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Agricultural Travel Courses and Commitment to Career Choice by Students in Colleges of Agriculture

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0024057/00001

Material Information

Title: Agricultural Travel Courses and Commitment to Career Choice by Students in Colleges of Agriculture
Physical Description: 1 online resource (113 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Nealis, Charles
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2008

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: agriculture, career, college, commitment, experiential, recruitment, retention, travel
Agricultural Education and Communication -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Agricultural Education and Communication thesis, M.S.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to determine if involvement in an exploration experience offered through an agricultural travel course affected students' commitment to career choice. This study was administered to all students enrolled in five selected agricultural travel courses offered by the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at the University of Florida and the College of Agriculture at Purdue University. The sample consisted of 75 students enrolled in the purposive sample of agricultural travel courses during the 2008 spring and summer academic semesters. These participants completed a web-based version of the Commitment to Career Choices Scale before and after their agricultural travel experience. Independent variables in the study were age, gender, academic year, ethnicity, grade point average, previous work experience, motivations for participation, and parents? occupations. Dependent variables were occupations being considered and commitment to career choice as measured by the vocational exploration and commitment and tendency to foreclose subscales. This study found agricultural travel courses affected participants in different ways. Some students exhibited a strengthening in their commitment to career choice, others a weakening in their commitment to career choice, and some had no change in their level of commitment to career choice. It was found agricultural travel courses have a significant effect on participants' tendency to foreclose. Participants either became more or less open to other options regarding their career decision following their experience. Some participants identified new occupations being considered or had a change in their occupation of choice following their agricultural travel course experience. Overall, participants reported a greater number of agricultural careers being considered following the agricultural travel course experience. This study also found the majority of participants were upperclassmen or graduate students and either of Caucasian or Hispanic background. Also, most of the participants had a grade point average of 3.1 or higher and half of the participants participated in the agricultural travel course for a non-career related reason.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Charles Nealis.
Thesis: Thesis (M.S.)--University of Florida, 2008.
Local: Adviser: Harder, Amy Marie.
Electronic Access: RESTRICTED TO UF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE UNTIL 2009-06-30

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2008
System ID: UFE0024057:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0024057/00001

Material Information

Title: Agricultural Travel Courses and Commitment to Career Choice by Students in Colleges of Agriculture
Physical Description: 1 online resource (113 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Nealis, Charles
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2008

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: agriculture, career, college, commitment, experiential, recruitment, retention, travel
Agricultural Education and Communication -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Agricultural Education and Communication thesis, M.S.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to determine if involvement in an exploration experience offered through an agricultural travel course affected students' commitment to career choice. This study was administered to all students enrolled in five selected agricultural travel courses offered by the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at the University of Florida and the College of Agriculture at Purdue University. The sample consisted of 75 students enrolled in the purposive sample of agricultural travel courses during the 2008 spring and summer academic semesters. These participants completed a web-based version of the Commitment to Career Choices Scale before and after their agricultural travel experience. Independent variables in the study were age, gender, academic year, ethnicity, grade point average, previous work experience, motivations for participation, and parents? occupations. Dependent variables were occupations being considered and commitment to career choice as measured by the vocational exploration and commitment and tendency to foreclose subscales. This study found agricultural travel courses affected participants in different ways. Some students exhibited a strengthening in their commitment to career choice, others a weakening in their commitment to career choice, and some had no change in their level of commitment to career choice. It was found agricultural travel courses have a significant effect on participants' tendency to foreclose. Participants either became more or less open to other options regarding their career decision following their experience. Some participants identified new occupations being considered or had a change in their occupation of choice following their agricultural travel course experience. Overall, participants reported a greater number of agricultural careers being considered following the agricultural travel course experience. This study also found the majority of participants were upperclassmen or graduate students and either of Caucasian or Hispanic background. Also, most of the participants had a grade point average of 3.1 or higher and half of the participants participated in the agricultural travel course for a non-career related reason.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Charles Nealis.
Thesis: Thesis (M.S.)--University of Florida, 2008.
Local: Adviser: Harder, Amy Marie.
Electronic Access: RESTRICTED TO UF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE UNTIL 2009-06-30

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2008
System ID: UFE0024057:00001


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1 AGRICULTURAL TRAVEL COURSES AND COMMITMENT TO CAREER CHOICE BY STUDENTS IN COLLEGES OF AGRICULTURE By CHARLES PATRICK NEALIS A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2008

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2 2008 Charles Patrick Nealis

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3 To my grandfather, George Magruder.

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4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would like to thank God for every blessing He has bestowed upon m e and every joy those blessings have offered. This accomplishment is as much a product of the influence, guidance, and support of the individuals I have been bl essed with as it is of my own efforts. Tremendous thanks belong to my Mama and Dad for their unwavering love and support. I know words will never do, so I hope they will accept every success and every embrace as a continuous expression of my sincer e love and gratitude. I would al so like to thank my brothers, Jackson and Jacob, for their conti nued support and inspiration. Thei r enthusiasm for life, shared with me through both laughter and the occasional scuffle, motivates me to enjoy every moment of every day. Special thanks and shout outs to all of my wonderful and in credible friends and family; Brian Huei, Dennis Neeld, Dom Almodovar, Jonny Borneo Wa lter, Aubrey Stoughton, Ben Hughes, Jon Sokoloff, Chris Kintner, Brian Este vez, Elio Chiarelli, Christy Windham, Anna Warner, Jennifer Cole, Bala Venkat, Nick Lars en, Turtle, Mama Cass, Allison Eckhardt, Diane Mashburn, Lisa Hightower, Aunt Ro se, and Dr. Lori Snyder. They have made every experience, from grade school to graduate school, that mu ch sweeter. To every one of them, both old and new; thank you for making every day better than last. I would also like to thank Dr. Amy Harder, Dr. Brian Me yers, and Dr. Shannon Washburn for the guidance, kindness, patience, and know ledge they have offered me through this experience as members of my graduate committee. I have learned (and written!) more than I ever thought I could. Their enthusiasm, honesty, and passion for learning and success have made a significant impression on my lif e and I am truly grateful.

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5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ............................................................................................................... 4LIST OF TABLES ...........................................................................................................................8LIST OF FIGURES .........................................................................................................................9ABSTRACT ...................................................................................................................... .............10CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION .................................................................................................................. 12Background .................................................................................................................... .........12Statement of the Problem ...................................................................................................... ..17Purpose of the Study .......................................................................................................... .....17Objectives .................................................................................................................... ....17Research Hypothesis .......................................................................................................18Operational Definitions ....................................................................................................... ...18Limitations of the Study ...................................................................................................... ...20Assumptions of the Study ...................................................................................................... .20Summary ....................................................................................................................... ..........212 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE ........................................................................................22Introduction .................................................................................................................. ...........22Commitment to Career Choice ............................................................................................... 22Theoretical Framework ...........................................................................................................24Anticipatory Behavior Involved in Making a Vocational Decision ................................25Exploration ............................................................................................................... 26Crystallization .......................................................................................................... 29Choice ....................................................................................................................... 30Clarification ..............................................................................................................30Implementation ................................................................................................................ 31Adolescence as Exploration ....................................................................................................32Exploration of self a nd work in the home ................................................................ 34Exploration in part-time work .................................................................................. 35Exploration in the school .......................................................................................... 36Measuring Commitment to Career Choice ............................................................................. 40Chapter Summary ...................................................................................................................423 METHODS ....................................................................................................................... ......43Introduction .................................................................................................................. ...........43Research Design .....................................................................................................................43

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6 Participants .................................................................................................................. ...........45Instrumentation ............................................................................................................... ........46Data Collection .......................................................................................................................48Analysis of Data .....................................................................................................................49Chapter Summary ...................................................................................................................504 RESULTS ....................................................................................................................... ........52Objective 1: Demographic Char acteristics and Background ..................................................52Objective 2: Students Level of Commitment to Career Choices. .........................................53Objective 3: The Effect of the Interven tion on Students Vocational Exploration and Commitment (VEC) and Tendency to Foreclose (TTF). .................................................... 54Statistical Analysis of Change ......................................................................................... 54Tendency to Foreclose .....................................................................................................55Vocational Exploration and Commitment ....................................................................... 565 SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS .........................................65Summary of the Study ............................................................................................................65Problem Statement ................................................................................................... 65Purpose and Objectives ............................................................................................ 65Methodology ................................................................................................................... .66Objective One ..................................................................................................................67Conclusions ..............................................................................................................67Implications .............................................................................................................. 68Objective 2 .......................................................................................................................70Conclusions ..............................................................................................................70Implications .............................................................................................................. 71Objective 3 .......................................................................................................................72Conclusions ..............................................................................................................72Implications .............................................................................................................. 73Recommendations ............................................................................................................... ....74Suggestions for Further Research ........................................................................................... 75APPENDIX A INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARD APPROVAL ............................................................ 77B TRAVEL COURSE INSTRUCTOR IN FORM ATION REQUEST EMAIL ........................ 78C SURVEY COMPLETION REQUESTS ................................................................................ 79Pre-Survey Email .............................................................................................................. ......79Pre-Test Initial Contact E-mail ............................................................................................... 80Pre-Test Follow-Up Contact Email ........................................................................................81Second Pre-Test Follow-Up Contact Email ........................................................................... 82Third Pre-Test Follow-Up Contact Email .............................................................................. 83Final Pre-Test Follow-Up Contact Email ............................................................................... 84

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7 Post-Test Pre-Survey Email .................................................................................................... 85Post-Test Initial Contact E-mail ............................................................................................. 86Post-Test Follow-Up Contact Email ....................................................................................... 87Second Post-Test Follow-Up Contact Email .......................................................................... 88Third Post-Test Follow-Up Contact Email ............................................................................. 89Final Post-Test Follow-Up Contact Email ............................................................................. 90D ONLINE SURVEY ................................................................................................................91Approved Informed Consent ..................................................................................................91Pre-Test Online Survey Web Pages ........................................................................................ 93Post-Test Online Survey Web Pages .................................................................................... 101LIST OF REFERENCES .............................................................................................................107BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH .......................................................................................................113

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8 LIST OF TABLES Table page 3-1 Travel Course Student Enrollment..................................................................................... 513-2 Reliability ............................................................................................................... ............513-3 Class Participation by Students in Selected Travel Courses .............................................. 514-1 Demographic Profile of Students Enro lled in Agricultura l Travel Courses ...................... 584-2 Descriptive Statistics of Pretest CCCS and Posttest CCCS ...............................................594-3 Analysis of Covariance of Observed Ga ins for the Commitment to Career Choices Scale, Tendency to Foreclose Scale, and the Vocational Exploration and Commitment Scale .............................................................................................................594-4 Summary of Participants Responses on Individual Items of the Tendency to Foreclose Scale ..................................................................................................................604-5 Summary of Participants Responses on Individual Items of the Vocational Exploration and Commitment Scale .................................................................................. 62

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9 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 2-1 Paradigm of the processes of differen tiation and integration in problem solving ............. 25

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10 Abstract of Thesis Presen ted to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science AGRICULTURAL TRAVEL COURSES AND COMMITMENT TO CAREER CHOICE BY STUDE NTS IN COLLEGES OF AGRICULTURE By Charles Patrick Nealis December 2008 Chair: Amy Harder Cochair: Brian Meyers Major: Agricultural Edu cation and Communication The purpose of this study was to determine if involvement in an exploration experience offered through an agricultural travel course affected students commitment to career choice. This study was administered to al l students enrolled in five select ed agricultural travel courses offered by the College of Agricultural and Life Sc iences at the University of Florida and the College of Agriculture at Purdue University. The sample consisted of 75 students enrolled in the purposive sample of agricultural travel courses during the 2008 spring and summer academic semesters. These participants completed a web-based version of the Commitme nt to Career Choices Scale befo re and after their agricultural travel experience. Independent va riables in the study were age, gender, academic year, ethnicity, grade point average, previous work experience, motivations fo r participation, and parents occupations. Dependent variables were occupations being considered and commitment to career choice as measured by the vocational exploratio n and commitment and tendency to foreclose subscales. This study found agricultural travel courses aff ected participants in different ways. Some students exhibited a strengthening in their commitment to career choice, others a weakening in

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11 their commitment to career choice, and some had no change in their level of commitment to career choice. It was found agricultu ral travel courses have a signi ficant effect on participants tendency to foreclose. Participants either becam e more or less open to other options regarding their career decision following th eir experience. Some participan ts identified new occupations being considered or had a change in their occupation of choice fo llowing their agricultural travel course experience. Overall, participants report ed a greater number of ag ricultural careers being considered following the agricultural travel course experience. This study also found the majority of participants were upperclassmen or graduate students and either of Caucasian or Hispanic background. Al so, most of the participants had a grade point average of 3.1 or higher and half of the participants participated in the agricultural travel course for a non-career related reason.

