for technology delivery and level of exp erience with online courses. Students responded similarly no matter their experience with online courses. Effect size is also reported for each comparison. C ramer’s V was used to determine the strength of the association between e xperience with online courses and preference for delivery mode. The effect sizes rang e from .07 to .16 indicating weak associations.

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99 Table 32 Chi square Statistics – Previous Experience with On line Courses DF Value p Effect Information on the World of Work Explore how the results of a career test relate to possible careers. 3 1.5497 0.6709 0.07 Find information about current job openings. 3 5.28 58 0.1520 0.13 Learn about the requirements needed to work in the career I am interested in pursuing. 3 8.2066 0.0419 0.16 Research typical salaries earned by those working i n my career of interest. 3 9.5708 0.0226 0.17 Written Exercises Learn more about how my skills and interests relate to various career fields. 3 3.8681 0.2761 0.11 Complete worksheets to identify work-related skills that I have. 3 1.8890 0.5958 0.08 Develop a list of careers I may be interested in re searching further. 3 3.8676 0.2761 0.11 Explore my own thoughts about my career choices. 3 4.7303 0.1926 0.12 Individual Interpretation and Feedback Get feedback on useful strategies for making decisi ons about my career. 3 6.4212 0.0928 0.14 Interview someone working in a job I am interested in pursuing. 3 4.3232 0.2286 0.12 Get feedback on my job search skills, such as resum e writing and interviewing 3 8.4244 0.0380 0.16 Attention to Building Support Find techniques for including others, such as my fa mily and friends, in my career decision-making. 3 1.4089 0.7034 0.07 Learn about how culture and gender related issues m ay affect my career choice. 3 5.9288 0.1151 0.14 Find out how my career advisor decided on his/her c areer. 3 2.3233 0.5081 0.09 Modeling Learn how to network with professionals in my caree r field. 3 2.1403 0.5438 0.08 Learn from experienced professionals working in a c areer I am interested in pursuing. 3 7.3387 0.0619 0.15 Receive advice from someone working in a career fie ld I am interested in pursuing. 3 6.3122 0.0974 0.14

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100 Previous Experience with Career Counseling Each of the 318 participants identified himself/her self as a member of one of the following four experience groups: (a) no previous e xperience with career counseling (n = 161), (b) very little experience with career counse ling (n = 93), (c) some experience with career counseling (n = 62), or (d) a lot of experie nce with career counseling (n = 2). This demographic information related to previous experie nce with career counseling is presented in Table 33. While a majority of particip ants (50.63%) selected the “no experience with career counseling” option, 49.38% o f participants indicated previous experience in this area on some level, ranging from “very little” to “a lot”, at the time of the study. Table 33 Previous Experience with Career Counseling N % I have no experience 161 50.63 I have very little experience 93 29.25 I have some experience 62 19.50 I have a lot of experience 2 0.63 Chi square tests of independence were performed to examine the relationship between experience with career counseling and prefe rence for technology delivery of each of 17 career choice activities. The chi-square statistics are displayed in Table 34 for each of the 17 career choice activities. This analy sis failed to reveal a significant relationship in preference for technology delivery and level of experience with career counseling. Students with no experience and those w ho had some level of experience with career counseling responded similarly regardin g their preferences. Effect size is also

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101 reported in Table 34 to measure the strength of the association between experience with career counseling and preference for delivery mode. The effect sizes range from .04 to .14 indicating weak associations. It is interesting to note that 236 (74.22%) of the study participants indicated that career planning was either “important” or “very imp ortant” to them during their first semester in college. A post hoc comparison of prefe rences for delivery and perceived importance of career planning was conducted. Chi-sq uare tests of independence revealed that there were some significant differences in pre ference based on perceived importance of career planning. This was the case with five of the 17 activities. These activities were (a) Explore how the results of a career test relate to possible careers, (b) Find information about current job openings, (c) Learn more about ho w my skills and interests relate to various career fields, (d) Develop a list of career s I may be interested in researching further, and (e) Learn about how culture and gender related issues may affect my career choice. The p values of these five items ranged from .0002 to .00 29. Effect sizes for these items ranged from .21 to .25 indicating small or we ak associations.

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102 Table 34 Chi square Statistics – Previous Experience with Ca reer Counseling DF Value p Effect Information on the World of Work Explore how the results of a career test relate to possible careers. 3 3.9345 0.2686 0.11 Find information about current job openings. 3 2.61 85 0.4542 0.09 Learn about the requirements needed to work in the career I am interested in pursuing. 3 2.1203 0.5478 0.08 Research typical salaries earned by those working i n my career of interest. 3 2.5183 0.4720 0.09 Written Exercises Learn more about how my skills and interests relate to various career fields. 3 4.5070 0.2117 0.12 Complete worksheets to identify work-related skills that I have. 3 4.4824 0.2139 0.12 Develop a list of careers I may be interested in re searching further. 3 4.0982 0.2511 0.12 Explore my own thoughts about my career choices. 3 0.6322 0.8890 0.04 Individual Interpretation and Feedback Get feedback on useful strategies for making decisi ons about my career. 3 1.0838 0.7810 0.06 Interview someone working in a job I am interested in pursuing. 3 2.1635 0.5392 0.08 Get feedback on my job search skills, such as resum e writing and interviewing 3 3.5969 0.3084 0.11 Attention to Building Support Find techniques for including others, such as my fa mily and friends, in my career decision-making. 3 2.6865 0.4425 0.09 Learn about how culture and gender related issues m ay affect my career choice. 3 6.3159 0.0972 0.14 Find out how my career advisor decided on his/her c areer. 3 3.2905 0.3490 0.10 Modeling Learn how to network with professionals in my caree r field. 3 1.9572 0.5813 0.08 Learn from experienced professionals working in a c areer I am interested in pursuing. 3 4.0622 0.2548 0.11 Receive advice from someone working in a career fie ld I am interested in pursuing. 3 1.0399 0.7916 0.06

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103 Previous Experience with Technology Each of the 318 participants identified his/her exp erience level with each of six specific technologies. These technologies included: (a) e-mail, (b) discussion boards, (c) audio and video recordings and/or podcasts, (d) Int ernet websites, wikis, and/or blogs, (e) Internet text chat and/or Instant Messaging, and (f ) virtual rooms with real-time interaction. Students chose their level of experien ce from the following options presented in a modified Likert-scale: (a) I am not familiar w ith this technology at all, (b) I am familiar with this but have no experience, (c) I ha ve very little experience, (d) I have some experience, and (e) I have a lot of experience Students were most familiar with e-mail followed by Internet text chat or instant messaging. Students were least familiar with audio/ video recordings or podcasts and virtual rooms. It is also important to note that of the 318 survey respondents, 260 (81.76%) reported owning an iPod or other MP3 playe r. When asked if they had access to a personal computer, other than on campus, 311 (97. 80%) reported that they did have access. E-mail. While a majority of the 318 participants, 264 (83.0 2%), indicated having “a lot of experience” with e-mail, an additional 52 (16.35%) indicated previous experience in this area on some level. Only 2 stude nts (.63%) indicated no previous experience with this technology. Student responses regarding experience level with email are presented in Table 35.

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104 Table 35 Previous Experience with E-mail N % Not familiar with the technology at all No experience 2 0.63 Very little experience 7 2.20 Some experience 45 14.15 A lot of experience 264 83.02 Chi square tests of independence were performed to examine the relationship between experience with e-mail and preference for t echnology delivery of each of 17 career choice activities. The chi-square statistics are displayed in Table 36 for each of the 17 career choice activities. Using .05 as the prese t alpha level, one item in the list of 17 seems to show a significant difference in preferenc es across the experience groups. This item is “Find out how my career advisor decided on his/her career”. Using the Bonferroni adjustment, the significance l evel of .0029 is used to determine significance. This analysis failed to rev eal a significant relationship in preference for technology delivery and level of exp erience with e-mail. Students with no experience and those with some level of experience responded similarly regarding their preferences. Effect size is also reported for each comparison. C ramer’s V was used to determine the strength of the association between e xperience with e-mail and preference for delivery mode. The effect sizes range from .05 to .18 indicating weak associations.

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105 Table 36 Chi square Statistics – Previous Experience with Email DF Value p Effect Information on the World of Work Explore how the results of a career test relate to possible careers. 3 1.2425 0.7428 0.06 Find information about current job openings. 3 2.24 99 0.5222 0.08 Learn about the requirements needed to work in the career I am interested in pursuing. 3 1.5811 0.6637 0.07 Research typical salaries earned by those working i n my career of interest. 3 0.7969 0.8502 0.05 Written Exercises Learn more about how my skills and interests relate to various career fields. 3 2.6410 0.4503 0.09 Complete worksheets to identify work-related skills that I have. 3 1.0881 0.7799 0.06 Develop a list of careers I may be interested in re searching further. 3 1.4543 0.6929 0.07 Explore my own thoughts about my career choices. 3 3.4398 0.3286 0.10 Individual Interpretation and Feedback Get feedback on useful strategies for making decisi ons about my career. 3 3.2028 0.3614 0.10 Interview someone working in a job I am interested in pursuing. 3 3.4296 0.3300 0.10 Get feedback on my job search skills, such as resum e writing and interviewing 3 1.5726 0.6656 0.07 Attention to Building Support Find techniques for including others, such as my fa mily and friends, in my career decision-making. 3 1.9281 0.5875 0.08 Learn about how culture and gender related issues m ay affect my career choice. 3 3.6609 0.3005 0.11 Find out how my career advisor decided on his/her c areer. 3 10.4785 0.0149 0.18 Modeling Learn how to network with professionals in my caree r field. 3 2.1161 0.5487 0.08 Learn from experienced professionals working in a c areer I am interested in pursuing. 3 1.8564 0.6027 0.08 Receive advice from someone working in a career fie ld I am interested in pursuing. 3 3.4112 0.3325 0.10

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106 Discussion boards. Of the 318 participants, only 139 (43.71%), indicat ed that they had “some” or “a lot of experience” with discu ssion boards, while 102 (32.08%) students responded that they were either unaware of discussion board technology or were aware of it but had no experience. Student response s regarding experience level with discussion boards are presented in Table 37. Table 37 Previous Experience with Blackboard Discussion Boar ds N % Not familiar with the technology at all 30 9.43 No experience 72 22.64 Very little experience 77 24.21 Some experience 98 30.82 A lot of experience 41 12.89 Chi square tests of independence were performed to examine the relationship between experience with Blackboard discussion board s and preference for delivery of each of 17 career choice activities. The chi-square statistics are displayed in Table 38 for each of the 17 career choice activities. This analy sis failed to reveal a significant relationship in preference for delivery of career c hoice activities and level of experience with Blackboard discussion boards. Students with no experience and those with some level of experience responded similarly regarding t heir preferences. The effect sizes range from .03 to .14 indicating weak associations between experience with discussion boards and preference for delivery mode.

