Career Orientation Research

On this page, you’ll find links to the raw data referenced in my work on career-technical students in first-year college composition.

The purpose of this research, conducted over a two-year span from 2006 – 2008, was to search for any relation between students’ career orientation (as identified primarily through their program of study) and . . .

  • their experiences with school-sponsored literacy, especially in first year college composition courses,
  • their attitudes and beliefs about the importance of literacy in their chosen careers.

The study examines data on placement, performance, and persistence in first-year composition courses and results of a survey administered to a cohort of 130 first-year college students during Fall 2006 comparing data sets for career-technical students and traditional liberal arts students. Statistical analysis revealed no significant differences in the FYC performance data but does show marked differences in other areas. Career-technical students are nearly 20% more likely than liberal arts students to be the first in their families to attend college. As a group, liberal arts students rank the importance of literacy in their chosen careers 15% higher, on average, than do career-technical students (4.28 vs. 3.52 on a 5-point Likert scale). When asked to rank the importance of school-sponsored literacy (i.e., the types of reading and writing done in high school and college English classes), the mean response for liberal arts students was 13% higher than for career-technical students (3.51 vs. 2.87 on the same 5-point scale).

Click here to download the complete survey text (MSWord).

Click here to download the tabulated responses and statistical analysis (MSWord).

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