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12 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Background In 2005, the United States Departm ent of Agri culture reported the number of employment opportunities in agricultural and natural resource areas outnumbered the quantity of qualified college graduates with degrees or specializations in these areas (Employment Opportunities, 2005). The demand for educated agriculturalists has continued to increase and the number of new positions available in the agriculture industr y sector was still expected to outnumber the available graduates from agricultural program s through 2010 (Employmen t Opportunities, 2005). Declining enrollment in agriculturally related areas contributed to the lack of qualified graduates in the job market. Studies have s hown enrollment in agricultural subjects at universities in the United States has experienced an overall declin e since 1977 and has only recently experienced a slight rebound (Dyer, Lacey, & Osborne, 1996; McCallister, Lee, & Mason, 2005; Russell, 1993). One explanation fo r this decline was the continued focus of agricultural courses on production agriculture, even though only th ree percent of the existing career opportunities in the agri cultural sector existed in pr oduction (Knight, 1987; Orthel, Sorensen, Lermen, & Riesenberg, 1989). Much like the production focus in agricult ural courses, the publics perception of agriculture failed to move into modernized con ceptions of agriculture. Coon and Cantrell (1985, p. 22) referred to the publics perception of agriculture as a kaleidoscope of leftover attitudes and images of what agriculture was in the s, 50s and early s. This viewpoint was not just limited to one generation, but was also sugge sted to be shared by the younger population. Students in high school and colleg e were aware of the production orientation that existed and

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13 their disinterest in this has a ffected their decision on enrollment in agricultural courses (Hoover & Scanlon, 1991). Student perceptions regarding agricultural fields of study o ffered further explanation for the decline in enrollment. Agricultural areas of study were still seen as vocational and had not been associated with being accommodating to th e pursuit of higher education (Knight, 1987). Various studies suggested students continued to stereotype individua ls involved in agriculture as white males from agricultural backgrounds (Knight, 1987), and students rema ined unsure of their place in such an area (Hoover & Scanlon, 1991). A suggested reason for the aforementioned pe rceptions students form, as well as their declined enrollment, is the influence of indivi duals to whom students look to for guidance. Studies have found parents often did not support or encourage their children to pursue degrees or careers in agriculture and c ounselors often failed to encourage or suggest enrollment in agricultural courses (Hoover & Scanlon, 1991; Osborne & Dy er, 2000; Washington & Rodney, 1984). In addition to perceptions influenced by others a lack of familiarity of, or background in, agriculture could have affected perceptions and influenced enrollment. As an increased proportion of the population moves into urban or suburban areas, students have increasingly less interaction with production agricu lture (Sorenson, 1987). This lack of knowledge, especially in urban black youth, has been suggested to limit stud ents ability to make a commitment to the pursuit of a degree or career in an agricultural field (Case, 1993). Lack of knowledge, however, has not been found to translate to negative percep tions regarding agricultura l subjects (Case). In a study involving urban and rural high school students, Frick, Birkenholz, Gardner and

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14 Machtmes (1995) found evidence to suggest th at, even if students had limited knowledge regarding agriculture, their per ceptions involving agriculture were relatively positive. The lack of an agricultural background has not been found to translate into a lack of interest in agricultural programs. Non-traditi onal agriculture programs, such as turf-grass management, have actually seen an increase in the enrollment of stude nts coming from urban backgrounds (McCallister, Lee, & Mason, 2005). Hoover and Scanlon (1991) found students not enrolled in agricultural courses believed agri cultural programs did not emphasize emerging technology or agricultural resear ch nearly enough, suggesting that this could be an area of interest that could be emphasized to attract more students. Hoove r and Scanlon further suggested students perceptions of the future value of ag ricultural education aff ected their decision on enrollment in agriculturally related courses more so than their agricultu ral background. In addition to the future value agricultura l education held for students, it has been suggested that an agricultural e ducation also contained future valu e for the industries that look to hire graduates from agricultural programs (R ussell, 1993). Due to this importance, Russell suggested universities should change their focu s from teaching and research surrounding farm commodities to developing and recruiting youth b ecause the youth represent the major resource required for a viable and successful agriculture industry in the future. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (2004) reported demand for agricultural and food scient ists alone was expected to grow up to nine percent by 2012. With this expected growth of opportunities in the agricultu ral industries, the lack of awareness students have regardi ng these increasing opportu nities is of conc ern. Many regularly used agricultural job classification systems excl uded a bevy of career opti ons that supported the agriculture industry, such as research, accounting, legal services, technical support, and logistic

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15 support (Conroy, 1997). Students often did not know there was such an expansive system behind agriculture (Conroy). In a study conducted by Conroy (2000) using students who had no expressed interest in agricultural careers, every occupational interest students listed that they believed was unrelated to agricu lture could be linked to an occupational opportunity in the agricultural field. Along with the increasing opportunities, studen ts were often unaware of the benefit associated with them. Because of the incr easing demand for qualified employees and the expanding agricultural industry, wages remained very competitive with other non-agriculture industries (National Associati on of Colleges and Employers, 2004) The National Association of Colleges and Employers (2004) reported starting salaries in agricultural science fields for graduates with a Bachelors de gree in agriculture were compe titive with other industries, averaging around $30,000 a year. Unfortunately many students enrolled in high school and college courses, especially those from minor ity backgrounds, were unaware of the competitive salary levels found in agriculture (Leatherberry & Wellma n, 1988). This information, and the continued increase in demand for agriculturalists, suggests measures should be taken in order to attract and retain more student s in agriculturally related area s of study. Conroy (2000) suggested education systems should devel op curricula that increase the awareness and importance of nontraditional and traditional agriculture, as well as the career opportunities these areas offered students. Increased awareness of career opportunities is a very important part of the career decisionmaking process. Career explora tion, which includes opportunity aw areness, and crystallization lead to career choice and clarifi cation, and ultimately contribute to the strength of an individuals

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16 career choice commitment or decision (Tiedema n & OHara, 1963). This theory will be further discussed in Chapter 2. In order to increase awareness and exploration, many research ers have suggested there was a great need for educational sy stems or career counselors to o ffer an intervention, such as nontraditional exploration or educational programs, to students to provide them the opportunity to explore the many different career options that exist (Ester, 2 007; Hitch & Gore, 2005; Kelly & Lee, 2002; Ladany, et al., 1997; Raskin, 1989; Spokane, 1991). Experiences in school programs were especially noted for their influence in prom oting career exploration in adolescents (Super, Crites, Hummel, Mosher, Overstreet, & Warnath, 1957). In addition to the experiences offered in trad itional classroom settings, different programs have been developed to enhance student expe riences and exploration. Field based education experiences or programs, a form of experiential learning, have show n to be beneficial to students in many different ways because they enabled stud ents to experience things that could not be delivered through traditional classroom setti ngs or media (Zervanos & McLaughlin, 2003). Multiple benefits were offered through experi ential learning, including the opportunity for students to improve their decision-making and problem solving skills, practice communication skills, and observe situations in real worl d settings (Bobbitt, Inks, Kemp, & Mayo, 2000). Of specific interest to this study were the be nefits of career exploration offered through experiential learning programs in the form of travel courses and the relationship they had with career choice commitment in collegiate student s enrolled in agricultural programs. Travel courses are classes offered for credit through a colle ge or university that include an experiencedbased travel component of at least one week. Conroy (2000, p. 82) suggested a need existed for curriculum materials that address nontraditio nal industry-wide occupations, however Conroy

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17 predicted great difficulty in accomplishing this in a traditional classroom setting. Travel courses have the potential to reveal a la rge array of career choi ces available to students pursuing degrees in agricultural programs and provide the opportun ity to interact with people who are already engaged in these careers. Gi anakos (1999, p. 255-256) suggested students would benefit greatly from having practical, career-oriented assistance in learning about other careers congruent with their self-assessed interests, values, and abilities Travel courses give students the option to enroll in a course that would offer an opport unity for such exploration and assistance. The exploration provided by travel courses may allow students to form a solid foundation in their career decision-making process and move toward s narrowing their possible career options (Tiedeman & OHara, 1963; Supe r, 1957; Super et al., 1957). Statement of the Problem There is a need to exam ine college students awareness of agricultural career opportunities in order to meet increasing demands for educated agriculturalists in the agricultural job market. Specifically, there is a lack of knowledge on how an agricultural travel course affects career choice commitment for enrolled students. Agricu ltural travel courses hold the potential to increase students exposure to agricultural careers. Opportunities fo r agricultural career exploration may impact students interest in and commitment to their choices of agricultural careers. Purpose of the Study The purpose of this study was to determ ine if involvement in an exploration experience offered through an agricultural travel course affected students commitment to career choice. Objectives The following three objectives guided this study:

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18 1. Describe the demographic char acteristics and background of students in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at the University of Florida and the College of Agriculture at Purdue University who self-selected to participate in agricultural travel courses. 2. Describe students level of commitment to career choices prior to and following an agricultural explora tion intervention. 3. Describe the effect of the intervention on students vocational exploration and commitment (VEC) and tendency to foreclose (TFF) as indicators of commitment to career choice. Research Hypothesis Based on the reviewed l iterature and research, it is hypothe sized that the com pletion of an agricultural travel course will have a positive eff ect on students level of commitment to career choices. Operational Definitions Career decision-ma king process : the process people go through when they search for viable career alternatives, compare them, and then choose one (Gati & Asher, 2001, p. 7) Career maturity : an individuals readiness and capability to deal with age appropriate tasks regarding maki ng a career decision (Super, 1990). Commitment to career choice : a process that encompasse s the certainty one has in their career choice as well as ones selfconfidence about ones choices, a positive sense of ones vocational future, and an awareness of potential obstacles (Blustein, Ellis, & Devenis, 1989, p. 344). The process co ntains two independent variables: an individuals vocational expl oration and commitment and their tendency to foreclose (Blustein et al., 1989). In this study the level of commitment to career choice was

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19 indicated by students scores on the vo cational exploration and commitment and tendency to foreclose components of the applied questionnaire. Experiential learning: the process whereby knowle dge is created through the transformation of experience (Kolb, 1984, p. 38). Information deficit : the combination of the lack of information as well as the need for information (Kelly & Lee, 2002). Self-exploration : an examination of ones personal goals, values, skills, needs, and interests (Werbel, 2000, p. 382). Agricultural travel course : a class offered for credit through a college or university focused on an agricultural area of study. In this study travel courses included an experience-based travel component of at least one week. Vocational exploration and commitment : a variable used to capture or describe the commitment process, from uncommitte d and exploratory to highly committed and confident (Blustein et al ., 1989). An individuals leve l of vocational exploration and commitment was used to describe his or her progress in the career commitment process. Tendency to foreclose: the commitment to an idea of considerable importance without engaging in exploratory behavior (Marcia, Waterman, Matteson, Archer & Orlofsky, 1993). Making a career decision w ithout exploring or investigating any alternatives is an exam ple of foreclosure. Crystallization : the step following exploration in the anticipatory aspect of decision making. Alternatives become bette r defined and more thoroughly explored. Patterns begin to emerge in the alternatives and the individual is able to determine

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20 the values and disadvantages of the diffe rent alternatives (Tiedeman & OHara, 1963). Clarification : the time following a decision when an individual has the opportunity to reflect upon the choice that he or she has made before acting upon the decision (Tiedeman & OHara, 1963). Limitations of the Study The following were lim itations of this study: 1. Students who participated in the study were self-selected; theref ore caution should be exercised in generalizing to a larger population. 2. Students who participated in the study were enrolled in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at the University of Florida or Purdue University; th erefore caution should be exercised in genera lizing beyond this population. 3. Little was known regarding the constructs a nd components of the di fferent agricultural travel courses examined in this study. Assumptions of the Study Assum ptions were made prior to and duri ng this study. These assumptions are listed below. 1. A self-assessment instrument can accurately measure the vocational exploration and commitment as well as the tendency to foreclose of students involved. 2. Participants in this study honestly and accurately completed both the preand postversions of the instrument w ithout any outside influence. 3. Participants have access to and the knowle dge of the technology involved in completing the online instrument.

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21 Summary This chapter justified the need for this research study, as well as provided background surrounding the issues and variab les involved. The chap ter described the present situation regarding enrollment in agricultural programs a nd the perceptions surrounding agriculture and agricultural opportunities. Also identified were the increasing demand for educated agriculturalists and the expanding op portunities for employment that it provides. The concepts of career decision-making process, commitment to career choice, and career awareness were explained, as well as how these concepts interact and why success in these areas is important for individuals beginning a career or educational program. The ch apter also provided background information regarding expe riential learning, specifica lly travel courses, and the role it may play in career exploration.