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107 Table 38 Chi square Statistics – Previous Experience with Bl ackboard Discussion Boards DF Value p Effect Information on the World of Work Explore how the results of a career test relate to possible careers. 4 3.1843 0.5275 0.10 Find information about current job openings. 4 0.93 03 0.9202 0.05 Learn about the requirements needed to work in the career I am interested in pursuing. 4 2.1644 0.7055 0.08 Research typical salaries earned by those working i n my career of interest. 4 5.6879 0.2237 0.13 Written Exercises Learn more about how my skills and interests relate to various career fields. 4 3.4819 0.4806 0.10 Complete worksheets to identify work-related skills that I have. 4 3.5868 0.4648 0.11 Develop a list of careers I may be interested in re searching further. 4 4.0773 0.3956 0.11 Explore my own thoughts about my career choices. 4 3.6562 0.4545 0.11 Individual Interpretation and Feedback Get feedback on useful strategies for making decisi ons about my career. 4 4.1103 0.3913 0.11 Interview someone working in a job I am interested in pursuing. 4 2.2647 0.6872 0.08 Get feedback on my job search skills, such as resum e writing and interviewing 4 4.1798 0.3822 0.11 Attention to Building Support Find techniques for including others, such as my fa mily and friends, in my career decision-making. 4 0.2326 0.9937 0.03 Learn about how culture and gender related issues m ay affect my career choice. 4 2.7422 0.6018 0.09 Find out how my career advisor decided on his/her c areer. 4 2.9803 0.5611 0.10 Modeling Learn how to network with professionals in my caree r field. 4 6.2016 0.1846 0.14 Learn from experienced professionals working in a c areer I am interested in pursuing. 4 1.8193 0.7689 0.08 Receive advice from someone working in a career fie ld I am interested in pursuing. 4 2.3755 0.6671 0.09

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108 Audio/video recordings or podcasts. Of the 318 student participants, only 113 (35.53%), indicated that they had “some” or “a lot of experience” with this type of technology. An additional 66 students (20.75%) resp onded that they had “very little” experience with recordings and podcasts. Student re sponses regarding experience level with audio/video recordings or podcasts are present ed in Table 39. Table 39 Previous Experience with Audio/Video Recordings or Podcasts N % Not familiar with the technology at all 62 19.50 No experience 77 24.21 Very little experience 66 20.75 Some experience 74 23.27 A lot of experience 39 12.26 Chi square tests of independence were performed to examine the relationship between experience with audio/video recordings and podcasts and preference for delivery of 17 career choice activities. The chi-square stat istics are displayed in Table 40 for each of the 17 activities. This analysis failed to revea l a significant relationship in preference for delivery of career choice activities and level of experience with audio/video recordings or podcasts. Students with no experience and those with some level of experience responded similarly regarding their pref erences for delivery mode. Effect sizes are also reported to measure strength of the associations between experience with recordings or podcasts and preference for delivery mode. The effect sizes range from .06 to .17 indicating weak associations.

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109 Table 40 Chi square Statistics – Previous Experience with Au dio/Video Recordings or Podcasts DF Value p Effect Information on the World of Work Explore how the results of a career test relate to possible careers. 4 2.0487 0.7268 0.08 Find information about current job openings. 4 3.56 52 0.4680 0.11 Learn about the requirements needed to work in the career I am interested in pursuing. 4 3.6463 0.4560 0.11 Research typical salaries earned by those working i n my career of interest. 4 4.3485 0.3609 0.12 Written Exercises Learn more about how my skills and interests relate to various career fields. 4 1.5415 0.8193 0.07 Complete worksheets to identify work-related skills that I have. 4 3.3207 0.5057 0.10 Develop a list of careers I may be interested in re searching further. 4 4.8975 0.2980 0.12 Explore my own thoughts about my career choices. 4 1.3244 0.8572 0.06 Individual Interpretation and Feedback Get feedback on useful strategies for making decisi ons about my career. 4 2.5047 0.6438 0.09 Interview someone working in a job I am interested in pursuing. 4 3.5051 0.4771 0.11 Get feedback on my job search skills, such as resum e writing and interviewing 4 4.4656 0.3466 0.12 Attention to Building Support Find techniques for including others, such as my fa mily and friends, in my career decision-making. 4 2.6039 0.6261 0.09 Learn about how culture and gender related issues m ay affect my career choice. 4 7.0916 0.1311 0.15 Find out how my career advisor decided on his/her c areer. 4 9.4511 0.0508 0.17 Modeling Learn how to network with professionals in my caree r field. 4 2.0240 0.7313 0.08 Learn from experienced professionals working in a c areer I am interested in pursuing. 4 3.2614 0.5151 0.10 Receive advice from someone working in a career fie ld I am interested in pursuing. 4 2.8535 0.5826 0.09

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110 Websites, wikis, and/or blogs. A majority of the participants, 248 (78.30%), indicated that they had “some” or “a lot of experie nce” with websites, wikis and/or blogs. A small group of students 30 (9.43%) responded that they were either unaware of this type of technology or were aware of it but had no e xperience. There may have been some confusion in the wording of this item in that a few students, who were familiar with websites, but not wikis or blogs, may have indicate d a lower level of overall experience than was anticipated by the researcher. Student res ponses regarding experience level with websites, wikis, and/or blogs are presented in Tabl e 41. Table 41 Previous Experience with Websites, Wikis, and/or Bl ogs N % Not familiar with the technology at all 4 1.26 No experience 26 8.18 Very little experience 39 12.26 Some experience 96 30.19 A lot of experience 153 48.11 Chi square tests of independence were performed to examine the relationship between experience with websites, wikis, and/or blo gs, and preference for delivery of career choice activities. The chi-square statistics are displayed in Table 42 for each of the 17 activities. This analysis failed to reveal a sig nificant relationship in preference for delivery of career choice activities and level of e xperience with websites, wikis, and/or blogs. Students with no experience and those with s ome level of experience responded similarly regarding their preferences. The effect sizes of these comparisons range from .03 to .11 further indicating weak associations.

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111 Table 42 Chi square Statistics – Previous Experience with We bsites, Wikis, and/or Blogs DF Value p Effect Information on the World of Work Explore how the results of a career test relate to possible careers. 4 2.1712 0.7043 0.08 Find information about current job openings. 4 2.53 73 0.6380 0.09 Learn about the requirements needed to work in the career I am interested in pursuing. 4 1.2597 0.8682 0.06 Research typical salaries earned by those working i n my career of interest. 4 1.1510 0.8861 0.06 Written Exercises Learn more about how my skills and interests relate to various career fields. 4 3.4273 0.4890 0.10 Complete worksheets to identify work-related skills that I have. 4 3.3283 0.5045 0.10 Develop a list of careers I may be interested in re searching further. 4 0.4680 0.9765 0.04 Explore my own thoughts about my career choices. 4 1.4248 0.8399 0.07 Individual Interpretation and Feedback Get feedback on useful strategies for making decisi ons about my career. 4 0.2205 0.9944 0.03 Interview someone working in a job I am interested in pursuing. 4 3.9494 0.4129 0.11 Get feedback on my job search skills, such as resum e writing and interviewing 4 1.2166 0.8754 0.06 Attention to Building Support Find techniques for including others, such as my fa mily and friends, in my career decision-making. 4 1.4684 0.8322 0.07 Learn about how culture and gender related issues m ay affect my career choice. 4 0.2947 0.9902 0.03 Find out how my career advisor decided on his/her c areer. 4 1.2704 0.8664 0.06 Modeling Learn how to network with professionals in my caree r field. 4 3.0107 0.5560 0.10 Learn from experienced professionals working in a c areer I am interested in pursuing. 4 1.5610 0.8158 0.07 Receive advice from someone working in a career fie ld I am interested in pursuing. 4 3.1330 0.5358 0.10

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112 Internet text chat or instant messaging. Students’ responses to this technology were similar to those for e-mail. Internet text cha t is a technology with which the respondents had more experience. A majority of the participants, 245 (77.04%), indicated that they had “a lot of experience” with Internet t ext chat or instant messaging. A small group of students, 12 (3.77%) responded that they w ere either unaware of this technology or were aware of it but had no experience. Student responses regarding experience level with Internet text chat or instant messaging are pr esented in Table 43. Table 43 Previous Experience with Internet Text Chat or Inst ant Messaging N % Not familiar with the technology at all 2 0.63 No experience 10 3.14 Very little experience 15 4.72 Some experience 46 14.47 A lot of experience 245 77.04 Chi square tests of independence were performed to examine the relationship between experience with Internet text chat and pref erence for delivery of career choice activities. The chi-square statistics are displayed in Table 44 for each of the 17 activities. Using .05 as the preset alpha value, two activities in the list of 17 seem to sho w a significant difference in preferences across the ex perience groups. These activities are (a) Develop a list of careers I may be interested in re searching further, and (b) Get feedback on useful strategies for making decisions about my career. Using the Bonferroni inequality technique, the significance level of .00 29 is used to determine significance. This analysis failed to reveal a significant relati onship in preference for delivery of career choice activities and level of experience with Inte rnet text chat. Students with no

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113 experience and those with some level of experience responded similarly regarding their preferences. The effect sizes range from .08 to .19 also indicat ing weak associations.

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114 Table 44 Chi square Statistics – Previous Experience with In ternet Text Chat or Instant Messaging DF Value p Effect Information on the World of Work Explore how the results of a career test relate to possible careers. 4 5.3348 0.2546 0.13 Find information about current job openings. 4 4.20 18 0.3794 0.11 Learn about the requirements needed to work in the career I am interested in pursuing. 4 8.7172 0.0686 0.17 Research typical salaries earned by those working i n my career of interest. 4 8.0510 0.0897 0.16 Written Exercises Learn more about how my skills and interests relate to various career fields. 4 8.9206 0.0631 0.17 Complete worksheets to identify work-related skills that I have. 4 4.6880 0.3208 0.12 Develop a list of careers I may be interested in re searching further. 4 11.1371 0.0251 0.19 Explore my own thoughts about my career choices. 4 4.7434 0.3146 0.12 Individual Interpretation and Feedback Get feedback on useful strategies for making decisi ons about my career. 4 10.4709 0.0332 0.18 Interview someone working in a job I am interested in pursuing. 4 6.1936 0.1851 0.13 Get feedback on my job search skills, such as resum e writing and interviewing 4 2.8923 0.5760 0.10 Attention to Building Support Find techniques for including others, such as my fa mily and friends, in my career decision-making. 4 2.0467 0.7272 0.08 Learn about how culture and gender related issues m ay affect my career choice. 4 3.2718 0.5134 0.10 Find out how my career advisor decided on his/her c areer. 4 0.6607 0.9561 0.05 Modeling Learn how to network with professionals in my caree r field. 4 2.9652 0.5637 0.10 Learn from experienced professionals working in a c areer I am interested in pursuing. 4 0.5034 0.9732 0.04 Receive advice from someone working in a career fie ld I am interested in pursuing. 4 4.6915 0.3204 0.12

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115 Virtual rooms with real-time interaction. Virtual rooms are the technology with which students seemed to have the least experience overall. Of the 318 participants, 106 (33.33%), indicated that they were not familiar wit h this technology. An additional 88 (27.67%) responded that they were familiar with the technology but had no experience with it. A small group of students, 55 (17.30%) res ponded that they had “some” or “a lot of experience”. Student responses regarding experie nce level with virtual rooms are presented in Table 45. Table 45 Previous Experience with Virtual Rooms with Real-ti me Interaction N % Not familiar with the technology at all 106 33. 33 No experience 88 27.67 Very little experience 69 21.70 Some experience 32 10.06 A lot of experience 23 7.23 Chi square tests of independence were performed to examine the relationship between experience with virtual rooms and preferenc e for delivery of career choice activities. The chi-square statistics are displayed in Table 46 for each of the 17 activities. This analysis failed to reveal a significant relati onship in preference for delivery of career choice activities and level of experience with virt ual rooms. Effect size is also reported for each comparison. The effect sizes range from .0 4 to .14 further indicating weak associations. Students with no experience and those with some level of experience responded similarly regarding their preferences.

