WWC review of this study

Career Development Courses and Educational Outcomes. 

Hansen, J. M., Jackson, A. P., & Pedersen, T. R. (2017). Journal of Career Development (Sage Publications Inc. ), 44(3), 209–223. https://doi.org/10.1177/0894845316644984.

  • Quasi-Experimental Design
     examining 
    7,023
     Students
    , grade
    PS

Reviewed: July 2021

No statistically significant positive
findings
Meets WWC standards with reservations
Academic achievement outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Total cumulative GPA at graduation

Career development course vs. Business as usual

3 Years

Full sample;
7,023 students

2.39

2.36

Yes

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Evidence Tier rating based solely on this study. This intervention may achieve a higher tier when combined with the full body of evidence.

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • Female: 49%
    Male: 51%
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    Utah
  • Race
    Asian
    3%
    Black
    1%
    Native American
    1%
    Other or unknown
    3%
    Pacific Islander
    2%
    White
    90%
  • Ethnicity
    Hispanic    
    4%
    Not Hispanic or Latino    
    96%

Setting

The study took place at Brigham Young University, a large private university in Utah, during the years 2000-2007.

Study sample

The sample is approximately 90% White, non-Hispanic. Slightly more than half of the sample is male (51%). Most are college freshmen (50%) or sophomores (35%). No information on the socio-economic status of the sample is provided.

Intervention Group

The intervention is a credit-bearing career development course. The course's learning outcomes include increasing students' knowledge of college majors and career options, helping students develop greater awareness of their interests and skills as these relate to career decisions, and increasing students' awareness of career information resources. Over the 8-year period covered by this study, the course was taught by many individuals who used a common curriculum but could adapt the lessons to their interests and students' needs.

Comparison Group

The comparison condition is students from the same university over the same period who never took a career development course at the university. The comparison group was matched to the intervention group based on year in school.

Support for implementation

The career course examined in this study is typical of career development courses in postsecondary settings. The course uses a common curriculum and "learning outcomes", but teachers have autonomy to adapt the lessons to their interests and the needs of the class.

 

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This download will include data files for study and findings review data and a data dictionary.

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