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22 CHAPTER 2 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE Introduction This chapter presents an overview of the releva n t literature as it relates to the mechanisms of career development in making a career choice. The chapter presen ts theoretical and conceptual frameworks relevant to the issue. A number of general studies related to ca reer development and decision making have been presented, and the ma jor theorists and authors in career development and decision summarized. This review of the literature consists of the following major sections: Commitment to Career Choice, Theoretical Framework, Forms of Exploration, and Chapter Summary. Commitment to Career Choice Students co mmitment to career choice has been identified as an important facet in students pursuit of a career. Blustein, Ellis and Devenis (1989, p. 344) explained commitment to career choice as a process that encompasses the certainty or commit ment one has in ones career choice as well as ones self-confidence about ones choices, a positive sense of ones vocational future, and an awareness of potential obstacles. Of particul ar interest is the role that career opportunity exploration plays in the commitment to career choice process, and the resulting number of career alternatives each individual may face. Gati, Krausz, and Osipow (1996) emphasized the importance and role of career alternatives when describing the characteristics unique to career decision. These characteristics in clude: (a) the possibility of having a large number of alternatives, (b) th e large amount of information regarding each alternative, (c) the prospect that each alternative can be describe d by several key aspects, and (d) the uncertainty that exists regarding the charact eristics of the decision maker involved and the career alternatives that they face (Gati et al .). Students awareness of the various career

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23 alternatives, including their exploration and analysis of them, plays a very important role in their career decision-making proce ss (Gati & Asher, 2001). The strength of ones commitment to career choice has been found to be an important variable in predicting ones success in higher education as well as on es career. Holland (1996) suggested individuals who were confused re garding their career choice commitment, or displayed no commitment whatsoever, were more likely to select an unsatisfying major in college or career path after graduation. Germe ijs and Verschueren (2007) found individuals who showed little exploration and low commitment to their majors in college were more likely to drop out and fail to complete their course of study. Individuals who are unsatisfied in their career path or career choice and have a lack of commit ment to their career have demonstrated a greater likelihood of unhappiness in their career, a lack of motivation and production, and a lowered level of performance (Holland). A students race and level of so cial anxiety have been found to influence commitment to career choice in individuals. A study of co llege undergraduate st udents conducted by Wang, Jome, Haase, and Bruch (2006) revealed a differe nce in the personality traits that affect commitment to career choice between white stud ents and students of color. Wang et al. concluded there must be variety to the approach of enhancing caree r exploration in all students to appeal to the different traits Hardin, Varghese, Tran, and Ca rlson (2006) found social anxiety was an important variable in the process of exploring and committing to a career. Hardin et al. concluded a high level of anxiety was a ssociated with low career commitment. Role models may influence ones commitment to career choice. Heebner (1995) purported the individuals of influence in students lives, su ch as parents, teachers, or counselors, assume students know more about potential careers than they actually do. Heebners findings confirmed

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24 the figures of influence failed to offer students ample motivation and encouragement to explore different career options and increase their awareness of potential career opportunities. According to Gray (1996), more than half of the st udents graduating high school lacked adequate information regarding potential careers and emer ging work systems. This lack of appropriate exploration and information has been found to be the greatest contributor to the domain of career decision-making problems and career indecision (Kelly & Lee, 2002). Kelly and Lee concluded individuals of influence in st udents lives should focus on he lping students acquire relevant career information as well as promote diffe rent opportunities for identity exploration, differentiation, and crystallizatio n (p. 323) in order to comb at career decision problems. Theoretical Framework Tiedem an and OHara (1963) developed a car eer decision-making model to explain the process through which an indivi dual progresses in making a car eer choice (Figure 2-1). The process of a rational solution to the individuals vocational decision or problem is divided into two aspects, anticipation and implementation. Individuals work abstractly in their decisions to ultimately distinguish what career they feel is the optimal choice in the anticipation aspect. Tiedeman and OHara (1963) referred to this concept as differentiation. The second aspect, implementation, is the integrati on of the decision. Implementation must follow the anticipation aspect because implementation cannot take pl ace without prior differentiation. As posited by Tiedeman and OHara, implementation occurs when the individual actually begins experiencing the reality of the decision and becomes a part of the field that he or she joins. In the case of career decision and development, this translates to beginning employment and fitting ones goals with that of the occupation.

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25 Figure 2-1. A paradigm of the pr ocesses of differentiation and in tegration in problem solving (Source: Tiedeman, D.V., & OHara, R.P. (1963). Career development: Choice and adjustment New York: College Entrance Examination Board, 40.) Anticipatory Behavior Involved in Making a V ocational Decision The four steps proposed by Tiedeman and OHa ra (1963) that compose the anticipatory aspect of decisions are: (a) e xploration, (b) crystal lization, (c) choice, a nd (d) clarification. Tiedeman and OHara proposed these steps as a rational method of considering a problem, such as an individuals vocational situation. They firs t recognized that, in orde r for a situation to be addressed, the individual must be aware of and unsatisfied with their present situation. This awareness of a problem cues an individual to make a decision in order to create a satisfactory situation for him or herself.

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26 Since the anticipatory aspect of the decisionmaking process occurs as an individual is resolving a problem of personal importance, the steps are disc ontinuous, and each is meant to represent a specific and distinct change in the psychological state of the individual (Tiedeman & OHara, 1963). The elements of the problem do not change or disappear, but the character of the considerations is changed as the individuals psychological c ondition changes. Tiedeman and OHara (1963, p. 42) asserted even though th e steps are discontinuous, they may occur simultaneously, and the definiteness clarity, complexity, and rationa lity in the idea on which a person is electing to act can all advance or dissolve at any step in the process which is being represented. With this, the pr ogress of these steps can move both forward and backwards. Exploration Individu als begin the exploration step of the process when they are faced with a problem, such as deciding upon a career or career path. Career exploration has been defined as the purposeful behavior and activities that enhance an indi viduals knowledge of oneself, as well as of ones external environment, and assist in the career decision-maki ng process (Blustein, 1990; Jordaan, 1963; Stumpf, Colarelli, & Hartman, 19 83). Stumpf (1992) asse rted the purpose of career exploration is to collect and analyze info rmation regarding careers in order to make the best decision regarding a caree r decision. Tiedeman and OHara (1963) did not purport that the exploration is always done with purpose and a ssertion. They suggested activities in obtaining information or experience could actually be carried out randomly and begin by the individual being overly inquisitive. The pro cess of exploring career options remains linear though, as an individual begins with broad e xploration of alternatives and eventually becomes involved in more in-depth exploration (Germeijs & Versc hueren, 2006). Systematic exploratory activity has been shown to be associated with progress in career decision-mak ing (Blustein, Pauling, DeMania, & Faye, 1994). Likewise Ladany, Melincoff, Constantin e, and Love (1997) claimed

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27 students might make more congruent career choices if they were initially en couraged to explore a larger number of career options. The economic situation individuals face may cons train career explorati on. Blustein et al. (1994) suggested many college students may be conducting their decisions and career decisionmaking tasks in a foreclosed fashion and are not participating in career ex ploration at a notable level in any of the key expl oration areas identified by S uper (1957). Foreclosure is the commitment to an idea of considerable impor tance without engaging in exploratory behavior (Marcia et al., 1993). Blustein et al. (1994, p. 87) purported students may be making career choices based the labor market and what is avai lable as opposed to pers onality type or selfconcept expression. The economic situation students face, however, should not be confused with the financial situation they face. Scott a nd Church (2001) purporte d students facing greater financial hardships were more committed to thei r career choice and less likely to foreclose on their career choice. The information obtained is what establishes the limits of consideration when addressing the problem at hand and constitutes the options to be considered in the occupational field. According to Kelly and Lee (2002, p. 319), Informa tion deficit is the most prominent aspect of the domain of career decision problems. Research has suggested increased exploration enables students to become more aware of the opportunities that exist and to discover opportunities that interested them or strengthened their commitment to careers they had previously chosen (Stumpf et al., 1983; Baker, 2002). Tiedeman and OHara (1963) noted the cadre of career options availabl e to the individuals is affected by the following three concerns:

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28 (1) The individuals prior expe rience; (2) the degree of investment of himself in the continuation or modification of his existing state and of the si tuation in which the problem is to be resolved; and (3) the help he may seek or be given in attacking his problem. (p. 38) Stumpf et al. (1983) offered a somewhat sim ilar view on the gathering and evaluation of exploratory information, however, they suggested that it does not matte r where an individual gathers his or her data or w ho helps him or her obtain it. Ones ability to imagine oneself in the occupa tion being considered is also important to exploration. Tiedeman and OHa ra (1963) proposed individuals seek to assess how well they would fit and interact in such a situation, making it possibl e to evaluate the option and their opinion of it before deciding to reject or reta in the option. Jordaan ( 1963) agreed with this, noting career exploration is influenced by the individuals persona l traits along with environmental conditions. Studies have found a positive relationship betw een emotional intelligen ce (EI) and career commitment (Carson & Carson, 1998). EI has been defined as ones ability to (a) efficiently handle psychological and social problems, (b) co rrectly express emotions and judge those of others, (c) adequately regulate on es own feelings, and (d) successfu lly utilize ones emotions to achieved ones desired goals (Salovey & Mayer, 1990). A study of college students conducted by Brown, George-Curran, and Smith (2003) f ound EI and career choice commitment were positively related. Brown et al. concluded an indi viduals utilization of feelings and self-control of emotions was a significant predictor of ones vocational exploration and commitment. Thus self-exploration, or an individuals examination of his or he r own personal attributes and ambitions, is a significant facet of the explor ation step (Werbel, 2000), though still not as important as environmental exploratory behavior (Germeijs & Verschueren, 2006). Tiedeman and OHara (1963) stated considera tions are often short lived, enhanced and evaluated through imagination, and often unrelated during the expl oratory step. It is in the

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29 exploratory step that one reflect s on ones personal aspirations, possible opportuni ties, level of interest, and abilities in compar ison to the alternatives one is considering as one perceives the existing alternatives to be (Tiedeman & OHara). Crystallization As exploration progresses, alternatives becom e better defined and more thoroughly explored, and the individual begins to distinguish and sort through the alternative careers (Tiedeman & OHara, 1963). Patterns begin to em erge in the alternatives, and the values and disadvantages of the alternatives can be determined. This is wh en the individual has entered the crystallization stage of the career decision -making model (Tiedeman & OHara, 1963). The individual has a more organized idea concerning the options, a nd his or her thoughts regarding the possibilities being considered are much more stable than in the exploration stage. Super (1957) noted a positive relationship between pr ogress in making a career decision and the narrowing of options considered by the individual This narrowing of options may come after a personal evaluation of the alternatives and how the al ternatives relate to concerns or ideas of the individual and other indivi duals (Tiedeman & OHara). Tiedeman and OHara (1963) acknowledged series of tentative crystallizations can exist. As new information is obtained regarding the a lternatives, new exploratio n may occur, resulting in re-crystallization. The steps in the anticipatory aspect of the caree r decision-making process do not necessarily occur in a forward manner. New information, as well as new manners of thought or rationality by the individual, can promote a return to the exploration step. Orndorff and Herr (1996) contended relationships with profe ssionals in areas of one s careers of interest could have a significant benefi cial effect on the strength of ones crystallization.

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30 Choice When crystallizations stabilize, choice follows Choice can be m ade with varying degrees of certainty which will affect the individuals motivation in pursuing or addressing the choice (Tiedeman & OHara, 1963). In addition, the motiv ating power of the in dividuals decision is affected by the amount and quality of information, as well as freedom of choice, when considering the alternatives and making a deci sion (Tiedeman & OHara). The information leading to choice can come from a variety of sources found in the exploratory step and some sources may be more influential than others. A study of former agricultur al high school students by Esters and Bowen (2005) revealed knowledge of career opportunities, high school educational experiences, and work experiences were the most influential in making a career choice in the field of agriculture. Individuals in the study also indicated parent s, guardians, and friends were substantial influences in making thei r career choice (Esters & Bowen). Clarification Before an individual has an opportunity to ac t upon their career decision, there is usually tim e for reflection upon the choice they have made (Tiedeman & OHara, 1963). If the conditions of the decision an individual has made were prev iously well clarified, and the individual has a strong conviction regarding his or her decision, th is time period can be fairly tranquil (Tiedeman & OHara). Stumpf et al. (198 3) concurred, suggesting the more information that is gathered by the individual before selecting a career, th e greater would be his or her level of commitment to his or her de cision. Further evidence has suppor ted this statement, suggesting that greater career exploration and consideration increased the likelihood of individuals finding a career with which they were satisfied (Werbel, 2000). If a strong level of commitment to a career d ecision is not evidenced, the time period in which clarification should occur may result in doubt or uncertainty regarding the decision.

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31 Tiedeman and OHara (1963) believed the introduction of additional information during this time period could either result in doubt in the decision or fortify the individuals commitment to the decision. If the individual experiences doubt beca use of awareness of new information, dealing with and processing the information could furt her clarify the decisi on and dissipate doubt. Individuals unable to dispel doubt regarding the decision will re turn to the prior steps of exploration, crystallization, or c hoice (Tiedeman & OHara). Sometim es the return to prior steps of the anticipatory aspect of the decision-maki ng process is not made. Holland (1996) suggested that individuals who were confused regarding their career choice commitment, or displayed no commitment whatsoever, were more likely to sele ct an unsatisfying majo r in college or career path after graduation. Implementation Although the im plementation aspect is part of the model developed by Tiedeman and OHara (1963), it is not addresse d in this study. Implementation be gins when one actually starts the occupation one has chosen and consists of three steps: induc tion, reformation, and integration. The first step, inducti on, is characterized by both a general defense of self and a giving up of an aspect of self to group purpos e when the social system finds the person acceptable (Tiedeman & OHara, p.44). The in dividual enters the group, is accepted, and realizes ones place in the group. The second step, reformation, occurs once th e individual has beco me comfortable and immersed in the group. The individual is activ ely involved, participates to make the group perform better, and utilizes ones strengths and convictions to increase performance towards the groups goal (Tiedeman & OHara, 1963). In the final step, integration, the individual has even more influence than in the reformation step and is an active participant in the synthesi s of work and decisions towards the groups goal.

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32 The individual develops a newfound appreciation of self that is integrated into the larger group or field (Tiedeman & OHara, 1963). Tiedeman and O Hara purported that it is in this third stage of implementation that one is considered suc cessful by the group and is satisfied with ones situation. Adolescence as Exploration Adolescence offers a multitude of experiences and learning opportunities that help transition a child into an adult. Supe r (1957) defines adolescence as follows: Psychologically, it is the process of finding out what constitutes adult behavior, and it is the process of trying out various modes of a dult behavior and of ascertaining which of these are both congenial to ones self and accep table to ones associates.Adolescence is, clearly, a period of exploration. It is a period in which boys a nd girls explore the society in which they live, the subculture into which th ey are about to move, the roles they may be called upon to play, and the oppor tunities to play roles wh ich are congenial to their personalities, interests, and aptitudes. (p. 80-81) Along with exploring where one fits in society and the required compet encies to do so, the development of perceived self-efficacy occurs over the course of an individuals lifespan (Bandura, 1994). Bandura (1994, p. 71) defined perceived self-efficacy as people's beliefs about their capabilities to produce designated levels of performance that exercise influence over events that affect their lives. Exploration and experiential activities are impor tant in numerous areas of development. In this process of finding out what is expected of them and explor ing what opportunities exist for them, individuals are able to constantly learn, evaluate, and be influenced by the experiences they encounter (Super, 1957). Thes e experiences also develop ones beliefs regarding his or her ability to influence the world around him or herself. Likewise, experiences develop an individuals concept of career (Young, Valac h, & Collin, 1996). Young et al. (1996) supported this with their proposed contex tualist action theory of career development that claims an individuals career is constr ucted through ever yday actions.