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116 Table 46 Chi square Statistics – Previous Experience with Vi rtual Rooms with Real-time Interaction DF Value p Effect Information on the World of Work Explore how the results of a career test relate to possible careers. 4 1.3314 0.8560 0.06 Find information about current job openings. 4 4.37 54 0.3576 0.12 Learn about the requirements needed to work in the career I am interested in pursuing. 4 1.7673 0.7785 0.07 Research typical salaries earned by those working i n my career of interest. 4 0.7299 0.9476 0.05 Written Exercises Learn more about how my skills and interests relate to various career fields. 4 2.5014 0.6444 0.09 Complete worksheets to identify work-related skills that I have. 4 2.3325 0.6749 0.09 Develop a list of careers I may be interested in re searching further. 4 3.4247 0.4894 0.10 Explore my own thoughts about my career choices. 4 0.5324 0.9703 0.04 Individual Interpretation and Feedback Get feedback on useful strategies for making decisi ons about my career. 4 3.4713 0.4822 0.10 Interview someone working in a job I am interested in pursuing. 4 6.6007 0.1586 0.14 Get feedback on my job search skills, such as resum e writing and interviewing 4 3.7327 0.4434 0.12 Attention to Building Support Find techniques for including others, such as my fa mily and friends, in my career decision-making. 4 1.4947 0.8276 0.07 Learn about how culture and gender related issues m ay affect my career choice. 4 1.2330 0.8726 0.06 Find out how my career advisor decided on his/her c areer. 4 4.4478 0.3488 0.12 Modeling Learn how to network with professionals in my caree r field. 4 5.1719 0.2701 0.13 Learn from experienced professionals working in a c areer I am interested in pursuing. 4 5.2892 0.2589 0.13 Receive advice from someone working in a career fie ld I am interested in pursuing. 4 5.3545 0.2528 0.13

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117 Summary The web-based survey was distributed to the instruc tors of 1,849 first-year students through a URL sent via e-mail. The survey collected a total of 318 usable responses. Participants were all enrolled in SLS 11 01: The University Experience during the fall 2007 semester. All participants indicated that they were in their first semester of college after having graduated from high school. Overall, participants in the study were found to p refer both traditional, in person, and technology modes of delivery for all of the 17 career choice activities. In person and E-mail, specifically, were chosen most frequently a s preferred delivery modes. These two options were the first or second most selected opti ons for each of the activities. Websites, wikis and/or blogs was also selected frequently, fo llowed by telephone call and Blackboard discussion board. Students were the leas t interested in participating in the three activities associated with Attention to Build ing Support. Students were the most interested in participating in activities associate d with Modeling and Information on the World of Work. Of the 318 participants, the majority had a high l evel of experience with e-mail and Internet text chat or instant messaging. Studen t respondents had the least experience with audio/video recordings or podcasts, and virtua l rooms with real-time interaction. Students also indicated a low level of previous exp erience with career counseling, however a majority indicated that career planning w as important to them. Students also had limited experience with online courses. Chi square tests of independence were used to analy ze the relationship between previous experience and preference for delivery mod e of 17 career choice activities. No

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118 significant differences were found. Preferences for delivery of the 17 activities, related to five framework career choice interventions, were si milar for students with no previous experience and students with previous experience. T his was found when examining experience with online courses, career counseling, and six specific delivery technologies. Chapter five concludes this report. The discussion includes the results presented in this chapter as well as their implications for f uture practice. Lessons learned through the implementation of this study are outlined. Reco mmendations for future research related to student preferences for delivery of supp ort services and their previous experiences are also presented.

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119 Chapter Five Conclusions This chapter begins with a review of the purpose of the study. A discussion of the study’s findings is then presented. Implications of the findings for practice are outlined as well as lessons learned and recommendations for fut ure research. The purpose of this study was to explore the prefer ences of first-year university students for different delivery modes of five criti cal career choice interventions. These interventions are typically offered through on-camp us career centers and include the following: (a) written exercises, (b) individualize d interpretations and feedback, (c) information on the world of work, (c) modeling, and (d) attention to building support (Brown & Ryan Krane, 2000; Brown et al., 2003). Thi s study also investigated differences in student preferences for the delivery mode of these career choice interventions based on past experience. Specificall y of interest were students’ past experience with online courses, career counseling, and technology. The following research questions were asked. What are first-year university students’ preference s for the delivery method of critical career choice interventions? To what extent are there differences in first-year university students’ preferences for the delivery method of critical career choice i nterventions based on their prior experience with the following: (a) online courses; (b) career counseling; (c) email; (d) Blackboard discussion boards; (e) audio a nd video recordings or

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120 podcasts; (f) Internet websites, wikis, and blogs; (g) Internet text chat or instant messaging; and (h) virtual rooms? Overall Findings The results of this study represent the preferences and prior experiences of a group of 318 undergraduate students surveyed during the Fall semester of 2007. All of these students were in their first year of college after graduating from high school at the time of the study. The majority of students partici pating in this study were Caucasian, female and from the United States. Most were also f ull-time students who were not employed and who had declared an academic major. Study participants indicated high levels of experie nce with certain technologies, specifically e-mail; text chat or instant messaging ; and websites, wikis and/or blogs. Kvavik (2005) presented evidence that while student s were susceptible to overestimating their own technology skills, they are most likely t o have skills with technologies that are not widely used in higher education settings. Kvavi k (2005) also found that students were most likely to be skilled with e-mail, instant mess aging, and Internet searches. Study participants reported lower levels of experie nce for Blackboard discussion boards, audio/video recordings or podcasts, and vir tual rooms. The participants also reported low levels of previous experience with onl ine courses and career counseling. Discussion of Preferences of Delivery for Career Ch oice Interventions Overall, technology was a preferred means of delive ry for the majority of the 17 career choice activities presented to the students. E-mail specifically was the most frequently selected delivery mode for 12 these acti vities. In the activities where e-mail was not selected most frequently, it was often the second most frequently selected. In

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121 person was also very highly preferred overall for t he delivery of these activities. In person was chosen most frequently for the five acti vities in which e-mail was second. Website, wiki and/or blog was also a highly selecte d delivery option for the career choice activities presented to the students, followed by t elephone call and Blackboard discussion board. Information on the World of Work Four of the 17 activities presented to students re presented the career choice intervention of Information on the World of Work. E -mail was consistently selected most frequently for each of these activities, which incl ude (a) explore how the results of a career test relate to possible careers, (b) find in formation about current job openings, (c) learn about the requirements needed to work in the career I am interested in pursuing, and (d) research typical salaries earned by those worki ng in my career of interest. In person was the second most frequently selected delivery mo de for all of these activities except for the activity regarding researching typical sala ries. For this activity, website, wiki, and/or blog, was selected second, and in person was selected third. The frequencies of selection of each of the deliver y modes, for the activities representing Information on the World of Work, are presented in Figure 1 The percentages shown are those of the total number of selections made by students for the activities related to this intervention. Based on s tudent responses to these four activities, while traditional in person delivery is a highly se lected delivery mode, e-mail and website delivery may also be viable ways to encourage addit ional student participation in activities related to gaining Information on the Wo rld of Work. Websites are already used to distribute information related to most of these activities (Schutt et al., 1999).

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122 Figure 1 Frequencies of delivery mode selection – Informat ion on the World of Work Written Exercises Four of the 17 activities presented to students re presented the career choice intervention of Written Exercises. These activities included (a) learn more about how my skills and interests relate to various career field s, (b) complete worksheets to identify my work-related skills, (c) develop a list of careers I may be interested in researching further, and (d) explore my own thoughts about my career cho ice. The order of preferred delivery options for each of these activities was the same. E-mail was the most frequently selected, in person was the second most frequently selected, and website, wiki, and/or blog was the third most frequently selected. As in the previous intervention, student responses to these activities indicate that technology delivery, in addition to traditional in person delivery, may be helpful in reaching students. E-mail and websites may encourag e participation in activities related to the intervention of Written Exercises. The frequ encies of selection of each of the In person E-mail Website/Wiki/Blog Telephone Call Discussion Board Text Chat/IM Recording/Podcast Virtual Room 1.7% 2.2% 6.0% 8.6% 10.0% 16.9% 30.8% 23.8%

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123 delivery modes, for the activities representing Wri tten Exercises, are presented in Figure 2. Figure 2 Frequencies of delivery mode selection – Written Exercises. Individual Interpretation and Feedback Three of the 17 activities presented to students r epresented the career choice intervention of Individual Interpretation and Feedb ack. These activities included (a) get feedback on useful strategies for making decisions about my career, (b) interview someone working in a job I am interested in pursuin g, and (c) get feedback on my job search skills, such as resume writing and interview ing. E-mail was selected most frequently for two of the activities, while in pers on was selected most frequently for the activity regarding interviewing someone. In person was also frequently selected for all three of these activities. Interestingly, telephone call was selected third for each of these activities. Discussion board was selected as often as telephone call for the activity related to getting feedback on useful strategies. In person E-mail Website/Wiki/Blog Telephone Call Discussion Board Text Chat/IM Recording/Podcast Virtual Room 1.8% 2.4% 5.2% 9.8% 6.0% 16.0% 30.0% 28.8%

