Date of Award

5-2002

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Education

Major Professor

Dr. Charles Thompson

Committee Members

Dr. Schuyler Huck, Dr. Julia Malia, Dr. Suzanne Molnar, Dr. Robert Greenberg

Abstract

The number of adult students who are returning to universities and colleges continues to increase. Many of these adult students are attending colleges and universities for career-related reasons (e.g, to change careers, to enhance skills to receive a promotion). Researchers have found that adult students have different career-related needs than do traditional age students (Gianakos, 1996; Luzzo, 1999, 1993; Slotnick et al., 1993). An instrument that reliably measures career development needs of adult students would be helpful to career counselors as they strive to assist adult students with career development. Some instruments have been developed to measure adult students' career development needs; however, no instruments exist that have been found to be psychometrically valid and reliable. This research project was conducted with the goal of developing a psychometrically reliable career development needs assessment.

Sixty-one items were identified from a review of the literature and existing career needs assessment instruments. These 61 items formed the Adult Students’ Career Needs Questionnaire and an exploratory principal component factor analysis was performed to determine how many factors the scale measures and which items load on each factor. Six interpretable factors emerged from the factor analysis. The six factors were a) Obtaining Information about Career Fields and Employment Possibilities, b) Career Self-Efficacy, c) Resources and Strategies for Academic/Career Decision-Making, d) Knowledge of Self and How that Knowledge Influences Career Choice, e) Balancing Multiple Life Roles, and f) Job Hunting Techniques. The items that loaded on each factor were found to be internally consistent, offering evidence of scale reliability. Test-retest reliabilitycoefficients offer further evidence of scale reliability.

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