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33 The experiences offered by the exploratory activities mentioned by Super (1957) provide individuals with the chance to fulfill the expl oration and crystallization stages noted by Tiedeman and OHara (1963) in the anticipatory aspect of differentiation involved in making a vocational decision. The experiences and exploration provided by the activities provide adolescents the opportunity to develop a concep t of work and what they are capable of contributing, as well as an understanding of what role vocation plays in their culture (Super, 1957). Furthermore, the development of percei ved self-efficacy has been linked to career development. Bandura (1977) cited four experiential sources that devel op self-efficacy: personal performance accomplishments, vicarious learning, emotional arousal, and social encouragement and persuasion. Students in a ca reer counseling group who incor porated the four sources for modifying self-efficacy proposed by Bandura (1977) increased their career decision-making selfefficacy and vocational exploration and commit ment (Sullivan & Mahalik, 2000). Anderson and Betz (2001) found further support for the influenc e of self-efficacy in career development and the career decision-making process in a study of undergraduate students. As adolescents mature, their opportunities fo r exploration and expe rience broaden, and different social institutions ma ke contributions to their deve lopment of the youth and their personal vocational exploration. S uper (1957) identified three key areas where this exploration occurs: (a) the home, (b) part-time work, and (c) school. Hartung, Porfeli, and Vondracek (2005) supported the importance of these areas in career development, specifically noting the significance of experience and knowledge gained through employment opportunities and the enrollment in school subjects that individuals find of particular interest to themselves and their future. These areas, and the opportun ities they afford individuals, wi ll now be explored in greater depth.

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34 Exploration of self and work in the home The hom e is where an individual gains his or her first experiences; observing, participating, and interacting with different pers ons and learning the variety of roles they have and cultural activities in which they engage (Super, 1957). The child has an opportunity to hear and observe roles that individuals have outside of the domestic domain, such as the jobs they have or other social obligations, because often th e individuals in the household will talk or bring their work home with them (Super). These obser vations begin the exploration and accumulation of information regarding vocational opportunities. As children hear and observe different roles th at individuals have, th ey begin to explore themselves through role-playing or actual res ponsibilities around th e house. Super (1957) referred to this involvement as pre-occupational exploration, as the child is given the opportunity to become involved in various activities and ro les and experience them in reality. Through this, the child can find out about different types of wo rk, discover what he or she likes and dislikes, how one must interact in the different working situ ations, and what is expe cted of him or her in each role (Super). Parents, or parental figures, have also been found to influence individuals in their career exploration and career commitme nt. A study involving 14 parent-adolescent dyads revealed how tension and disappointment can ar ise when parents and children have different ideas concerning career goals (Young, Paseluikho, & Valach, 1997) The relationship between adolescent and parent continues to be influen tial beyond the exploration step in career decision-making. Scott and Church (2001) found college students with a gr eater attachment to their parents, or who had relationships free of guilt, resentment, and conflict with their parents, had positive progress towards career commitment. A study by Felsman and Blustein (1999) supported these results.

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35 The occupation of an individuals parents ma y influence career exploration. High school students were more likely to be interested in a career in agriculture if their parents were employed in an agriculturally related occupa tion (Hoover & Scanlon, 1991; Jones & Larke, 2001). This, however, does not equate to parental support. Osborne and Dyer (2000) found even in situations where parents held positive attitudes towards agricu lture as a career field, parents were uncertain as to whether they would encour age their child to pursue a career in agriculture. Exploration in part-time work Being em ployed can provide individuals anothe r means of vocational exploration and offer them a hands-on experience in different roles and fields outside of the home. Opportunities can be found on ones own merit, or can be offered through placement programs in schools or other social activities. According to S uper (1957), these work experience s provide individuals with an opportunity to gain valuable expe rience in developing mature work habits, to become oriented and familiar with the adult subculture and adult role s they will be expected to adopt, and to test his or her interest, apt itude, and skills in different kinds of work. Part-time work opportunities can be disadvantag eous to individuals if they only offer a limited view or interaction with the possible roles involved in that type of work. Supervisors and instructors must take time to discuss, observe and allow the individual to try out the many aspects involved in the chosen ar ea of employment in order to offer them the full scope of the occupational field (Super, 1957). Super contended th e most valuable aspect involved in a work experience is the opportunity to es tablish contacts with a number of different adults who are employed and make their living in a variety of ways. Similar to the role models individuals look to for guidance in the home, these role models can provide a connection to the actual workplace of interest.

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36 Exploration in the school Although the experiences gained in the workplac e carry som e importance in this study, of greatest interest is the exploration opport unities provided to indi viduals through school programs. Harren (1979) noted that career exploration is most appa rent in adolescent years when students often are required to choose an educatio nal and career path in order to obtain their occupational goals. A three year study of students by Creed, Patton, and Prideaux (2007) revealed students who were more undecided regarding their future careers tended to engage themselves in more exploratory opportunities than indi viduals who were more certain with their future careers. However, Creed et al. concl uded even though students are trying to engage themselves in more explorator y opportunities, students may stil l require additional support and encouragement from their teachers or counselors. Super (1957) discussed a variety of methods util ized in education to allow for exploration of vocational opportunities includi ng activities, informal explor ation, new models, and formal exploration and orientation courses. The value a nd significance of each will be discussed in the following sections. Activities. The value of educational systems extends beyond the classroom setting. Activities include clubs, special programs offered by the school, special projects, or volunteer work (Super, 1957). Super suggested these types of activities are often targeted to a certain interest or area and provide individuals with an opportunity outside of the classroom to explore careers and occupations involve d in a given field. A study by McCallister, Lee, and Mason (2005) revealed agronomy and crop science departments were increasing awareness of career opportunities through high school and collegiate career fairs and ut ilizing alumni and industry partners in their recruitment. Career fairs and alumni or industry part ners provide individuals with access to direct information from people in volved in a variety of careers, and allows

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37 students the chance to establish a relationship if they are interested. Shivy and Koehly (2002) found undergraduate and graduate students prefe rred career assistance through contact with employed professionals via internship s, interviews, and career fairs, to traditional career services offered at the university. Such in teractions can provide insight into vocational areas and allow students to evaluate and test their in terest in the area or field involved. Informal exploration. Super (1957) described informal e xploration as the relationships and influences that individuals experience and become involved in socially. Informal exploration can play both a positive and ne gative role in exploring diffe rent careers as well as defining personal interests. Super suggested that the in fluence of an individua ls peers could possibly steer him or her away from his or her actual inte rests because the individual has a greater desire to fit in with the group. This in fluence may cause the individual to stray from pursuing a career that was a better fit to his or her aptitude a nd desire. Likewise, peer influence can provide a positive opportunity for exploration. In a suppor tive setting, individua ls can share their aspirations and evaluations of car eer opportunities and receive feedback that could allow them to better clarify and define their possible career go als or decisions (Super). The results from a study of undergraduate college students indicated individuals who reported a greater attachment to peers and who have the capacity to experience intimate relationshi ps with others were more likely to have engaged in greater levels of environmental exploration and had made greater progress in committing to career choices (F elsman & Blustein, 1999, p. 290). Felsman and Blustein concluded peer relati onships are used to help quell the anxiety individuals feel regarding the difficulties they experience in predic ting their future. This benefit may transfer to dealing with social anxiety, or ones concern with the evaluations of others. A study of college

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38 students revealed an associati on between high levels of social anxiety and low levels of vocational commitment (Hardin et al., 2006). New role models. Similar to the influence individuals discover in their peers and informal exploration, educational systems can provide students the opportuni ty to meet new role models and establish relationships with authoritativ e figures outside of th e home. Super (1957) suggested that, beyond discovering it is possible to have role models and relationships beyond familiar figures, adequate role models in school and the community allow the individual to explore and become aware of many different possible societal roles and expand his or her search for the role model of best fit for him or her. New role models may offer guidance, support, and assistance that are appropriate and valued by the individual in his or he r pursuit of a career and increase his or her awarene ss of opportunities (Super). The level of interaction between the new role models and student is important and may influence the students career decision. A st udy of minority graduates from a college of agriculture revealed students were more likely to pursue a career in agricu lture if they received encouragement from an individual they could re late to (Jones & Larke, 2001). Having people of similar ethnic backgrounds as students serve solely as role models did no t increase the likelihood of the students choosing a career in agriculture (Jones & Larke). Formal exploration and orientation courses. Super (1957) defined this category as the prototypical curriculum offered to individuals in high school a nd college courses, and claimed orientation or introductory course s are usually exploratory in thei r range of content and purpose. This can be observed in the vari ety of choices and opportunities students have in high school courses offered, allowing student s to increase their awareness of occupational opportunities as well as try out a variety of differe nt subjects and areas of intere st (Super). Super contended the

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39 real point is that many students, ev en as late as in the graduate or professional schoo l, still need a great deal of orientation to themselves and to their prospective fields of work (p.85). Super (1957) purported students in college are actually required to take numerous survey courses or courses with a variety of orientation values in their fi rst two years in order to help them discover in what field their abilities and in terests are best fit. Fi shbein and Ajzen (1975) suggested an individuals knowledge or experience regarding a subject or issue has an effect on his or her intentions to participat e in a subject or event. If an in dividual is unaware of a subject or event, he or she will be unlikely to investigat e his or her interest in the opportunity. Russell (1989) claimed students who enroll in agricultural colleges at universitie s lack the agricultural background and familiarity of prior generations, a nd therefore need greater attention paid to orienting them to agricu ltural topics and careers. As a solu tion, Malecki, Israel, and Toro (2004) suggested a connection be developed between u ndergraduate survey science courses and career awareness counselors in order to further expa nd the knowledge of career opportunities related to the agricultural sciences. Additionally, Super (1957) sugge sted courses that are explor atory in nature should be offered to students beyond the first two years of school. Students may know they have a career information deficit, but often do not feel the need to seek out new information by taking survey or exploratory courses (Kelly & Lee, 2002). Course s do not necessarily have to be exploratory in nature to increase career awareness. The opportu nity for increasing career awareness can be provided through lectures, field tr ips, media, discussion, and guest speakers (Super). Orientation or survey courses simply allow students to knowi ngly enroll in a course that may allow them to discover the best outlet for their abilities and increase th eir awareness of opportunities, as well as possibly discover the vocation they would most enjoy.

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40 Based on a study of students in the College of Agriculture at Iowa St ate University that found career indecision influenced career explor ation, Esters (2007) recommended interventions be designed to help students reduce career inde cision and increase exploratory activities. Ladany et al. (1997, p. 50) claimed, These interventions will in turn influence and facilitate the crystallization of students in terests, skills, values, and ap titudes and provide the needed vocational information. Interventions, which can include experien tial learning activities, can be integrated into traditional inst ructional settings, and may help students explore, use, and analyze information regarding possible career s opportunities (Hitch & Gore, 2005). Measuring Commitment to Career Choice A m odel has been developed in order to quantify and measure an individuals level of commitment to career choice. Blustein, Ellis, and Devenis (1989) explained commitment to career choice as a process involving two inde pendent variables: an individuals vocational exploration and commitment (VEC), and his or her tendency to foreclose (TTF). When measured together, these constructs form the Commitment to Career Choices Scale (CCCS). High scores on the CCCS suggest a lack of commitment to car eer choice, while low scores indicate a clear and confident commitment to career choice. The VEC variable captures the commitment process, from uncommitted and exploratory to highly committed and confident (Blustein et al., 1989). The TTF variable explains intrapersonal differences in the tendency to foreclose ( p. 347), which is a continuum of having a strong tendency to foreclose to being open to the many experiences associated with the commitment process (Blustein et al., 1989). Marcia et al. (1993) descri bed tendency to foreclose as commitment to an idea of considerable importanc e, such as an occupation, without engaging in exploratory behavior. Jordaan (1974) purported individuals w ho show a weak tendency to foreclose are more likely to be open to career exploration and self -appraisal activities.

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41 Studies have suggested an individuals te ndency to foreclose may be influenced by a number of variables. Leal-Muniz and Constantin e (2005) found the level of perceived parental support one had was negatively predictive of ones tendency to foreclose prematurely on career options. Results also indicated ones level of pe rceived occupational barriers and adherence to career myths were positively predictive of ones tendency to foreclose prematurely on career options. A study by Ladany et al. (1997) reported a positive relationship between tendency to foreclose and career myths, however it did not find a significant relati onship between tendency to foreclose and perceived occupational barriers. An initial study conducted by Blustein et al. (1989) utilizing the CCCS examined the effect of a career development intervention on undergradua te college students commitment to career choices. The intervention group enrolled in a three-credit undergraduate course entitled Principles of Career and Life Planning, th e comparison group enrolled in another course offered in the same department, and the control group consisted of randoml y selected students in various undergraduate courses. The CCCS was gi ven to students during the first two weeks of the semester and again during the last two w eeks of the semester. Results from the study revealed the career developmen t intervention group had signifi cantly lower scores on the TTF scale (TTFS), while the non-treatment groups did not elicit any changes from pretest to posttest (Blustein et al.). Similarly, th e VEC scale (VECS) results show ed students in the intervention group became more committed to their career choices over the course of the intervention (Blustein et al.). The career development intervention had a measurable positive effect on students career choice commitment. The CCCS has been used in several other previous studies (Anderson & Betz, 2001; Brown et al., 2003; Felsman & Blustein, 1999; Ha rdin et al., 2006; Ladany et al., 1997; Leal-

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42 Muniz & Constantine, 2005; Sc ott & Church, 2001; Shivy & Koeh ly, 2002; Sullivan & Mahalik, 2000; Wang et al., 2006). Further discussion of the CCCS will be conducted in Chapter 3. Chapter Summary In this chapter, lite rature associated w ith the mechanisms of career development and choice was examined and summarized to provid e an understanding of th e process involved in making a decision regarding vocation. A review of literature relating to Tiedeman and OHaras (1963) theory regarding the aspect of anticipation in career deci sion-making, as well as Supers (1957) theory regarding adolescen ce as exploration, was presented. This literature provided the background for the theoretical fram ework, the four steps of the as pect of anticipation, and the three key areas of exploration.