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124 The frequencies of selection of each of the deliver y modes, for the activities representing Individual Interpretation and Feedback are presented in Figure 3 Based on student responses to these three activities, studen ts are most interested in participating both in person and through e-mail. Telephone calls may be an additional way to reach students interested in participating in activities related to Individual Interpretation and Feedback. Follow-up with students who present thems elves in person may be enhanced with e-mail and telephone contact. Figure 3 Frequencies of delivery mode selection – Individu al Interpretation and Feedback. Attention to Building Support Three of the 17 activities presented to students re presented the career choice intervention of Attention to Building Support. Thes e activities included (a) find techniques for including others in my career decisi on-making, (b) learn about how culture and gender related issues may affect my career choi ce, and (c) find out how my career advisor decided on his/her career. As with previous activities, e-mail and in person were the two most selected delivery options for these ac tivities. E-mail was the most selected In person E-mail Website/Wiki/Blog Telephone Call Discussion Board Text Chat/IM Recording/Podcast Virtual Room 1.5% 1.9% 5.9% 8.1% 11.6% 7.2% 30.3% 33.5%

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125 for the first two activities listed, while in perso n was the most selected for the activity regarding a career advisor’s career choice. Telepho ne call was the third most selected delivery option in this section, except for the act ivity regarding culture and gender. Website, wiki, and/or blog was the delivery option selected third for this activity. As described in previous interventions, in person a nd e-mail were highly selected by students. The frequencies of selection of each o f the delivery modes, for the activities representing Attention to Building Support, are pre sented in Figure 4. Telephone calls and websites may also be ways to deliver activities related to Attention to Building Support to students. It is also interesting to note that of the five career choice interventions, more students were “not interested” in participating in the three activities related to building support, than any of the other activities presented. When faced with limited resources, these activities may not be the first priority for programs seeking to attract and reach first-year students. Figure 4 Frequencies of delivery mode selection – Attentio n to Building Support. In person E-mail Website/Wiki/Blog Telephone Call Discussion Board Text Chat/IM Recording/Podcast Virtual Room 29.3% 28.7% 12.1% 9.7% 10.0% 6.2% 2.6% 1.4%

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126 Modeling The last three of the 17 career choice activities r epresented the intervention of Modeling. The activities included (a) learn how to network with professionals in my chosen field, (b) learn from experienced profession als working in a career I am interested in pursuing, and (c) receive advice from someone wo rking in a career field I am interested in pursuing. As has been discussed with the four previous interventions, e-mail and in person were again the two most frequently se lected options. In person was selected most frequently for the last two activities listed, while e-mail was selected most for the activity related to networking. Telephone call and websites were also highly selected delivery modes for each of these activities. The frequencies of selection of each of the deliver y modes, for the activities representing Modeling, are presented in Figure 5 In addition to e-mail and traditional in person delivery of these activities, websites and t elephone calls may be used to deliver activities related to Modeling to students engaged in career decision-making. This may also be a way to attract potential mentors, such as alumni, who are interested in contributing but do not feel they have the time for face-to-face activities (Ensher et al., 2003).

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127 Figure 5 Frequencies of delivery mode selection – Modeling Discussion of Previous Experience and Differences i n Delivery Preferences The following section of this report presents info rmation related to student preferences and previous experience. Student previo us experience in the areas of online courses, career counseling, and specific delivery t echnologies was collected through the study’s web-based survey. While no significant diff erences in delivery preferences were found based on previous experience, a discussion of student previous experiences and preferences for the delivery of specific activities may still inform the development of career choice interventions. Previous Experience with Online Courses Of the 318 first-year students participating in t his study, a majority of 195 (61.32%), reported having no experience with online classes. Another 83 (26.10%) respondents indicated having completed at least one online course. These students completed online courses prior to entering the univ ersity. These numbers are in line with the reports of Howell et al. (2003) and Setzer and Lewis (2005) indicating that students In person E-mail Website/Wiki/Blog Telephone Call Discussion Board Text Chat/IM Recording/Podcast Virtual Room 1.8% 1.9% 6.6% 6.9% 11.1% 8.9% 28.7% 34.1%

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128 are increasingly involved in online education while still in high school. The analyses presented in chapter four failed to reveal a relati onship between previous experience with online courses and preference for delivery mode of career choice interventions. These results do not indicate the need to market specific activities to or develop alternative delivery of activities for students based on their enrollment in online classes or classification as distance students. Previous Experience with Career Counseling Of the 318 first-year students participating in thi s study, a majority of 254 (79.87%) reported having no experience or very litt le experience with career counseling activities. The remaining 64 (20.13%) participants reported having some experience or a lot of experience with career counseling activities These are activities that would have taken place prior to the student entering the unive rsity. The analyses presented in chapter four failed to reveal a relationship between experi ence with career counseling and preference for delivery mode of career choice inter ventions. Galassi et al. (1992) found no differences in student preferences for specific counseling activities based on previous experience with career counseling. While participants did not indicate a lot of experi ence with career counseling overall, they did indicate that the process of care er planning was important to them. A majority of students, 236 (74.22%) reported that ca reer planning was important or very important to them. Only 9 (2.83%) students reported that career planning was not important to them during their first semester in co llege. This may be encouraging news to university career counseling and career development staff members interested in reaching students during their first semester or first year.

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129 Students also indicated their interest in the five career choice interventions and their related activities by selecting delivery pref erences. Students had the option to select “not interested” for each of the activities. A majo rity of students indicated that they were interested in participating in each of the 17 activ ities. The number of participants selecting “not interested” ranged from a low of 14. 47% for activities related to learning about career requirements and receiving advice from working professionals, to a high of 34.91% for an activity related to including others, such as family and friends, in making decisions about one’s own career. These results sup port to some degree the findings of Shivy and Koehly (2002) that students prefer activi ties that directly involve working professionals or career counselors. Previous Experience with Technology This section outlines the previous experience with specific technologies reported by the 318 study participants. Their overall level of experience with each technology is discussed in relation to how frequently each techno logy option was selected for the career choice activities. Students reported a high level o f experience with technology overall, as well as preferences for participating in activities delivered via technology. This aligns with the work of Howe and Strauss (2003) who outlin ed the extensive use of technology among the millennial generation and its members’ ex pectation for using technology in higher education as a matter of convention and conv enience. The demographic section of this study’s survey inst rument also asked participants to reply to items related to ownership of an MP3 pl ayer and access to a personal computer. These are two pieces of equipment necessa ry to potentially engage in activities delivered via the technology based delivery options presented to students. Of the 318

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130 0.00 5.00 10.00 15.00 20.00 25.00 30.00 35.00 0.001.002.003.004.005.006.00 E-mail Text Chat/IM Discussion Board Recording/Podcast Virtual Room Level of Preference Low High High Low Web/Wiki/Blog Level of Experience participants, 260 (81.76%) indicated ownership of a n MP3 player and 311 (97.80%) indicated having access to a personal computer outs ide of campus resources. All students at this university had access to computers through computer labs on campus. An illustration of the comparison of overall prefer ence for technology with overall experience with technology, as reported by the student participants, is presented in Figure 6. Level of experience was gathered in fi ve categories ranging from “not familiar at all” to “a lot of experience” with each of the six technologies listed. Level of preference was gathered as frequency of student sel ections for each of the technologies as a delivery mode for career choice activities. E-mai l is the only technology with which students reported both a high level of experience a nd a high level of preference. Virtual rooms were the only technology with which students reported both a low level of experience and a low level of preference. It is als o interesting to note that while students reported a high level of experience with text chat or instant messaging, their preference for participating in career choice activities throu gh this type of delivery was low. Figure 6 Overall technology preferences and experience of first-year students. E-mail. Students indicated high levels of experience with t his technology as might be expected. They also selected this delivery mode most frequently for the majority of the

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131 career choice activities. Students are using this t echnology widely and may be open to using this technology to receive assistance with ca reer decision-making in all areas of the five career choice interventions. Blackboard discussion boards. Roughly a third of students surveyed reported having no knowledge or no previous experience with Blackboard discussion boards. This delivery option consistently appeared in the mid-ra nge of number of selections for each of the 17 career choice activities. Its place range d from third to sixth in the list of eight delivery options across the activities. Students pa rticipating in this study were not as familiar with this technology as they were with oth er delivery options, however, they may be willing to engage in its use for career plan ning activities. This seems to be most likely for activities related to the interventions of Written Exercises and Attention to Building Support. Audio/video recordings or podcasts. Just over 50% of participants indicated having experience with this type of technology. Thi s delivery option was consistently one of the two least selected for each of the 17 career choice activities. It was the least selected delivery option for three of the activitie s. While many students own MP3 players, they do not seem to have a high level of e xperience with podcasts. It does not seem likely that students would participate in down loading recordings associated with career planning. Internet websites, wikis, and/or blogs. Unsurprisingly, students reported having previous experience with websites, wikis, and/or bl ogs. Of the 318 participants, 78% indicated “some” or “a lot” of experience with this delivery option. This option was selected the third most frequently, following e-mai l and in person, for 10 of the 17

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132 activities. It was the second most selected option for the activity focused on researching typical salaries. This seems to be a delivery optio n with which students are familiar and with which students would be interested in particip ating in career choice activities. This may be particularly true for the activities related to Information on the World of Work, Written Exercises, and Modeling. Internet text chat or instant messaging. While participants expressed high levels of familiarity with text chat, they did not select this option in high numbers for any of the career choice activities. This option was selected sixth for 14 of the 17 activities. It is a technology tool they are using, but would not neces sarily use for assistance in career planning activities. Virtual rooms with real-time interaction. This particular technology is one of the newest or younger technologies, most recently emerg ing, presented to the students. Students indicated having a very low level of exper ience with this technology although they are aware of its existence. It was one of the two least selected delivery options for each of the 17 career choice activities. It was the least selected for 14 of the activities. Participants indicated low levels of experience wit h this technology and low preference for this technology as a way to participate in care er choice activities. Implications for Practice The following implications are drawn from the findi ngs of this study within the limitations and delimitations outlined in chapter o ne. This study asked students to indicate delivery preferences for 17 career choice activities. This is not an inclusive list of all possible activities that could be provided to s tudents to assist them with career planning. Those working to provide career developme nt activities to first-year university

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133 students may want to offer other activities as well The results of this study inform a number of areas that require consideration within t he development and provision of nonacademic, career development support for first-year university students. These areas include resources and planning, marketing, and coun selor training. Resources and Planning The provision of student support services involves a great deal of resources, to include time, funding, and personnel. Developing ad ditional services or alternative delivery of existing services requires resources as well and can add to the strain placed on available resources. Planning for the use of availa ble resources is important to making the most effective use of them. Career Centers may be a ble to better commit or allot their limited resources through careful consideration of specific services and technologies to be developed or enhanced, as well as completion of needs analysis allowing for student input. Specific services and technologies. The activities included in this study represented five critical career choice interventio ns outlined by Brown and Ryan Krane (2000). Career Centers in general are unlikely to b e able to develop online or alternative delivery of all of their services; however, they ma y be able to develop alternate delivery of some of their services. Based on the responses r eceived by 318 first-year students, regarding their preferences for delivery of each, t he following services are suggested. Students participating in this study were most inte rested in participating in the activities associated with Modeling and Information on the World of Work. This may be the place to start. Modeling activities offered thr ough in person meetings, e-mail messages, telephone calls, as well as websites, wik is, and/or blogs, were preferred

