Constructivist career development as a paradigm of empowerment for at-risk culturally diverse college students

Tabitha L Grier-Reed, Nicole R. Skaar, Julia L. Conkel-Ziebell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

Although constructivist career theory is routinely discussed in the literature, links between theory and practice in education are lacking. The current study focused on the potential of a constructivist curriculum to empower at-risk culturally diverse college students by increasing career self-efficacy and reducing dysfunctional career thoughts. Using a pre/post-test design, 75 under-prepared undergraduates who were enrolled in six sections of a constructivist career course at a large Midwestern university completed the Career Decision Self-Efficacy Scale Short-Form (CDSE-SF) and the Career Thoughts Inventory (CTI). The sample was 45% students of color and 55% White. Multivariate analysis of variance with follow-up univariate analyses revealed significantly higher CDSE-SF scores and significantly lower CTI scores. These results suggest that a constructivist career development course may be a viable educational vehicle for empowering at-risk culturally diverse college students by increasing career self-efficacy and decreasing self-defeating thoughts, particularly thoughts associated with decision-making confusion and commitment anxiety.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)290-305
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Career Development
Volume35
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2009

Keywords

  • At-risk
  • Career
  • College students
  • Constructivist
  • Culturally diverse
  • Decision self-efficacy
  • Development
  • Dysfunctional thoughts
  • Education
  • Empowerment

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