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43 CHAPTER 3 METHODS Introduction This study was conducted to determine if involve m ent in an exploration experience offered through an agricultural travel course affected students commitment to career choice. This chapter explains the methodology ut ilized in answering the resear ch questions presented in the study and provides an overview of the research design as we ll as analysis of the study participants, instrumentation, data collection, and data analysis. The following research objectives were assessed: 1. Describe the demographic char acteristics and background of students in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at the University of Florida and the College of Agriculture at Purdue University who se lf-select to participate in agricultural travel courses. 2. Describe students level of co mmitment to career choices as measured by the Commitment to Career Choices Scale (CCCS) prior to and following an agricultural exploration intervention. 3. Describe the effect of the intervention on st udents vocational exploration and commitment (VEC) and tendency to foreclose (TTF) as indi cators of commitment to career choice. Research Design This study u tilized a pre-experimental, pretes t-posttest design (Ary, Jacobs, & Razavieh, 2002). Ary et al. (2002) st ated a one-group pretest-posttest design consists of three steps: (1) Administering a pretest measuring the depende nt variable, (2) appl ying the experimental treatment X to the subjects, and (3) administer ing a posttest, again measuring the dependent variable (p.303-304). The differenc es in the pretest and posttest results are attributed to the experimental treatment administered. Ary et al. (2002) purpor ted the use of a control group strengthens the internal validity, however previo us studies using the Commitment to Career Choices Scale (CCCS) have not utilized a nontreatment group (Brown et al., 2003; Felsman & Blustein, 1999; Leal-Muniz & Constantine, 2005; Shivy & Koehly, 2002; Wang et al., 2006).

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44 In researching the subjects enro lled in travel courses, this study employed sample survey research (Ary et al., 2002). A purposive sample of five travel courses, four offered at the University of Florida and one at Purdue Univer sity, was selected for involvement in this study. The travel course at Purdue University was incl uded because it was very similar to one of the travel courses included from the University of Fl orida in both objectives and participants. Ary et. al. (2002) assert the use of a pur posive sample examining elements that are representative or typical of the population studied is valid. Th is form of non-random sampling was deemed necessary due to the dynamic and uncertain natu re of course funding, in structor participation, and student enrollment in trav el courses offered at the University of Florida and Purdue University. The survey instrument was develope d by Blustein, Ellis, and Devenis (1989) and was administered to all individuals in the travel courses being stud ied. In this study, the population was defined as students enrolled in travel course s offered by the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at the University of Florida and Purdue Universitys College of Agriculture during the 2008 Spring and Summer academic semesters. Ary et al. (2002) purported the use of a sample study of intangibles, including attitudes, ach ievement, motivation, opinions, and other psychological related assessments, is valid. According to Campbell and Stanley (1969), the in ternal threats to valid ity that ex ist in a pretest-posttest design with a st atic-group comparison are: histor y, maturation, selection, testing, and mortality. Internal validity must be addres sed to draw conclusions from a study (Campbell & Stanley). History and maturation, noted as th reats to validity, were components of the independent variable, the travel course. The study sought to meas ure the effect of exposure to different experiences outside of th e traditional classroom setting (h istory) as well as the students growth or lack-there-of (maturation). Howeve r, without a control group, these threats were

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45 recognized as limitations since no comparison was available. The next threat to validity, selection, was addressed by includ ing all students enrolled in the purposive sample of travel courses in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at the Universi ty of Florida and the College of Agriculture at Purdue University during the Spring and Summer academic semesters. This ensured that participants were based on th e definition of the study parameters. To avoid the threat to validity due to mortality, the research er applied the pretest a nd posttest no more than four weeks apart, in order to minimize differe nces that may be attributed to the dropout of individuals in the groups. The test-retest reliability will be discussed in the instrumentation section of this chapter. The researcher recogn ized testing as a limita tion of the study as the subjects might have become familiar with the in strument since the same one is used for the pretest and posttest. Participants The study participants consisted of all students enrolled in five selected travel courses offered by the College of Agricultural and Life Sc iences at the University of Florida and the College of Agriculture at Purdue Univers ity during the 2008 Spring and Summer academic semesters. The agricultural travel courses incl uded in this study had a broad focus in the agricultural area of interest, were open to students of any ma jor or year, and had a travel component of at least one wee k. Students self selected to en roll in the course. A purposive sample consisted of students enro lled in the following classes: As shown in Table 3-1, Commodities to Cafes: Agricultural and Food Markets in France had 22 students enrolled. The Co sta Rica Study Course had 20 students enrolled. Italian Food: From Production to Policy had 12 students enrolle d. The Integrated Agriculture Travel Course had 18 students enrolled. Agro-Ecology in Tropica l America had 3 students enrolled. In total, 75 students (N=75) were enroll ed in the five courses.

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46 Instrumentation The researcher utilized the Co mmitment to Career Choices Scale (CCCS) developed by Blustein, Ellis, and Devenis (1989) to measure the career choice co mmitment of students prior to and following their participation in a travel c ourse. The questionnaire assessed three dimensions: demographics and student background, vocational exploration and commitment, and tendency to foreclose. The CCCS was created to assess an individuals progress in the career commitment process utilizing the Vocational Exploration a nd Commitment scale (VECS), as well as openness or approach to the career commitment process utilizing the Tendency to Foreclose scale (TTFS) (Blustein et al, 1989). The TTFS and VECS utilized a seven-point anchored scale for responses. High scores suggest a lack of co mmitment to career choice, while low scores indicate a clear and confident commitment to career choice. The CCCS was originally constructed in accord ance to Landys (1986) theory-driven, test construction approach, and the content for the VE CS and TTFS was drawn from relevant theory and supporting empirical evidence to aid in en suring validation (Blust ein et al., 1989). The VECS and TTFS were constructed to be orthogon al and in the congeneric measurement model. The congeneric model is defined as a linear re lation between the true scores of different observed variables (Alwin & Jackson, 1980, p. 73). The construct validity of the CCCS was tested using a confirmatory f actor analysis procedure. The CCCS, consisting of a nine-item TTFS and a 19-item VECS, was internally consistent, factorially discrete, theoretical ly meaningful, and represented important dimensions of the commitment process (Blustein et al., 1989) Items included in the scales were: Integral to the construct of interest, evidenced appropriate item to total scale correlations (rs>.4), rated by experts as tapping the appropr iate construct, were minimally biased by social desirability (rs< +/-.2), were related in the appropria te direction and magnitude to the two behavioral validity measures, and had solid factorial validity (Blustein et al., 1989, p. 357).

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47 In order to test validity and re liability, Cronbachs alpha coefficients were computed for the derivation (n=565) and cross-valid ation (n=571) samples used in developing the instrument. The derivation sample yielded acceptable reliability levels of .82 and .78 and the cross-validation sample yielded reliability leve ls of .92 and .91 for the final TTFS and VECS, respectively. A reliability level of .80 or higher was deemed acceptable (Ary et al., 2002). The relationships of demographic variables co llected and the VECS and TTFS were tested. The VECS was found to be significantly (p<.0001) correlated with age, gr ade point average, and number of occupations while th e TTFS was found to be significantly correlated with the number of occupations in both samples, and grade point av erage in the derivation sample (Blustein et al., 1989). Gender bias was analyzed on both scales using independent sample t tests, and no significant difference was found. Two studies, at a two-week inte rval and four-week interval, were conducted to examine the test-retest reliability of the instrument. Cronbachs alpha coe fficients were calculated for the two-week and four-week interv als, yielding reliability levels of .82 and .90, and .84 and .92, respectively. Such evidence supported the assump tion that the VECS and TTFS are stable across relatively similar time scales (Blustein et al., 1989). Table 3-2 presents the internal consistency re liability estimates for the pretest and posttest Commitment to Career Choices Scale (CCCS) instru ment as well as the pr etest and posttest of each of the two subscales measured by the CCCS: tendency to foreclose (TTFS) and vocational exploration and commitment (V ECS). The reliability levels for the subscales ranged from.72 to.80 and the reliabilities for the overall CCCS we re .75 and .82. Each of the subscales and the overall scale were sufficiently re liable (Agresti & Finlay, 1997).

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48 Data Collection Inform ation regarding travel courses offere d in the 2008 Spring semester was collected through the University of Floridas College of Ag ricultural and Life Scie nces deans office in January 2008. A personalized electronic mail letter was sent to each instructor of the travel courses on January 10, 2008. The purpose of the letter was to inform the instructors of the study being conducted via a Web-based survey and to as k for the participation of their students in the study. The students electronic mail contact information was collected in order inform the students of the study and to administer the survey. Instructors were informed of the time frames in which the study was to be conducted: no more th an ten days prior to the travel component of the course for the pretest, and no more than ten da ys after the return for the posttest. Information regarding the dates of the trav el component of the course wa s collected to plan for the administering of the survey. The University of Florida Institutional Review Board approved the protocol on February 26, 2008. When the students contact information and the da te of the course travel was received from each instructor, a reply was sent via electronic ma il to inform the instructor a reminder would be sent to them regarding the survey four weeks prior to the beginni ng of the trip. Three weeks prior to the trip, pre-notice letters would be sent to the students. The lett er sent to the participants was to inform them that two Web-based surveys would be sent to them via electronic mail and their participation would be greatly appreciated. This pre-notice letter provided a personalized, positive, and timely notification that the survey would be sent shortly (Dillman, 2007). The second contact was made 10 days after the pr e-notice letter was emailed containing a Webbased CCCS survey. No incentives were provided for the response to the survey instrument. Two days following the second contact, a third electro nic mail letter was sent to only those in the population who had not yet responded. This res ponse was sent within the one-week window in

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49 accordance with the suggestions of Dillman. Two days after the third correspondence was sent, a final letter was sent to non-re spondents via electronic mail. The Web-based survey instrument was then closed two days following the final correspondence and the data was collected and analyzed by the researcher. For the posttest survey, a pre-notice reminder wa s sent the day the first electronic survey was closed. The second electronic mail letter containing the survey was sent 10 days after the pre-notice reminder for the posttest survey was sent The same time procedure used in the pretest was used in administering the posttest. The population of this study consisted of students enrolled in five travel courses offered by the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CAL S) at the University of Florida or the College of Agriculture at Purdue University during the 2008 Spring and Summer se mesters. Seventy-five students were enrolled in the five selected cla sses, including 71 student s at the University of Florida and 4 students at Purdue University. Purdue University was included in the study because the travel course offered was very similar to those offered at the University of Florida. Other travel courses at Purdue University were initially included in the study, but they were cancelled at a later date. Usable responses were collected from 43 students (Table 3-3). The 43 students who responded to both the pretest and posttest surveys re presented a response rate of 57.3% (n=43). Analysis of Data Data were analyzed using the SPSS for W indows statistical package. Basic descriptive statistical analysis tests were conducted to calculate means, modes, frequencies, and standard deviation. An analysis of covariance was used to determine whether the mean gain from the pretest score to the post test score was statis tically significant. An analysis of covariance was

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50 appropriate because it allows one to attribute observed gains to the effect of the experimental treatment rather than to differences in init ial scores (Gall, Gall, & Borg, 2006, p. 440). Chapter Summary This chapter described the m ethodology associat ed with this study. The research design, participants, instrumentation, data collection, and data analysis were also discussed. Chapter 3 addressed the reliability a nd validity of the study.