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134 delivery methods of the students. Activities associ ated with Information on the World of Work can already be found on many websites. Develop ing e-mail delivery of this type of information is also recommended. E-mail listservs m ay be a way to integrate this technology to reach students. A blended approach is recommended in which face-toface and technology enhanced delivery contribute to efforts to reach an d assist students in a more collaborative and comprehensive way. Integration of on campus and online services which work to complement each other and meet studen t needs is the goal (Dare, Zapata, & Thomas, 2005; Moore & Kearsley, 2005). Counselor interaction is also an important part of the career decision-making process. Whitson et al. (2003) report that students who participated in technology enhanced career planning interventions reported better career related outcomes if their experiences included inte raction with a counselor. Traditional in person career counseling appointment s are encouraged and a preferred way in which students want to interact wi th career activities. Follow-up with students may be desirable through e-mail and teleph one calls. Those making decisions about the commitment of resources may want to consi der the equipment and software necessary to allow secure, confidential e-mail and telephone conversations between students and counselor. Privacy and confidentiality cannot be ignored with the use of technology to conduct counseling activities (Sampso n et al., 1997; Shaw & Shaw, 2006). Study participants were least interested in partici pating in activities related to Attention to Building Support. While these activiti es are important to the career decisionmaking process and should be encouraged, they may n ot be the most appropriate for development for first-year students. The first-year students surveyed do not seem

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135 interested in these activities during their first s emester, but may be likely to participate in them at a later stage in their career planning or c ollege experience. Needs analysis. The time and other resources necessary to develop c areer choice activities in alternative, technology enhanced ways require forward thinking and planning. Needs analysis techniques can be used to better understand the preferences of potential customers of student services, in this ca se, career services (Howell et al., 2003; Smith, 2005). Other non-academic student services, such as academic advising and counseling services, may also benefit from a simila rly structured assessment with activities related to their specific services and m issions. Future use of a survey instrument similar to the on e used in this study may be helpful to those making decisions about resources. A web-based instrument provides a way to quickly poll students and gather their input before developing and implementing online career services. The list of delivery option s can be updated as new ways to interact and communicate become available. Technology option s are constantly evolving and technologies themselves are blending. Services such as Skype offer individual tools that can be used together or separately, including text chat, telephone calls, and virtual rooms. Marketing Activities related to career choice interventions s hould be marketed to all students, not just off-campus or distance students. According to Shea, “today, even campus-based students prefer the convenience of onl ine services” (2005, p. 16). Students from all experience groups explored in this study h ad similar preferences for the delivery of services. Making on-campus services available to online students and online services available to on-campus students may attract student s from all groups to services they

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136 would not have engaged in otherwise (Tang, 2003). T he blurring of the line between online and traditional students may be evident in t he results of this study (Howell et al., 2003). Counselor Training The possibility exists to turn what is often percei ved as threat into an opportunity. Existing counselors and career service providers ma y benefit from training in the use of technology to perform their duties. Members of the Baby Boomer and Generation X generations are currently serving as staff members in Career Centers. Members of these generations, particularly those of the Baby Boomer generation, may not have the same levels of interest in or experience with technology as the millennial generation they are now serving seems to be (DeBard, 2004). Providing t raining to these experienced counselors on how to enhance their skills and servi ces they provide will be essential (Shea, 2005). Training in technology should also be a component of the educational process for new counselors. Effective and purposefu l use of technologies can ease and often increase communication with students and enha nce the profession. Lessons Learned A review of any research project offers the opportu nity to identify areas for improvement. This project included several challeng es that should be addressed. Gaining access to first-year students directly was a challe nge. In order to reach the students enrolled in the seminar created for first-year stud ents, the researcher first had to send the request for students to participate to the program director, who sent the request to seminar instructors, who sent the request to students enrol led in their classes. The endorsement of the director was surely beneficial. The initial ann ouncement encouraged instructor to

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137 participate, but there is no way to record which in structors or how many may have forwarded the request to their students. A second challenge emerged with the timing of the s tudy. Collecting data as early as possible, in this case during the first three we eks of the semester, was desirable in order to capture the perspectives of the University ’s newest students. However, these weeks were filled with many other requests for firs t-year student perspectives on a number of issues. The University Experience instruc tors received multiple e-mail messages in the first weeks of classes requesting t hem to distribute information to students. Students were in turn the recipients of a volume of e-mail requests and notices. These included weekly announcements of welcome and orientation activities, calendars of special events, and mandatory activities such as a new online alcohol education program specifically for first-year students. Compe tition for student attention was high. A third challenge existed, also related to reaching students directly. Instructors were able to disseminate information about this stu dy to their students in three primary ways: announcement made in the classroom, Blackboar d posting, and E-mail. Reaching students with an online survey in the classroom has its limits. Blackboard was new to many students not used to checking their accounts f or updates and announcements early in the semester. Instructors primarily use student e-mail accounts that are linked to Blackboard, the e-mail addresses that are issued to students through the university. Again, early in the semester, students are not used to checking these accounts on a regular basis.

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138 Recommendations for Future Research There are many areas suggested for continuing resea rch related to the delivery of career choice interventions. A follow-up study to t he one reported here might examine whether or not this group of student’s thoughts abo ut career planning activities change over the course of their time at the university. Th eir preferences for delivery or for participating in specific activities at all may cha nge over time. Those who continue to enroll in online courses or engage in career counse ling at the college level may or may not develop preferences different from those who do not choose online courses or to participate in career counseling. Another area for follow-up based on the results of this study would be on the specific technology of e-mail and the timing of acc ess of these activities. Finding out more about how much e-mail would be expected and we lcome from career counselors would be helpful in the implementation of e-mail as a delivery mode for the career choice interventions. Timing is also an important factor. Knowing when students would prefer to participate in activities, weekends or weekdays, of fice hours or beyond, may also shape decisions about delivery. Longitudinal studies would allow researchers to rec onnect with students as they are leaving college, through exit surveys. Data reg arding which activities and interventions students actually participated in, ho w they participated in them, and their recommendations for younger students, would further inform career services providers. Examining students’ perspectives regarding satisfac tion with services they received, as well as their satisfaction with their career choice would also provide helpful and interesting information.

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139 During the course of this study, responses were gat hered from a small number of transfer students and other students not in their f irst-year of college. These responses were not included in analysis. A similar study exam ining the preferences and previous experiences of other student groups, such as transf er students, sophomores, juniors, or seniors, may reveal some differences. Examining the se groups would also inform career services providers about the level of career servic es these students engaged in at other institutions. Studies with experimental designs could utilize ran domized trials providing technology enhanced delivery of specific interactio ns to one group of students and faceto-face delivery of the same interactions to a seco nd group of students. This type of study might include pre and post assessment of preference s for career choice activities, as well as level of satisfaction with the activities at the end of the study. Periodic follow-up with these students after graduation would provide addit ional information about students’ satisfaction with their career choices after gradua tion. When considering research questions for future rese arch, measurement must also be considered in the context of what determines if the integration of technology is effective or not effective. Measuring the effective ness of technology can be viewed through two primary perspectives. These include the student’s perspective and that of the institution or society. The individual student may determine effectiveness in terms of his or her own satisfaction with the process and results. In the c ontext of career planning, students may perceive the use of technology to be effective or n ot effective based on their satisfaction with the use of technology to assist them in explor ation and decision-making. They may

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140 also perceive effectiveness based on their satisfac tion with the career field ultimately chosen. The institution or University may perceive the use of technology as effective or not effective based on different types of goals. Th ese goals are linked to those of society focusing on effectiveness of education, and perhaps the career planning process, that may be based more on numbers of graduates who have empl oyment upon graduation. Issues of funding and access may also shape the way effect iveness of technology is measured in higher education at the administrator level (Howell et al., 2003). DeBard (2004) addresses the fact that education and careers are valued differently across generations. While members of the Baby Boome r generation view education as a “freedom of expression” and Generation X members vi ew education as something “pragmatic”, Millennial students view education as a “structure of accountability” (p. 40). The generations also view career goals differently. Millennial students seek careers that are “meaningful” in some way. Generation X is focus ed on careers that are “portable” and involve “enterprise”, while Baby Boomers work t owards “title and the corner office” (p.40). These are generalizations, but help to desc ribe the changing views of education and how it may be considered a successful process t o different groups. With members of these groups in various roles as students and highe r education administrators, it will be increasingly important to explore and define what i s effective when researching the use of technology in the future. Summary This chapter concludes the report. It began with a review of the purpose of the study and the research questions. A discussion of t he study’s findings was then presented.

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141 Implications of the findings for practice were outl ined, as well as recommendations for future research. Recommendations for practice include a blended appr oach. Students responded to the study with preferences for both traditional fac e-to-face and technology enhanced delivery of activities related to career choice int erventions. E-mail, websites, and telephone calls were the three most selected techno logy delivery options across 17 career choice activities. High level of experience with a specific technology does not necessarily lead to increased preference for using that technol ogy to engage in career development activities. While the modality of delivery of caree r services may or may not impact the success of career-decision making, offering technol ogy driven delivery modes for career decision-making interventions may attract students who would not have interacted with career services activities otherwise. It is important to know the characteristics and pre ferences of the population that is being served. Developing service delivery through t he technologies preferred by the students and incorporating these technologies in co mmunication with students are recommended. Career Centers considering the integra tion of technology should engage in careful needs analysis before committing valuable r esources. Student input can help inform decisions about which services will be offer ed and how these services will be delivered. Future research recommendations include longitudina l studies that assess student attitudes and preferences for career choice activit ies and delivery modes over time. The preferences and experiences of additional student p opulations, outside of the traditional first-year students, should also be explored. Exper imental research could also add to the

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142 knowledgebase by gathering feedback from groups of students who engaged in face-toface career activities or technology enhanced caree r activities. Exploring ways to measure and define the effectiveness of technology integrat ion will be an important component of the design of future research.

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143 References Alessi, S. M., & Trollip, S. R. (2001). Multimedia for learning: Methods and development (3rd Ed.). Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon. America’s Career InfoNet (2007). Cluster and career videos. Retrieved February 25, 2007, from http://www.acinet.org/acinet/videos_by_c luster.asp? id=27&nodeid=28 Babbie, E. (1990). Survey research design (2nd Ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Company. Ballard, M. R. (2002). Job search: Chance or plan? In V. N. Gordon and T. L. Minnick (Eds.), Foundations: A reader for new college students (2nd ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning. Berrios-Allison, A. C., Hill, R. L., Park-Curry, P. Thaci, A., Henderson, A., & Stevenson, D. J. (2003). Career needs assessment – Autumn quarter 2002: Firstyear students. Retrieved June 2, 2006, from http:// www.ccs.ohio-state.edu/careerconnection/Downloads/Needs.pdf Brigham, D. (2001). Converting student support serv ices to online delivery. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 1 (2). Brown, S. D. & Ryan Krane, N. (2000). Four (or five ) sessions and a cloud of dust: Old assumptions and new observations about career couns eling. In S. D. Brown and R. W. Lent (Eds.), Handbook of Counseling Psychology (3rd ed.). New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons. Brown, S. D., Ryan Krane, N., Brecheisen, J., Caste lino, P., Budisin, I., Miller, M. et al. (2003). Critical ingredients of career choice inter ventions: More analyses and new hypotheses. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 62, 411-428. Cahill, M., & Martland, S. (1995). Extending the reach: Distance delivery in career counseling. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED414513) Cain, D. L. & Lockee, B. (2002). Student support services at a distance: Are institu tions meeting the needs of distance learners? (Report No. HE035239). U. S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Research and Improvement. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED468729) Career Libraries Adapt to Changes in Student Expect ations. (2006, October 13). Spotlight Online. National Association of Colleges and Employers. CareerRam Network. (2007). Colorado State Universit y Career Center. Retrieved February 25, 2007 from http://www.career.colostate. edu/alumni/mentor.html

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144 Carnevale, D. (2000). A study produces a list of 24 benchmarks for quality distance education. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved September 9, 2005, from http://chronicle.com/weekly/v46/i31/31a04501.h tm Clark, M. A., & Stone, C. B. (2002). Clicking with students: Using online assignments in counselor education courses. Journal of Technology in Counseling, (2) 2. Retrieved November 12, 2006, from http://jtc.colsta te.edu/vol2_2/clarckstone.htm Constas, M. A. (1992). Qualitative analysis as a pu blic event: The documentation of category development procedures. American Educational Research Journal, 29 (1), 253-266. Creswell, J. W. (2002). Educational research: Planning, conducting, and eva luating quantitative and qualitative research. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc. Dare, L. A., Zapata, L. P., & Thomas, A. G. (2005). Assessing the needs of distance learners: A student affairs perspective. New Directions for Student Services, 112, 39-54. Dahl, J. (2005, November 1). Online services keep S yracuse students satisfied. Distance Education Report, pp. 4, 6-8. Davidson, M. M. (2001). The computerization of care er services: Critical issues to consider. Journal of Career Development, 27 (3), 217-228. DeBard, R. (2004). Millennials coming to college. New Directions for Student Services, 106, 33-45. Dillman, D. A., & Smyth, J. D. (2007). Design effec ts in the transition to web-based surveys. American Journal of Preventative Medicine, 32 (5S), S90-96. Distance Learning Catalog (2006). List of Universit y of South Florida Undergraduate World Wide Web Courses. Retrieved June 24, 2006, fr om http://www.outreach.usf.edu/ catalog/Fall06/deliver y Fall06.asp?icon=XXW Distance Learning Trends and Information (2005). Pr esentation from the University of South Florida Classroom Technology Services. Retrie ved June 24, 2006, from http://www.outreach.usf.edu/cts/docs/2005_Distance_ Learning_Powerpoint.ppt#8 Dodson, L. F., & Dean, M. (2003). Career services 2 4/7: The online career center. Student Affairs Online, (4) 3. Retrieved September 20, 2005, from http://studentaffairs.com/ ejournal/Summer_2003/Car eerServices24-7.htm

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146 Howe, N. & Strauss, W. (2003). Millennials go to college Life Course Associates and the American Association of Collegiate Registrars a nd Admissions Officers. Howell, S. L., Williams, P. B., & Lindsay, N. K. (2 003). Thirty-two trends affecting distance education: An informed foundation for stra tegic planning. Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, 6 (3). Retrieved October 1, 2006, from http://www.westga.edu/ ~distance/ojdla/articles /fall2003/howell63.html Johnson, B. & Christensen, L. (2004). Educational research: Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed approaches (2nd Ed.) Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon. Jones, S. (2006). Phone line leads to better career s. The Times Educational Supplement, No: 4693, 6. Katz, Y. J. (2002). Attitudes affecting college stu dents’ preferences for distance learning. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 18 2-9. Kelley, K. B. & Orr, G. J. (2003). Trends in distan t student use of electronic resources: A survey. College and Research Libraries, 64 (3), 176-191. Kendall, J. R. (2005). Implementing the web of stud ent services. New Directions for Student Services, 112 55-68. Kendall, J. R., Smith, C., Moore, R., & Oaks, M. (2 001). Student services for distance learners: A critical component. Netresults: NASPA’s E-zine for Student Affairs Professionals. Retrieved October 1, 2006 from http://www.naspa.org Kleinglass, N. (2005). Who is driving the changing landscape in student affairs? New Directions for Student Services, 112, 25-38. Kowen. (2006, June 7). Mandated online learning! Wh ere else? Message posted to http://www.ncdaforums.org/index.php?s=6839c5d5acb b4ae86a7b42776f 76e57f & showtopic=325&pid=785&st=0&#entry785 Krauth, B. & Carbajal, J. (1999). Guide to developi ng online student services. Western Cooperative for Educational Telecommunications. Retrieved June 8, 2006, from http://www.wcnet.info/resources/publications/guide1 003/guide.pdf Kruger, K. (2005). What we know and the difference it makes. New Directions for Student Services, 112, 103-107. Krumboltz, J. D. (1996). A learning theory of caree r counseling. In M. L. Savickas & W. B. Walsh (Eds.), Handbook of career counseling theory and practice (pp.55-81). Palo Alto CA: Davies-Black.

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147 Kvavik, R. (2005). Convenience, communications, and control: How students use technology. In D. C. Oblinger & J. L. Oblinger (Eds .), Educating the net generation (pp. 7.1-7.20). EDUCAUSE. Retrieved February 25, 20 07, from http://www.educause.edu/ir/ library/pdf/pub7101g.pd f Kvavik, R. B. & Handberg, M. N. (2000). Transformin g student services: The University of Minnesota takes a fresh look at client/instituti on interaction. Educause Quarterly, 2, 30-37. Levy, S. (2003). Six factors to consider with plann ing online distance learning programs In higher education. Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, 6 (1). Retrieved June 8, 2006, from http://www.westga.edu/ %7Edistance/ojdla/ spring61/levy61.htm Lohsandt, M. C. (2005). Online or in line: Percepti ons of online learners in South Dakota regarding online student services. Dissertation Abstracts International. (UMI No. 3206234) Lonsdale, C., Hodge, K., Rose, E. A. (2006). Pixels vs. paper: Comparing online and traditional survey methods in sport psychology. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 21 (1), 100-108. Lowery, J. W. (2004). Student affairs for a new gen eration. New Directions for Student Services, 106, 87-99. Mancuso, S. (2001). Adult-centered practices: Bench marking study in higher education. Innovative Higher Education, 25 (3), 165-181. Merriam, S. B., & Caffarella, R. S. (1999). Learning in adulthood (2nd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Michigan Virtual University. (2006, April). Michigan first state to require online learning. Retrieved April 26, 2006, from http://mivhs.org/upl oad_2/ MIOnlineRequirment 42106.pdf Miller, K. L. & McDaniels, R. M. (2001). Cyberspace the new frontier. Journal of Career Development, 27 (3), 199-206. Moneta, L. (2005). Technology and student affairs: Redux. New Directions for Student Services, 112, 3-14. Moore, M. G. & Kearsley, G. (2005). Distance education: A systems view (2nd ed.). Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth. Morrison, G. R., Ross. S. M., & Kemp, J. E. (2001). Designing effective instruction (3rd ed.). New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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148 National Career Development Association (1997). Career Counseling Competencies. Retrieved August 16, 2006, from http://www.ncda.org /pdf/ counselingcompetencies.pdf National Career Development Association (2007). Roles of the Career Counselor. Retrieved May 24, 2007, from http://www.ncda.org New Student Headcount (2007). Demographic data rega rding enrolled students. Retrieved September 3, 2007, from http://usfweb2.us f.edu/infomart/infomartapps/ Info2.aspx Norris, C., Smolka, J., & Soloway, E. (1999). Convergent analysis: A method for extracting the value from research studies on techn ology in education (The Secretary’s Conference on Educational Technology. ( ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED452819) Pope, M. (2003). Career counseling in the twenty-fi rst century: Beyond cultural encapsulation. The Career Development Quarterly, 52, 54-60. Porter, S. R., & Whitcomb, M. E. (2004). Understand ing the effect of prizes on response rates. New Directions for Institutional Research, 121, 51-62. Savickas, M. L., Van Esbroeck, R., & Herr, E. L. (2 005). The internationalization of educational and vocational guidance. The Career Development Quarterly, 54, 7785. Sampson, J. P, Jr., Carr, D. L., Makela, J. P., Ark in, S., Minvielle, M., & Vernick, S. H. (2003). Enhancing counseling services with Internet web sites. Journal of Technology in Counseling, 3 (1). Retrieved June 6, 2005, from http://jtc.colstate.edu/vol3_1/ Sampson/Sampson.htm Sampson, J. P., Jr., Kolodinsky, R. W., & Greeno, B P. (1997). Counseling on the information highway: Future possibilities and poten tial problems. Journal of Counseling and Development, 75, 203-212. Sampson, J. P., Jr., Reardon, R. C., Peterson, G. W ., & Lenz, J. G. (2004). Career counseling and services: A cognitive information pr ocessing approach. Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole – Thomson Learning. Schullo, S., Venable, M., Hilbelink, A., & Barron, A. (2005). Practical experiences in producing synchronous online sessions: A case study in higher education. Journal of Interactive Instruction Development, (18) 1. Schutt, D., Hilleshiem-Setz, P, & Drescher, S. (199 9). Critical center resources. In D. Schutt (Ed.), How to plan and develop a career center (pp.51-66). New York: NY: Ferguson.