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51 Table 3-1. Travel course student enrollment Course Students Commodities to Cafes: Agricultural and Food Markets in France 22 Costa Rica Study Course 20 Italian Food: From Pr oduction to Policy 12 Integrated Agriculture Travel Course 18 Agro-Ecology in Tropical America 3 Total 75 Table 3-2. Reliability Characteristic n Pretest TTFS 9 .721 Pretest VECS 19 .744 Pretest CCCS 28 .746 Posttest TTFS 9 .796 Posttest VECS 19 .789 Posttest CCCS 28 .821 Note. All reliability coefficients were estimated using Cronbachs alpha. Table 3-3. Class participation by stud ents in selected travel courses Class Number of students enrolled in class Number of respondents Costa Rica Study Course; Un iversity of Florida 20 12 Commodities to Cafes: Agricultural and Food Markets in France; University of Florida 22 8 Italian Food: From Production to Policy; University of Florida 12 6 Integrated Agriculture Travel Course; University of Florida 18 15 Agro-Ecology in Tropical America; Purdue University 3 2 Total 75 43

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52 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS This chapter presents the findings of the study, beginning with a description of the population dem ographics and stude nt backgrounds. The remaining se ctions address the findings of the study specific to each objective. Objective 1: Demographic Char acteristics and Background Objective one was to describe the demographic characterist ics and background of students in the Colle ge of Agricultural and Life Sciences at the University of Florida and the College of Agriculture at Purdue University who self-select to participate in agricultural travel courses. As shown in Table 4-1, 37.2% (n=16) of the 43 studen ts who participated in this study were male and 62.8% (n=27) were female. Regarding et hnicity, 62.8% (n=27) were Caucasian, 23.3% (n=10) were Hispanic, 2.3% (n=1) were Chines e, 2.3% (n=1) were African American, and 9.3% (n=4) reported Other. Table 4-1 also shows 81.4% (n=35) of the participants reported a GPA of 3.1 or higher, with 46.5% (n=20) in the 3.6 to 4.0 range and 34.9% (n= 15) in the 3.1 to 3.5 range. The age of participants ranged from 17 to 28, with 30.3% (n=13) 20 or younger and 30.3% (n=13) 23 or older. In terms of their academic year, 21% (n=9) were freshmen or sophomores, 64.9% (n=28) were juniors or senior s, and 14.0% (n=6) were graduate students. An open-ended response item was included that asked students particip ating in the study to identify their prior work experiences as well as their parents occupations Forty percent (n=17) specifically noted they had prior work experience in an agriculturally related area and/or one or two parents employed in an agri cultural profession. In response to another open-ended response item requesting participants to Write down your motivations for taking this course, 12% (n=5) indicated they hoped the experience would help with their career decision, while 30% (n=13) mentioned they anticipated enha ncing their knowledge regarding th eir chosen career, and finally

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53 49% (n=21) indicated they partic ipated to travel, to have f un, or to augment their personal experience. Objective 2: Students Level of Commitment to Career Choices. Objective two was to describe students level of commitment to career choices prior to and following an agricultural explora tion intervention. As shown in Table 4-2, students scored from 51 to 131 with a mean score of 88.67 (n=43) on the CCCS prior to their agri cultural exploration intervention in the form of an agricultural tr avel course. Twenty-six percent (n=11) scored between 51 and 78, 26% (n=11) scored between 79 and 87, 28% (n=12) scored between 88 and 103, and 21% (n=9) scored between 104 and 131. St udents posttest scores on the CCCS ranged from 33 to 137 with a mean score of 87.63. Twenty -eight percent (n=12) scored between 33 and 73, 26% (n=11) scored between 74 and an 88, 26% (n=11) scored between 89 and 103, and 21% (n=9) scored between 104 and 137. The standard deviation of scores on the posttest (SD= 21.72) indicated a greater variation about the mean than in the pretest (SD=17.25). The lowest score possible on the CCCS, indicating the strongest commitment to career choice, is 28. The median score, indicating an average commitment to career choice, is 112. The highest score possible, indicati ng the weakest commitment to car eer choice, is 196. Five-percent (n=2) scored above 112 on the pretest while 12 % (n=5) scored above 112 on the posttest. Two open-response items were included in bot h the pretest and posttest. The first item asked participants to write down all the different occupations that you are considering right now, while the second item asked participants which of the above ar e you considering most seriously (i.e., considered to be your first choice)? Forty-four perc ent (n=19) of th e participants listed at least one new occupation being considered on the posttest compared to the pretest, 42% (n=18) indicated a new occupation that they were considering most seriously, while 26% (n=14) had no change in different occupations being co nsidered or occupation they were considering

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54 most seriously. Of the 24 particip ants who listed a new occupation to their list being considered or changed their occupation being considered mo st seriously, 54% (n=13) had indicated on the pretest that neither they nor thei r parents had prior work experience in an agricultural area. Fortyone percent (n=11) of the new occupations listed on the posttest were agriculturally related. An open-response item on the pretest requested participants write down your motivations for taking this course. Seventy-two percent (n =13) of the eighteen participants indicating career decision and/or enhancing career rela ted knowledge as motivations for taking the travel course listed at least one new occupation being considered and/or a new occupation being considered most seriously on the posttest. Objective 3: The Effect of the Intervention on Students Vocational E xploration and Commitment (VEC) and Tendency to Foreclose (TTF). This objective focused on the effect participa tion in an agricultural travel course had on participants vocational exploration and commitme nt and tendency to foreclose as measured by the TTFS and VECS subscales of the CCCS. Pretes t and posttest responses for each item on each subscale were compared and overall observed gains of the CCCS, TTFS, and VECS were analyzed. Statistical Analysis of Change An analysis of covariance of observed gains with pretest scores for the CCCS and the two subscales, VECS and TTFS, was perform ed. Results of the analysis of covariance are presented in Table 4-3 and indicated there was no significant change between the pretests and posttests for the VECS (F=.270, p>.10) and CCCS (F=.272, p>.10). The analysis of covariance did indicate there was a significant ch ange in the TTFS (F=3.167, p<.10). According to Gall et al. (2006) a p of .10 is permissible in exploratory studies. This indicated there was a change in students

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55 tendency to foreclose as measured by the TTFS fo llowing their participation in the agricultural travel course. Tendency to Foreclose Table 4-4 displays the frequenc ies and percentages of the responses to the nine individual item s measuring tendency to foreclose and ranged from 1 (never true about me) to 7 (always true about me). The definitions for the means were in terpreted based on the 7-point Likert type scale and were as follows: 1.00 to 1.49, never true; 1.5 to 2.49, almost never true; 2.5 to 3.49, usually not true; 3.5 to 4.49, unsure; 4.5 to 5.49, usually true; 5.5 to 6.49, almost always true; 6.5 to 7.0, always true. The pretest and posttest item that displayed th e highest mean was, I like the openness of considering various possibilities before committi ng myself to a specific occupation (pretest M=5.09, posttest M=4.91) which indicated the statem ent was usually true. One item, I believe that a sign of maturity is deci ding on a single career goal and stic king to it had response means (pretest M=3.53, posttest M=3.56) indi cating students were unsure re garding this item before and after the agricultural travel course. Five items had pretest and posttest response means between 2.74 and 3.4, indicating these items we re usually not true of student s prior to or following their participation in an agricultural travel course. The two pretest items exhibiting the lowest means were, Based on what I know about my interests, I believe that I am suited for only one specific occupation (M=2.42) and Based on what I know a bout my abilities and talents, I believe that only one specific occupation is right for me (M=2.40) which indi cated the statement was almost never true. The posttest response means fo r these items were 2.67 and 2.79, respectively, indicating these items were usually not true following the students participation in an agricultural travel course. The summated mean for the TTFS could have ranged from 9 to 63 and was reported as 26.44 for the pretest and 26.96 for the posttest. This summated mean indicated

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56 students felt the items on the TTFS were usua lly not true prior to and following their participation in an agricultural travel course. Vocational Exploration and Commitment Table 4-5 shows frequencies and percentages of responses to the nineteen individual item s measuring vocational exploration and commitment and ranged from 1 (never true about me) to 7 (always true about me). Definitions for the means were interpreted based on the 7-point Likert type scale and were as follows: 1.00 to 1.49, ne ver true; 1.5 to 2.49, almost never true; 2.5 to 3.49, usually not true; 3.5 to 4.49, unsure; 4.5 to 5.49, usually true; 5.5 to 6.49, almost always true; 6.5 to 7.0, always true. Table 4-5 is ordered as the items appeared in the instrument administered to the participants. The pretest response summaries ap pear above the posttest response summaries for each item. The item that exhibited the highest mean s was, I feel confident in my ability to achieve my career goals (pretest M=5.65, postt est M=5.63). These means indicated that students felt this statement was almost always tr ue before and after their participation in an agricultural travel course. The ite m, I think that I know enough a bout the occupations that I am considering to be able to commit myself firmly to a specific career goal had a posttest response mean of 4.56 indicating the item was usually tr ue while the pretest response mean of 4.16 indicated students were unsure of the item. The item, I would change my career plans if the field I am considering became more competitive and less accessible due to a decline in available openings elicited a pretest mean (3.35) indicating the item was usually not true of the students and a posttest response mean (M=3.63) indicatin g students became unsure of the item after the travel course experience. The item that elicited the lowest response mean was, I find myself changing academic majors often because I cannot focus on one specific career goal. The pretest response mean of 2.21 indicated this statement was almost never true about students participating

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57 in agricultural travel courses. The posttest response mean fo r this item was 2.58, indicating the item was usually not true. The summated mean for the VECS could have ranged from 19 to 133 and was reported as 62.24 for the pretest a nd 60.59 for the posttest. This summated mean indicated students felt the items on the VECS were usually not true prio r to and following their participation in an agricultural travel course.

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58 Table 4-1. Demographic Profile of Students Enro lled in Agricultural Travel Courses (N=43) Characteristic Frequency Percent Gender Male 16 37.2 Female 27 62.8 Ethnic-Racial Group African American 1 2.3 Caucasian 27 62.8 Hispanic 10 23.3 Chinese 1 2.3 Other 4 9.3 GPA Under 2.0 0 0.0 2.1 to 2.5 1 2.3 2.6 to 3.0 7 16.3 3.1 to 3.5 15 34.9 3.6 to 4.0 20 46.5 Academic Year Freshman 6 14.0 Sophomore 3 7.0 Junior 20 46.5 Senior 8 18.4 Graduate Student 6 14.0 Age 17-18 2 4.7 19-20 11 25.6 21-22 17 39.5 23-24 7 16.3 25 and older 6 14.0 \

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59 Table 4-2. Descriptive Statistics of Pretest CCCS and Posttest CCCS Test n M SD Minimum Maximum CCCS Pretest 43 88.67 17.25 51 131 CCCS Posttest 43 87.63 21.72 33 137 Table 4-3. Analysis of Covariance of Observed Gains for the Commitment to Career Choices Scale, Tendency to Foreclose Scale, and the Vocational Exploration and Commitment Scale Source F Df Mean Square Sig. R Squared PreTTFS 3.167 1 116.930 .083 .072 PreVECS .270 1 32.019 .606 .007 PreCCCS .272 1 38.912 .605 .007

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60Table 4-4. Summary of Participants Responses on Individual Items of the Tendency to Foreclose Scale Item Test Likert Rank Response M SD 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 I believe that a sign of maturity is deciding on a single career goal and sticking to it. Pre 2 (4.7) 4 (9.3) 19 (44.2) 8 (18.6) 8 (18.6) 1 (2.3) 1 (2.3) 3.53 1.24 Post 3 (7.0) 8 (18.6) 10 (23.3) 8 (18.6) 13 (30.2) 0 (0.0) 1 (2.3) 3.56 1.40 Based on what I know about my interests, I believe that I am suited for only one specific occupation. Pre 11 (25.6) 15 (34.9) 12 (27.9) 2 (4.7) 0 (0.0) 2 (4.7) 1 (2.3) 2.42 1.38 Post 8 (18.6) 14 (32.6) 12 (27.9) 3 (7.0) 5 (11.6) 1 (2.3) 0 (0.0) 2.67 1.32 I think that a wavering or indecisive approach to educational and career choices is a sign of weakness; one should take a stand and follow through with it no matter what. Pre 6 (14.0) 9 (20.9) 16 (37.2) 5 (11.6) 7 (16.3) 0 (0.0) 0 (0.0) 2.95 1.25 Post 6 (14.0) 7 (16.3) 15 (34.9) 11 (25.6) 3 (7.0) 1 (2.3) 0 (0.0) 3.02 1.22 I believe that no matter what others might think, my educational and career decisions will either be right or wrong. Pre 6 (14.0) 7 (16.3) 8 (18.6) 13 (30.2) 5 (11.6) 3 (7.0) 1 (2.3) 3.40 1.55 Post 6 (14.0) 8 (18.6) 11 (25.6) 11 (25.6) 4 (9.3) 2 (4.7) 1 (2.3) 3.21 1.47 Based on what I know about my abilities and talents, I believe that only one specific occupation is right for me. Pre 9 (20.9) 17 (39.5) 12 (27.9) 3 (7.0) 1 (2.3) 0 (0.0) 1 (2.3) 2.40 1.20 Post 12 (27.9) 9 (20.9) 9 (20.9) 6 (14.0) 4 (9.3) 2 (4.7) 1 (2.3) 2.79 1.63

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61Table 4-4. Continued Item Test Likert Rank Response M SD 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 I like the openness of considering various possibilities before committing myself to a specific occupation. Pre 0 (0.0) 2 (4.7) 1 (2.3) 5 (11.6) 21 (48.8) 11 (25.6) 3 (7.0) 5.09a 1.09 Post 1 (2.3) 1 (2.3) 4 (9.3) 6 (14.0) 16 (37.2) 13 (30.2) 2 (4.7) 4.91a 1.27 Based on what I know about the world of work (i.e., my interests, abilities, and values), I do not believe that I should seriously consider more than a single career goal at a time. Pre 5 (11.6) 11 (25.6) 8 (18.6) 11 (25.6) 6 (14.0) 1 (2.3) 1 (2.3) 3.21 1.46 Post 7 (16.3) 8 (18.6) 12 (27.9) 11 (25.6) 2 (4.7) 2 (4.7) 1 (2.3) 3.07 1.45 Based on what I know about my values (e.g., the importance of money, job security, etc.), I believe that only one single occupation is right for me. Pre 7 (16.3) 9 (20.9) 19 (44.2) 3 (7.0) 3 (7.0) 2 (4.7) 0 (0.0) 2.81 1.28 Post 8 (18.6) 10 (23.3) 13 (30.2) 8 (18.6) 3 (7.0) 0 (0.0) 1 (2.3) 2.81 1.35 I believe that there is only one specific career goal that is right for me. Pre 9 (20.9) 15 (34.9) 9 (20.9) 1 (2.3) 4 (9.3) 4 (9.3) 1 (2.3) 2.81 1.68 Post 10 (23.3) 12 (27.9) 9 (20.9) 7 (16.3) 2 (4.7) 2 (4.7) 1 (2.3) 2.74 1.53 Summated Mean Total Pre Post 26.44* 26.96* Note. Values presented as frequency / (%). Rating Scale: 1 = never true about me; 2 = almost never true about me; 3 = usually n ot true about me; 4 = no opinion/not sure; 5 = usually true about me; 6 = almost always true about me; 7 = always true about me. Table is ordered as the items appeared in the instru ment administered to the participants w ith the pretest response summaries appearing above the posttest response summaries for each item. a Actual mean score reported, coding was re versed when computing summated scores. *The summated mean total for this category could have ranged from 9 to 63.