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149 Setzer, J. C. & Lewis, L. (2005). Distance education courses for public elementary an d secondary school students: 2002-2003 (Report No. 2005-010). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for E ducation Statistics. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED484331) Shaw, H. E., & Shaw, S. F. (2006). Critical ethical issues in online counseling: Assessing current practices with an ethical intent checklist. Journal of Counseling and Development, 84, 41-53. Shea, P. A. (2005). Serving students online: Enhan cing their learning experience. New Directions for Student Services, 112, 15-24. Shier, M. T. (2005). The way technology changes how we do what we do. New Directions for Student Services, 112, 77-87. Shivy, V. A., & Koehly, L. M. (2002). Client percep tions of and preferences for university-based career services. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 60, 40-60. Smith, B. (2005). Online student support services. Community College Journal, (76) 2, 26-29. Smith, P. L., & Ragan, T. J. (1993). Instructional design. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc. Smither, J. W., Walker, A. G., & Yap, M. K. (2004). An examination of the equivalence of web-based versus paper-and-pencil upward feedbac k ratings: Raterand ratelevel analysis. Educational and Psychological Measurement, (64) 1, 40-61. Stokes, P. J. (n.d.). Hidden in plain sight: Adult learners forge a new tradition in higher education. Issue Paper: The Secretary of Education’s Commissio n on the Future of Higher Education. Retrieved January 15, 2006, from http://www.ed.gov/ about/ bdscomm/list/ hiedfuture/reports/stokes.pdf Suhr, D. D. (n.d.) Paper 203-30: Principal Componen t Analysis vs. Exploratory Factor Analysis. Retrieved February 15, 2007, from http:// www2.sas.com/proceedings/ sugi30/203-30.pdf Super, D. E. (1957). The psychology of careers. New York, NY: Harper & Row. Super, D. E. (1990). A life-span, life-space approa ch to career development. In D. Brown, L. Brooks, & Associates (Eds.), Career choice and development: Applying contemporary theories to practice (2nd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Tang, M. (2003). Career counseling in the future: C onstructing, collaborating, advocating. The Career Development Quarterly, (52)1 61-69.

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150 Timm, C. (2006). Technology decision-making in care er services. National Association of Colleges and Employers Journal, (66) 3, 33-39. Tinsley, H. E., Bowman, S. L., & Ray, S. B. (1998). Manipulation of expectancies about counseling and psychotherapy: Review and analysis o f expectancy manipulation strategies and results. Journal of Counseling Psychology, (35) 1, 99-108. Tsai, C. C. (2007). The relationship between intern et perceptions and preferences towards internet-based learning environment. British Journal of Educational Technology, (38) 1, 167-170. Umbach, P. D. (2004). Web surveys: Best practices. New Directions for Institutional Research, 121, 23-38. Usability.gov (n.d.). Your guide for developing usable and useful web sit es Retrieved August 16, 2007, from http://www.usability.gov/temp lates/docs/ short_test_rep.doc Utah Education Network (2004). Video Conferencing Glossary. Retrieved February 25, 2007, from http://www.uen.org/delivery/ivc_glossary .shtml Venable, M. (2006). Online career services: Current practices in provid ing access for distance students. Paper presented at the 2006 Annual Conference of th e National Career Development Association, Chicago, IL. Visser, L. & Visser, Y. L. (2000). Perceived and ac tual student support needs in distance education. The Quarterly Review of Distance Education, 1 (2), 109-117. Western Cooperative for Educational Telecommunicati ons (2003). Beyond the administrative core: Creating web-based student ser vices for online learners. Retrieved September 11, 2005, from http://www.wcet. info/projects/laap/index.asp Whitson, S. C., Brecheisen, B. K., & Stephens, J. ( 2003). Does treatment modality affect career counseling effectiveness? Journal of Vocational Behavior, 62, 390-410. Wunderlich, T. (2006). Cyber career center: Putting high tech and high tou ch together. Presentation at Webinar Series of the National Asso ciation of Colleges and Employers. Zunker, V. G. (2002). Career counseling: Applied concepts of life plannin g (6th Ed.). Pacific Grove, CA: Wadsworth Group.

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151 Appendix A Recruitment E-Mail to Instructors and Students

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152 Initial Mass E-Mail Subject: First-Year Student Survey Dear University Experience Instructor: I am a UE Instructor and Ph.D. student at USF curre ntly working on a research project that would benefit from your help. This project is seeking first-year students' input on preferences for accessing career services activitie s. This project is also gathering information on students' prior experience with vari ous types of technology. Students are being asked to complete a brief online survey. Participation from all students is completely voluntary. The survey itself does not ask for any personal identifying information. Students may opt to register for a pri ze drawing after completing the survey. As an incentive to participate, four $25.00 gift ca rds for Barnes & Noble bookstores will be given away. On September 14th, four names will b e randomly drawn from those who registered. Please consider distributing the survey link to the students in your UE classes. A sample e-mail that you can send to students is provided be low. Simply cut and paste into an email to your students or post in your Blackboard co urse area. Thanks for your help. The information gathered from this study will help those who are developing student support services, such as career services, to better meet the needs and expectations of students. Don't hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns you may have. Thank you! Melissa -Melissa Venable Ph.D. Candidate College of Education University of South Florida mvenable@mail.usf.edu +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++++++ Dear UE Students: Please take a few minutes to participate in a study currently taking place at USF. This study seeks your input on your preferences for how you would like to participate in career planning activities. Your opinions will help those who are developing in these services to better meet your needs and expectations You can participate by completing a brief online survey.

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153 If you would like to register for a drawing associa ted with this study, you may do so at the end of the survey. On September 14th, a drawing will take place. By registering you will be eligible to receive one of four $25.00 gift cards for Barnes & Noble bookstores, which can be used at the USF Bookstore. If your nam e is drawn, you will be notified by e-mail. Your registration and survey responses cann ot be linked, so your survey responses will remain anonymous. This survey will take approximately 5 minutes for y ou to complete. Your participation is completely voluntary and anonymous. Click on the li nk below to start the survey. Survey: http://www.questionpro.com/akira/TakeSurvey ?id=766830 If you have any questions, you can contact the rese archer, Melissa Venable, at mvenable@mail.usf.edu. Thanks for your help!

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154 Follow-up Reminder E-Mail Subject: First-Year Student Survey Thank You! Hello Cynthia, I am sure you saw my request for survey distributio n that went out through Dave Campaigne last week to all UE Instructors. If you h ave already sent the survey link to your classes, thank you! If you haven't, please con sider e-mailing the survey link (below) to students or posting it in Blackboard. I am curre ntly collecting data for my dissertation project looking at student technology use and parti cipation in student services. The survey will be "live" for about another week. More student input will definitely influence the results. Thanks for your help and have a great semester! Melissa Melissa Venable mvenable@mail.usf.edu +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++++++ Dear Students: Please take a few minutes to participate in a study currently taking place at USF. Your input will help those who are developing student se rvices to better meet your needs and expectations. You can participate by completing a b rief online survey. After completing the survey, you can register for a drawing for $25 gift cards for Barnes & Noble bookstores. This survey will take approximately 5 minutes to co mplete. Your participation is completely voluntary and anonymous, and has no conn ection to your courses or course grades. Click on the link below to start the survey Survey: http://www.questionpro.com/akira/TakeSurvey ?id=766830 If you have any questions, you can contact the rese archer, Melissa Venable, at mvenable@mail.usf.edu. Thanks for your help!

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155 Appendix B Pilot Study Survey Instrument

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156 I. INTRODUCTION Dear Student, The purpose of this survey is to find out more abou t college students' preferences for support services offered online via the Internet. U niversity Career Centers all over the country are beginning to offer online services thro ugh their websites, in addition to the services they offer on campus. Your participation i n this study will help those who are developing these services to better understand wher e they should focus on making changes, based on your preferences. The survey consists of 13 items and will take appro ximately 15 minutes to complete. Your name will not appear on any part of the survey Your answers are anonymous and will be used in future research as group data only. If you have any questions about this survey and/or your participation in the study contact the researcher, Melissa Venable at mvenable @ succe ss.usf.edu or (813) 974-4645. Please be advised that you may decline to participa te without any affect on your grade. If you choose to voluntarily participate, please indic ate your consent by clicking on the "Next" link below. Thanks for your participation! Next> II. DEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION Please read the following questions and select the most appropriate response for each. 1. What is your gender? Male Female 2. Which of the following best describes you? African American or Black Asian or Pacific Islander Hispanic Native American White Other – please specify (textbox) 3. What is your age? (textbox to enter age)

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157 4. Are you an International student? No Yes 5. Is this your first year at USF? No Yes 6. How many credits are you taking this semester? (textbox for student to enter number of credits) 7. Please select the one statement below that best describes your current employment situation I work off campus, less than 40 hours per week I work off campus, 40 or more hours per week I work on campus, less than 40 hours per week I work on campus, 40 or more hours per week I am not currently working. 8. For the purposes of this study, an “online cours e” is a course that is conducted through the Internet and does not require students to meet in a traditional classroom on a regular basis. Have you ever complet ed an online course? No, I’ve never taken an online course No, but I am in my first online course this semeste r Yes, I have completed an online course 9. If you answered yes to the question above, how m any online courses have you completed previous to this semester? (textbox to enter number of courses) 10. Do you own an iPod or other portable MP3 playe r? No Yes 11. Would you use an iPod or MP3 player to review p odcasts of your classes? No Yes Not sure

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158 III. PREFERENCES College and University Career Centers provide stude nts with assistance in career decision-making and help students with the job sear ch process. Now that the Internet is so accessible, some students may find it convenient to get this kind of assistance online via the Internet, in addition to being able to visi t the Career Center on campus. Please read the following questions carefully and s elect the responses that best reflect your own preferences. 12. Listed below are a number of activities typical ly offered by college and university career centers to assist students with career devel opment and planning. Please indicate below whether you would prefer to participate in ea ch of these services on-campus, online, or not at all OnCampus Online Not at All Explore my own thoughts about my career choices. Explore how the results of a career test relate to possible careers. Find information about current job openings. Learn from experienced professionals working in a career I am interested in pursuing. Find techniques for including others, such as my family and friends, in my career decision-making. Develop a list of careers I may be interested in researching further. Get feedback from a career counselor on useful strategies for making decisions about my career. Research typical salaries earned by those working i n my career of interest. Interview someone working in a job I am interested in. Learn about how culture and gender related issues m ay affect my career choice. Complete worksheets to identify work-related skills that I have. Learn more about how my skills and interests relate to various career fields. Learn about the requirements needed to work in the career I am interested in. Find out how my career counselor decided in his/her career. Learn how to network with professionals in my chose n career field.

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159 13. Listed below are five items considered to be cr itical to making decisions about careers. Read through the items and indicate how yo u would PREFER to interact with career specialists and career-related information t o work through each one. On Campus – in person only Through E-mail Discussion Board in Blackboard Through a Video Recording Through an Audio Recording or Podcast On a Website, Wiki, or Blog Through Telephone Call Internet Chat Room or Instant Messenger In a ‘virtual classroom or office ’ Reflect on my thoughts, feelings and concerns about my career choices. Have a dialogue with a career counselor about career development issues. Get information, such as salaries and training, about careers I am interested in pursuing. Learn about careers from people already working in the them. Build a network of people who can assist me with choosing a career.

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160 IV. CLOSING Thank you very much for participating in this study If you have any questions about the study or this survey, please contact the researcher Melissa Venable at mvenable@success.usf.edu or 813-974-4645. When you click on "Done" below you will exit the su rvey and be taken to a page where you have the opportunity to register for a prize dr awing. You will be asked for your name and an e-mail address. This information will in no way be connected to your survey responses. Please register only once! Thanks again.

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161 Appendix C Pilot Study Demographic Data

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162 Total respondents: n = 64 Demographic Information Gender % N Male 14.1 9 Female 85.9 55 Ethnicity % N African American/Black 9.4 6 Asian or Pacific Islander 1.6 1 Hispanic 7.8 5 Native American 0 0 White 78.1 50 Other 3.1 2 Age % N 17-20 84.3 54 21-24 15.6 10 Average Age = 18.65 Range = 17-24 Median = 18 Current Enrollment % N Part-time (<12 credits) 12.5 8 Full time (12 or > credits) 87.5 56 Average number of credits = 14 (13.5) Range = 6-17 Median = 14 Current Employment % N Off-campus Part-time 40.6 26 Off-campus Full-time 12.5 8 On-campus Part-time 9.4 6 On-campus Full-time 1.6 1 Not employed 35.9 23 The categories in these items were created after data collection.

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163 Previous Experience Previous Experience with Online Courses % N No – I have never taken an online course 57.8 37 No – But I am in my first online course this semest er 20.3 13 Yes – I have completed an online course 21.9 14 Yes – I have completed an online course Average number of online courses completed = 2 (1. 9) Range = 1-5 Median = 1 Own MP3 Player % N No 34.4 22 Yes 65.6 42 Would use MP3 Player to review podcasts to review classes. % N No 32.8 21 Yes 29.7 19 Not sure 37.5 24

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164 Appendix D Survey Instrument

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165 I. INTRODUCTION Dear Student, The purpose of this survey is to find out more abou t college students' preferences for support services offered online via the Internet. U niversity Career Centers all over the country are beginning to offer online services thro ugh their websites, in addition to the services they offer on campus. Your participation i n this study will help those who are developing these services to better understand wher e they should focus on making changes, based on your preferences. The survey will take approximately 5 minutes to com plete. Your name will not appear on any part of the survey. Your answers are anonymous and will be used in future research as group data only. If you have any questions about this survey and/or your participation in the study contact the researcher, Melissa Venable at mvenable @ mail. usf.edu or (813) 555-1234. Please be advised that you may decline to participa te without any affect on your grade. If you choose to voluntarily participate, please indic ate your consent by clicking on the "Next" link below. Thanks for your participation! II. DEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION Please read the following questions and select the most appropriate response for each. What is your gender? Male Female Which of the following best describes you? African American or Black Asian or Pacific Islander Hispanic Native American White Other – please specify (textbox) What is your age? (textbox to enter age)

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166 Are you an International student? No Yes Is this your first year in college since graduating from high school? No Yes How many credits are you taking this semester? (textbox for student to enter number of credits) Please select the statement(s) below that describe( s) your current employment situation (check all that apply). I work off campus, less than 40 hours per week I work off campus, 40 or more hours per week I work on campus, less than 40 hours per week I work on campus, 40 or more hours per week I am not currently working. For the purposes of this study, an “online course” is a course that is conducted through the Internet and does not require students to meet in a traditional classroom on a regular basis. Have you ever complet ed an online course? No, I’ve never taken an online course No, but I am in my first online course this semeste r Yes, I have completed 1 or 2 online courses Yes, I have completed 3 or more online courses Have you ever participated in career advising or gu idance activities? (Examples of these activities include identifying your skills and career interests, exploring career options, and developing a career plan.) No, I have no experience with career advising. Yes, I have very little experience with career advi sing. Yes, I have some experience with career advising. Yes, I have a lot of experience with career advisin g. How important is career planning to you at this tim e? Career planning is not important to me. Career planning is somewhat important to me. Career planning is important to me. Career planning is very important to me.

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167 Have you declared a major? No Yes If you answered yes to the question above, please t ype your major area of study in the textbox provided. (textbox for student to enter major) III. EXPERIENCE WITH DELIVERY METHODS What is your experience level with each of the foll owing types of technology? 1 = I am not familiar with this technology at all. 2 = I am familiar with this but have no experience. 3 = I have very little experience with this. 4 = I have some experience with this. 5 = I have a lot of experience with this. E-mail 1 2 3 4 5 Blackboard Discussion Boards 1 2 3 4 5 Audio and Video Recordings or Podcasts 1 2 3 4 5 Internet Websites, Wikis and/or Blogs 1 2 3 4 5 Internet Text Chat or Instant Messaging 1 2 3 4 5 ‘Virtual’ Rooms with Real-Time Interaction 1 2 3 4 5 Do you own an iPod or other portable MP3 player? No Yes Do you have access to a personal computer? (Other t han access on campus at USF.) No Yes

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168 IV. PREFERENCES College and University Career Centers provide stude nts with assistance in career decision-making and help students with the job sear ch process. Below you will find a list of activities related this kind of assistance. For each activity, please select the way(s) in whic h you would prefer to participate in each activity. Check all that apply. Explore my own thoughts about my career choices. In Person E-Mail Discussion Board in Blackboard Audio or Video Recording or Podcast Website, Wiki, and/or Blog Telephone Call Text Chat or Instant Messenger “Virtual Room” with real-time interaction I am not interested in participating in this activi ty. Explore how the results of a career test relate to possible careers. In Person E-Mail Discussion Board in Blackboard Audio or Video Recording or Podcast Website, Wiki, and/or Blog Telephone Call Text Chat or Instant Messenger “Virtual Room” with real-time interaction I am not interested in participating in this activi ty. Find information about current job openings. In Person E-Mail Discussion Board in Blackboard Audio or Video Recording or Podcast Website, Wiki, and/or Blog Telephone Call Text Chat or Instant Messenger “Virtual Room” with real-time interaction I am not interested in participating in this activi ty. Learn from experienced professionals working in a c areer I am interested in pursuing. In Person E-Mail Discussion Board in Blackboard Audio or Video Recording or Podcast Website, Wiki, and/or Blog Telephone Call Text Chat or Instant Messenger

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169 “Virtual Room” with real-time interaction I am not interested in participating in this activi ty. Find techniques for including others, such as my fa mily and friends, in my career decision-making. In Person E-Mail Discussion Board in Blackboard Audio or Video Recording or Podcast Website, Wiki, and/or Blog Telephone Call Text Chat or Instant Messenger “Virtual Room” with real-time interaction I am not interested in participating in this activi ty. Develop a list of careers I may be interested in re searching further. In Person E-Mail Discussion Board in Blackboard Audio or Video Recording or Podcast Website, Wiki, and/or Blog Telephone Call Text Chat or Instant Messenger “Virtual Room” with real-time interaction I am not interested in participating in this activi ty. Get feedback on useful strategies for making decisi ons about my career. In Person E-Mail Discussion Board in Blackboard Audio or Video Recording or Podcast Website, Wiki, and/or Blog Telephone Call Text Chat or Instant Messenger “Virtual Room” with real-time interaction I am not interested in participating in this activi ty. Research typical salaries earned by those working i n my career of interest. In Person E-Mail Discussion Board in Blackboard Audio or Video Recording or Podcast Website, Wiki, and/or Blog Telephone Call Text Chat or Instant Messenger “Virtual Room” with real-time interaction I am not interested in participating in this activi ty. Interview someone working in a job I am interested in pursuing. In Person E-Mail

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170 Discussion Board in Blackboard Audio or Video Recording or Podcast Website, Wiki, and/or Blog Telephone Call Text Chat or Instant Messenger “Virtual Room” with real-time interaction I am not interested in participating in this activi ty. Learn about how culture and gender related issues m ay affect my career choice. In Person E-Mail Discussion Board in Blackboard Audio or Video Recording or Podcast Website, Wiki, and/or Blog Telephone Call Text Chat or Instant Messenger “Virtual Room” with real-time interaction I am not interested in participating in this activi ty. Complete worksheets to identify my work-related ski lls. In Person E-Mail Discussion Board in Blackboard Audio or Video Recording or Podcast Website, Wiki, and/or Blog Telephone Call Text Chat or Instant Messenger “Virtual Room” with real-time interaction I am not interested in participating in this activi ty. Learn more about how my skills and interests relate to various career fields. In Person E-Mail Discussion Board in Blackboard Audio or Video Recording or Podcast Website, Wiki, and/or Blog Telephone Call Text Chat or Instant Messenger “Virtual Room” with real-time interaction I am not interested in participating in this activi ty. Learn about the requirements needed to work in the career I am interested in pursuing. In Person E-Mail Discussion Board in Blackboard Audio or Video Recording or Podcast Website, Wiki, and/or Blog Telephone Call Text Chat or Instant Messenger “Virtual Room” with real-time interaction I am not interested in participating in this activi ty.

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171 Find out how my career advisor decided on his/her c areer. In Person E-Mail Discussion Board in Blackboard Audio or Video Recording or Podcast Website, Wiki, and/or Blog Telephone Call Text Chat or Instant Messenger “Virtual Room” with real-time interaction I am not interested in participating in this activi ty. Learn how to network with professionals in my chose n field. In Person E-Mail Discussion Board in Blackboard Audio or Video Recording or Podcast Website, Wiki, and/or Blog Telephone Call Text Chat or Instant Messenger “Virtual Room” with real-time interaction I am not interested in participating in this activi ty. Receive advice from someone working in a career fie ld I am interested in pursuing. In Person E-Mail Discussion Board in Blackboard Audio or Video Recording or Podcast Website, Wiki, and/or Blog Telephone Call Text Chat or Instant Messenger “Virtual Room” with real-time interaction I am not interested in participating in this activi ty. Get feedback on my job search skills, such as resum e writing and interviewing. In Person E-Mail Discussion Board in Blackboard Audio or Video Recording or Podcast Website, Wiki, and/or Blog Telephone Call Text Chat or Instant Messenger “Virtual Room” with real-time interaction I am not interested in participating in this activi ty.

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172 Thank you for taking the time to complete this surv ey! At this point you have completed all of the require d items. Choose one of the following options to submit your responses. Submit Submit and register for prize drawing. V. CLOSING Thank you very much for participating in this study If you have any questions about the study or this survey please contact the researcher, Melissa Venable, at mvenable@mail.usf.edu or 813-555-1234. Thanks again!

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About the Author Melissa Venable has been an Instructor at the Univ ersity of South Florida since 2005. Her previous professional experience includes work in career services as an Outplacement Counselor and Career Development Coord inator. She has also worked as an Instructional Designer with KnowledgeTech, Inc., a private contractor developing computer-based training products. Melissa received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Ps ychology from Wake Forest University in 1990. She continued her education obt aining her Master of Science degree in General Administration from Central Michigan Uni versity in 1993 and her Master of Education degree in Instructional Psychology and Te chnology from the University of Oklahoma in 1999. In 2007 Melissa completed a Gradu ate Certificate in Career Counseling from the University of South Florida. Melissa has experience in diverse work environment s including private industry, military, and higher education. Her varied experien ces have helped her to understand the application of online tools to an array of training and educational settings including student services. Melissa plans to pursue employmen t and research in the areas of instructional design, student services, and distanc e education. For more information, visit www.melissavenable.com.