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62Table 4-5. Summary of Participants Res ponses on Individual Items of the Vocati onal Exploration and Commitment Scale Item Test Likert Rank Response M SD 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 The chances are excellent that I will actually end up doing the kind of work that I most want to do. Pre 0 (0.0) 0 (0.0) 4 (9.3) 7 (16.3) 12 (27.9) 15 (34.9) 5 (11.6) 5.23a 1.15 Post 0 (0.0) 1 (2.3) 1 (2.3) 7 (16.3) 15 (34.9) 14 (32.6) 5 (11.6) 5.28a 1.10 I may need to learn more about myself (i.e., my interests, abilities, values, etc.) before making a commitment to a specific occupation. Pre 3 (7.0) 9 (20.9) 5 (11.6) 6 (14.0) 10 (23.3) 9 (20.9) 1 (2.3) 3.98 1.71 Post 2 (4.7) 7 (16.3) 5 (11.6) 8 (18.6) 15 (34.9) 4 (9.6) 2 (4.7) 4.09 1.54 It is hard for me to decide on a career goal because it seems that there are too many possibilities. Pre 3 (7.0) 5 (11.6) 10 (23.3) 6 (14.0) 11 (25.6) 3 (7.0) 5 (11.6) 4.07 1.72 Post 3 (7.0) 7 (16.3) 10 (23.3) 6 (14.0) 12 (27.9) 3 (7.0) 2 (4.7) 3.79 1.58 I have a good deal of information about the occupational fields that are most interesting to me. Pre 0 (0.0) 2 (4.7) 8 (18.6) 7 (16.3) 11 (25.6) 10 (23.3) 5 (11.6) 4.79a 1.42 Post 0 (0.0) 1 (2.3) 7 (16.3) 7 (16.3) 14 (32.6) 12 (27.9) 2 (4.7) 4.81a 1.22 I have thought about how to get around the obstacles that may exist in the occupational field that I am considering. Pre 0 (0.0) 1 (2.3) 5 (11.6) 7 (16.3) 13 (30.2) 10 (23.3) 7 (16.3) 5.09a 1.32 Post 0 (0.0) 0 (0.0) 4 (9.3) 8 (18.6) 14 (32.6) 13 (30.2) 4 (9.3) 5.12a 1.12 While I am aware of my educational and career options, I do not feel comfortable committing myself to a specific occupation. Pre 4 (9.3) 13 (30.2) 10 (23.3) 5 (11.6) 7 (16.3) 1 (2.3) 3 (7.0) 3.30 1.66 Post 4 (9.3) 13 (30.2) 9 (20.9) 4 (9.3) 8 (18.6) 4 (9.3) 1 (2.3) 3.35 1.63 I feel uneasy about committing myself to a specific occupation because I am not aware of alternative options in relative fields. Pre 4 (9.3) 8 (18.6) 13 (30.2) 11 (25.6) 6 (14.0) 0 (0.0) 1 (2.3) 3.26 1.31 Post 6 (14.0) 12 (27.9) 10 (23.3) 4 (9.3) 7 (16.3) 3 (7.0) 1 (2.3) 3.16 1.62

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63Table 4-5. Continued Item Test Likert Rank Response M SD 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 I find myself changing academic majors often because I cannot focus on one specific career goal. Pre 16 (37.2) 15 (34.9) 4 (9.3) 3 (7.0) 5 (11.6) 0 (0.0) 0 (0.0) 2.21 1.34 Post 10 (23.3) 14 (32.6) 8 (18.6) 6 (14.0) 5 (11.6) 0 (0.0) 0 (0.0) 2.58 1.31 I do not know enough about myself (i.e., my interests, abilities, and values) to make a commitment to a specific occupation. Pre 9 (20.9) 11 (25.6) 14 (32.6) 1 (2.3) 6 (14.0) 1 (2.3) 1 (2.3) 2.79 1.50 Post 6 (14.0) 14 (32.6) 11 (25.6) 5 (11.6) 4 (9.3) 2 (4.7) 1 (2.3) 2.93 1.49 It is hard to commit myself to a specific career goal because I am unsure about what the future holds for me. Pre 4 (9.3) 6 (14.0) 9 (20.9) 7 (16.3) 12 (27.9) 2 (4.7) 3 (7.0) 3.81 1.65 Post 5 (11.6) 10 (23.3) 6 (14.0) 10 (23.3) 8 (18.6) 3 (7.0) 1 (2.3) 3.44 1.59 I find it difficult to commit myself to important life decisions. Pre 8 (18.6) 11 (25.6) 11 (25.6) 5 (11.6) 5 (11.6) 2 (4.7) 1 (2.3) 2.95 1.56 Post 8 (18.6) 15 (34.9) 6 (14.0) 5 (11.6) 5 (11.6) 4 (9.3) 0 (0.0) 2.91 1.60 I feel uneasy in committing myself to a career goal because I do not have as much information about the fields that I am considering as I probably should. Pre 4 (9.3) 9 (20.9) 12 (27.9) 6 (14.0) 9 (20.9) 2 (4.7) 1 (2.3) 3.40 1.50 Post 6 (14.0) 13 (30.2) 9 (20.9) 6 (14.0) 6 (14.0) 1 (2.3) 2 (4.7) 3.09 1.60 I have difficulty in making decisions when faced with a variety of options. Pre 3 (7.0) 2 (4.7) 10 (23.3) 8 (18.6) 13 (30.2) 4 (9.3) 3 (7.0) 4.16 1.54 Post 1 (2.3) 6 (14.0) 12 (27.9) 7 (16.3) 9 (20.9) 6 (14.0) 2 (4.7) 4.00 1.51 I feel confident in my ability to achieve my career goals. Pre 0 (0.0) 1 (2.3) 1 (2.3) 3 (7.0) 12 (27.9) 16 (37.2) 10 (23.3) 5.65a 1.13 Post 0 (0.0) 1 (2.3) 2 (4.7) 2 (4.7) 9 (20.9) 22 (51.2) 7 (16.3) 5.63a 1.11

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64Table 4-5. Continued Item Test Likert Rank Response M SD 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 I feel uneasy in committing myself to a specific career plan. Pre 2 (4.7) 12 (27.9) 11 (25.6) 6 (14.0) 10 (23.3) 2 (4.7) 0 (0.0) 3.37 1.36 Post 5 (11.6) 14 (32.6) 8 (18.6) 6 (14.0) 6 (14.0) 3 (7.0) 1 (2.3) 3.16 1.59 I think that I know enough about the occupations that I am co nsidering to be able to commit myself firmly to a specific career goal. Pre 2 (4.7) 4 (9.3) 9 (20.9) 9 (20.9) 9 (20.9) 9 (20.9) 1 (2.3) 4.16a 1.09 Post 1 (2.3) 2 (4.7) 7 (16.3) 10 (23.3) 10 (23.3) 11 (25.6) 2 (4.7) 4.56a 1.51 I worry about my ability to make effective educational and career decisions. Pre 5 (11.6) 10 (23.3) 14 (32.6) 1 (2.3) 9 (20.9) 2 (4.7) 2 (4.7) 3.30 1.64 Post 3 (7.0) 18 (41.9) 9 (20.9) 4 (9.3) 5 (11.6) 3 (7.0) 1 (2.3) 3.07 1.52 I am not very certain about the kind of work that I would like to do. Pre 7 (16.3) 12 (27.9) 10 (23.3) 1 (2.3) 6 (14.0) 6 (14.0) 1 (2.3) 3.21 1.78 Post 11 (25.6) 11 (25.6) 9 (20.9) 4 (9.3) 4 (9.3) 4 (9.3) 0 (0.0) 2.79 1.61 I would change my career plans if the field I am considering became more competitive and less accessible due to a decline in available openings. Pre 4 (9.3) 9 (20.9) 10 (23.3) 11 (25.6) 6 (14.0) 3 (7.0) 0 (0.0) 3.35 1.40 Post 3 (7.0) 9 (20.9) 7 (16.3) 11 (25.6) 10 (23.3) 1 (2.3) 2 (4.7) 3.63 1.51 Summated Mean Total Pre 62.24* Post 60.59* Note. Values presented as frequency / (%). Rating Scale: 1 = never true about me; 2 = almost never true about me; 3 = usually n ot true about me; 4 = no opinion/not sure; 5 = usually true about me; 6 = almost always true about me; 7 = always true about me. a Actual mean scor e reported, coding was reversed when computing summated scores. Table is orde red as the items appeared in the instrument administered to th e participants with the pretest response summaries appearing above the posttest r esponse summaries for each item. *The summated mean total for this category could have ranged from 19 to 133.

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65 CHAPTER 5 SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS, AND RE COMMENDATIONS This chapter summarizes the study and discu sses the conclusions, implications, and recommendations that have been drawn from the study. The purpose of this study was to determine if involvement in an exploration ex perience offered through an agricultural travel course affects students commitme nt to career choice. The first se ction of this chapter provides an overview of the study, including the purpose, specific objectives, methodologies, and findings. The remainder of the chapter discusses th e specific conclusions and implications from the findings, as well as recomme ndations for further research. Summary of the Study Problem Statement The need to exam ine college students awar eness of agricultural career opportunities existed in order to meet increasing demands for educated agriculturalists for the agricultural job market. The problem addressed by this study was the lack of knowledge on how an agricultural travel course affects career choice commitment in students enrolled in agricultural courses of study. Agricultural travel courses hold the potential to increase student exposure to agricultural careers. Opportunities for agricultural career expl oration may impact stude nts interest in and commitment to their choices of agricultural careers. In regard to students commitment to career choice before and after participating in an agricu ltural travel course, the review of literature confirmed a clear void in academic research a nd found no research in this specific area. Purpose and Objectives The prim ary purpose of this study was to determine if involvement in an exploration experience offered through an agricultural travel course affects students commitment to career choice. The following research objectives were employed to guide this investigation: (1) to

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66 describe the demographic characteristics a nd background of students in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at the University of Florida a nd the College of Agriculture at Purdue University who self-selected to participate in agricultural tr avel courses; (2) to describe students level of commitment to career c hoices prior to and following an agricultural exploration intervention; and (3) to describe the effect of the in tervention on students vocational exploration and commitment (VEC) and tendenc y to foreclose (TFF) as indicators of commitment to career choice. Methodology This study used sam ple survey research to study the subjects enrolled in agricultural travel courses (Ary et al., 2002). A purposive sample of five travel courses, four offered at the University of Florida and one at Purdue Univer sity, was selected for involvement in this study. The travel course at Purdue University was incl uded because it was very similar to one of the travel courses included from the University of Florida in both objectives and participants. The survey instrument was developed by Blustein, Ellis, and Deveni s (1989), and was administered to all individuals in the travel courses being studied. In this study, the population was defined as students enrolled in travel courses offered by the College of Agricult ural and Life Sciences at the University of Florida and Purdue Universitys College of Agri culture during the 2008 Spring and Summer academic semesters. Ary et al. (2002) affirmed the use of a sample study of intangibles, including attitudes, achievement, motivati on, opinions, and other psychological related assessments, is acceptable. Study participants consisted of all students enro lled in five selected agricultural travel courses offered by the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at the University of Florida and the College of Agricu lture at Purdue Universi ty during the 2008 Spring and Summer academic semesters. Agricultural travel course was defined, for the purpose of this study, as a class offered for credit through a college or univer sity focused on an agricultural

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67 area of study. In this study trav el courses included an experience-based travel component of at least one week. The purposive sample consiste d of 75 students enrolle d in five different agricultural travel courses. Res ponses were obtained from 43 of the 75 individuals for a response rate of 57.3%. Data for this study were colle cted using the Commitment to Career Choices Scale (CCCS) developed by Blustein et al. ( 1989) to measure the career choice co mmitment of students prior to and following their participation in a travel c ourse. The questionnaire assessed three dimensions: (a) demographics and student background, (b) vocational exploration and commitment, and (c) tendency to foreclose. The CCCS was created to assess an indi viduals progress in the career commitment process utilizing the Vocational E xploration and Commitment scale (VECS), as well as openness or approach to the career commitment process utilizing the Tendency to Foreclose scale (TTFS) (Blustein et al.). The nine-item TTFS and 19-item VECS utilized a seven-point anchored scale for re sponses. High scores suggest a lack of commitment to career choice, while low scores indicate a clear and confident commitment to career choice. Objective One Conclusions The m ajority of students who participated in th e agricultural travel courses in this sample were upperclassmen or graduate students of Caucasian or Hispanic background with a grade point average of 3.1 or higher. Half of the students in this sample particip ated in the agricultural travel course for a non-career related reason. Few students participated in the agricultural travel courses in order to help with th eir career exploration or decision. Less than half of the students in this sample have been employed or had parents who have been em ployed in agriculturally related occupations.

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68 Implications Agricultural travel courses offer students an opportunity to experience and learn things that cannot be delivered th rough traditional classroom media (Zervanos & McLaughlin, 2003). These experiences can contribute directly to the anticipatory aspect of an individuals career decisionmaking process by providing opportunity for explora tion or crystallization (Tiedeman & OHara, 1963). Little information was known regarding the demographic composition, background, or motivations of students who participate in travel courses prior to this study. Hitch and Gore (2005) contended experiential learni ng activities, such as agricultu ral travel courses, may offer students the opportunity to experien ce, use, and analyze career related information. Prior to this study, it was unknown if the opportunity to explore and enhance car eer related information was actually sought by students participating in the travel course. Since students self-select to enroll in agricultural travel courses in the College of Ag ricultural and Life Sciences at the University of Florida and College of Agriculture at Purdue University, it was im portant to research students backgrounds and motivations for participati ng in an agricultural travel course. This research shows students who enroll in agri cultural travel courses at the University of Florida and Purdue University are predomin antly high-achieving Caucasian or Hispanic upperclassmen and graduate students. Upperclass men usually have a high level of career certainty since they are expected, and usually required, to have a declared major (Orndorff & Herr, 1996). The high level of career certainty suggest s they are advanced in the career decisionmaking process (Tiedeman & OHara, 1963). Though Spokane (1991) asserted experiences or actions taken to enhance career development can occur at any time in an individuals development, Tiedeman and OHara claimed the e ffectiveness of these actions is influenced by the individuals progress in the career decision-making process. Th is suggests the effectiveness of the experience of a travel course on the upperclassmen participants would be limited. The

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69 high-achieving status of the students in this study, reflected in the high percentage of participants with a grade point average gr eater than 3.1, also suggests si gnificant progress beyond the exploration step in the career decision making process (Creed et al., 2007). The upperclassman status and high grade point average of the student s in this study may explain why so few students listed career exploration as a motiv ating factor for participating in a travel course. Approximately half of the participants listed a non-career related reason, such as to have fun or to experience new things, for enrolling in an agricultural travel course. Many introductory or orientation courses are exploratory in nature and are targeted at underclassmen to offer them a survey of di fferent fields and oppor tunities (Super, 1957). Agricultural travel courses offer students a similar opportunity for exploration by offering a wide array of experiences orientating students to different opportunities in agriculture. Despite prior research by Hannah and Robinson (1990) finding half of college freshmen wanted help in making career decisions, only 21% of the students in the study were freshmen or sophomores. A possible explanation for this low number may be undergraduate students lack of knowledge regarding travel courses or lack of experience in agricultural areas or travel. Fishbein and Ajzen (1975) determined lack of knowledge or experience directly affect an individuals intention to participate in an activity or event. Students may have a hard time fitting travel courses into their schedules as freshmen or sophomores due to the pr e-requisite courses requir ed by their college of choice. The University of Florida and Purdue University also have a substantial number of students who transfer in and start as upperclassmen after completing their pre-requisite coursework at another institution. Previous employment has been found to have a significant influence on an individuals exploration and knowledge of agricultural ca reers (Hartung, 2005; S uper, 1957). Parental

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70 influence also has an influence on an individuals pursuit and expl oration of agricu ltural careers (Washington & Rodney, 1984). Interestingly, less than half of the students in this study had been employed, or had at least one pare nt employed, in an agricultural area. This contrast may be attributed to the non-career relate d motivations for students participa ting in the agricultural travel course. This evidence suggests students may partic ipate in any travel course, career related or not, just for the oppor tunity to travel. The dearth of ethnic diversity, specifically the small percenta ge of African American and Asian students who participated in the travel courses studied, was expected. Numerous studies have found the scarcity of African American student interest in agricultural careers can be attributed to their lack of a s ubstantial background in agricultural areas (Case, 1993; Frick et al., 1995; Leatherberry & Wellman, 1988). The under-repr esentation of minorities in agricultural areas is discouraging and the findi ngs of this study further sup port the need for greater ethnic diversity in agricultural majors and careers. Objective 2 Conclusions Most of the students who chose to participate in an agricultura l travel course had a stronger than average level of co mmitment to career choi ce and participation in the agricultural travel course elicited little change in the students level of commitment to career choice. Participation in an agricultural travel course affected stude nts in different ways. So me students exhibited a strengthening in their commitment to career choice, others showed a weaken ing in their level of commitment, and some had no change in thei r level of commitment to career choice. Participation in an agricultural travel course helped some students identify new possible occupations to consider or elic ited a change in occupation of choice. Participation in an agricultural travel course also increased the num ber of agriculturally related occupations being

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71 considered by students. Most st udents who listed a career-related motivation for participating in an agricultural travel course showed a change in careers being considered following the travel experience. Implications Although most of the students who participated in the agricultural trav el courses in this study had a stronger than average commit ment to career choice, Ester (2007) found career exploration could help more than just the students facing career in decision. Students going through the career choice step of the anticipatory aspect of the career decision-making model could also benefit from their part icipation in an agricultural travel course (Ester). The steps in Tiedeman and OHaras (1963) career decision -making model are discontinuous and may occur simultaneously and an individuals progress in the anticipatory aspect of the career decisionmaking model can move both forwards and backwa rds. Some students in this study exhibited a strengthening in their commitment to career choice following their participation in an agricultural travel course while other students showed a weakening in their level of commitment to career choice. Some students career ch oice commitment remained unchanged. Even though the individual effect on career choice commitment was varied, Blustein et al. (1994) asserted participation in any exploratory activity is associated with prog ress in career decision-making. This research shows participati on in an agricultural travel cour se does have an effect on the careers students are consideri ng. The number of new occupations being considered by students following the travel course supports Werbels (2000) contention that, as individuals examine more work opportunities, they will continue to make assessments of their interests in these opportunities and the different careers they are considering. Kelly and Lee (2002) found the lack and need of information regarding careers are the largest contributors to career decision problems. It is recognized that a differences in pretest and posttes t scores has been found to be a

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72 limitation of self-assessment, however the number of new occupations being considered may suggest students are experiencing career deci sion problems and are less committed than they report. A previous study by Ladany et al. (1997) supported this claim in finding the lower the commitment students had to career choice, the mo re options they considered when looking at different occupations. The increase in the number of agricultural occupations being considered by students following their participation in the agricultural travel course is encouraging. Rural and urban students have been found to have positive perception regarding agriculture, however, their knowledge regarding the career opport unities in agricultural areas is limited (Frick et al., 1995; Russell, 1989). Agricultural travel courses may help reinforce the positive perceptions and dispel any negative opinions students have regarding agricultural car eers by exposing the students to different career opportunities in agricultural ar eas (Orthel et al., 1989). Agricultural travel courses create awareness of agricultural occupations and opportunities that were previously unknown to students (Conroy, 1997). Furthermore, this research shows that most students who participate in an agricultural tr avel course for career-related mo tivations demonstrated a change in careers being considered following the travel experience. Objective 3 Conclusions Participa ting in an agricultural travel course affected a students tendency to foreclose. Students either become more or less open to ot her options regarding th eir career decision. As a whole, students became more accepting to the idea that there may be one specific occupation suitable for them after participating in an agricultural travel course. Students who chose to participate in an agricu ltural travel course were advanced in their career decision-making process prior to their part icipation. Most students in this study exhibited

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73 a low tendency to foreclose and better than average progress in their career exploration and commitment process before they had their travel experience. Most studen ts in this study had investigated and considered di fferent careers and opportunities pr ior to participating in the agricultural travel course. As a whole, students in this study expressed less confidence in their personal knowledge regarding careers they were interested in followi ng their participation in an agricultural travel course. Implications This research shows participa ting in an agricultu ral travel course had an effect on an individuals tendency to foreclos e on career choice or options. Fo llowing their travel experience, students either became more or less open to ot her options regarding their career decision. Students who advanced in the career decisionmaking process became less likely to commit to a career choice without exploration and more comm itted to their career choice while students who regressed in the career decision-making process became more likely to commit to a career choice without exploration and less committed to thei r career choice (Tiedeman & OHara, 1963). Though this change contrasts the st atic nature of students career choice commitment prior to and following their participation in an agricultural travel course, the disparity is not unprecedented. Blustein et al. (1994) found ma ny college students may be carrying on with their career decisions and career decision-making tasks in a foreclosed fashion and not truly progressing in the career decision-making process. Raskin (1989) suggested students who are foreclosed need an intervention promoting a variety of career opportunities that are different than ones the students are familiar with. Moreover, Dziuben, Tango, a nd Hynes (1994) found students with declared majors or reported career decisiveness may actually be undecided because they do not understand or know how their needs may be met in their chosen career. Gianakos (1999) further

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74 supported the results of this study in finding students who discove r their career of choice is unrealistic benefit substantially from assistance in learning about and c onsidering other careers congruent with their interests, va lues, and abilities. Participation in an agricultural travel course offered students this intervention and assistance and may have enabled students to become aware of their actual progress in the ca reer decision-making model. This ma y be what is reflected in the change in the students tendency to foreclose. The lack of knowledge regarding careers expr essed by students in this study following their participation in an agricultural travel course suggests st udents thought they were more knowledgeable regarding careers than they actually were. It is r ecognized that pre-post tests lend themselves to such results, however, the di fference found in this st udy is supported by prior research. Heebner (1995) found most influential people in students lives often assume that students know more than they actually do concerning possible career options. The influence of these influential people, such as career counselors, advisors, teachers, and parents, may encourage the false confidence students have rega rding career decision. Cr eed et al. (2007) found there was a need for career c ounseling and intervention to in crease career e xploration and awareness in students. The increase in student s acceptance of the idea that there may be one specific occupation suitable for them suggests e xploration revealed more career opportunities or a chance for further self-evaluation (Werbel, 2000). Recommendations Recommendations for practice are: 1. Agricultural travel courses should be further targeted to sophom ore and freshmen students, much like an orientation or introductory cour se. This would provide students with an opportunity to increase awareness of and explor e different agricultural careers in realistic settings, as well as establish connections with individuals employed in areas of interest before they must decide upon a major.

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75 2. Colleges of agriculture should suggest departments be involved in sponsoring and conducting at least one travel c ourse a year that enhances aw areness of career opportunities in the field. 3. Although most students who partic ipated in the agricultural travel courses studied had a high grade point average, high classroom achie vement should not be a factor in who is permitted to participate in the agricultural travel course. 4. Programs should be implemented to attract more minority students to participate in agricultural travel courses. 5. Travel course agendas should be created to cater conventional a nd nonconventional forms of agriculture. Colleges of agriculture must capitalize on the positive perceptions urban and rural students have regarding agricultural oppor tunities (Frick et al., 1995) in order to attract retain a wide variety of students to agricu ltural careers. 6. After participation in an agri cultural travel course, students should be encouraged to meet with a career counselor or go to the career reso urce center to meet with a consultant. Students should further investig ate the new careers they became aware of and interested in, as well as have the opportunity to discuss and evaluate their career decision-making progress with an advisor. 7. Colleges of agriculture s hould suggest all students to particip ate in a travel course in order to enhance awareness of agricultural oppor tunities and aid in retention. 8. Colleges of Agriculture should target st udents with no agricultural background to participate in agricultura l travel courses in order to expos e them to different agricultural career opportunities. 9. Students should be required to meet with a ca reer counselor prior begi nning their collegiate career in order to evaluate their interest s and increase awareness of possible career opportunities. 10. Feeder schools should advertise, encour age, and support student involvement in agricultural travel courses at four-year institutions. 11. Agricultural career exploration should be an objective of agricultural travel courses. Suggestions for Further Research Recommendations for future research are: 1. Since this study only exam ined five travel c ourses over the course of only two semesters, additional replications of the study need to be conducted with a la rger population that could perhaps increase diversity. 2. More research needs to be done targeting st udents who enroll travel courses for career related reasons and students who enroll in tr avel courses for othe r reasons separately.

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76 3. More research needs to be done to determ ine how departments are promoting travel courses to students. 4. More research needs to be done to further investigate the educatio nal and experiential backgrounds of students w ho participate in agricu ltural travel courses. 5. A study needs to be conducted investigating student perceptions and opinions regarding agricultural travel courses. Why some student s chose to not participate in agricultural travel courses needs to be investigated. 6. Additional studies need to be done sepa rating underclassmen from upperclassmen to investigating the effect of travel courses on their commitment to career choice separately. 7. More research needs to be conducted analyzing the long term effect of travel course participation on declared major and employment. 8. More research needs to be conducted anal yzing different components of the various agricultural travel courses in cluding course objectives, edu cational techniques, teacher ability, and course effectiveness.

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77 APPENDIX A INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARD APPROVAL

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78 APPENDIX B TRAVEL COURSE INSTRUCTOR INFORM ATION REQUEST EMAIL Hello Dr. [Last Name], My name is Charlie Nealis and I am a gradua te student in the Agricultural Education and Communication department here at the University of Florida. I am contacting you because I have been informed that you will be in structing a course with a travel component this spring and/or summer semester. I have participated in three travel courses, twice as a student and once as a TA, and truly feel that they offer students an incr edible opportunity to grow both academically and personally through their experiences in the course. Un fortunately there is very little research to support this claim. For my thesis I am resear ching the effect of tr avel courses or field experiences on career choice commitment in undergra duate students in CALS. In order to do this I will be administering a survey pre and post trav el experience via the internet. The survey will not be administered during class and should not take up much of the students time. I would be truly grateful if you would be will ing to help with my study by allowing me to administer this survey to your students. The stud y will be conducted: no more than ten days prior to the travel component of the c ourse for the pretest, and no more than ten days after the return for the posttest. The study will not require any ex tra effort from you, but, ideally, would require five minutes of class time to explain the survey or study to your student s. After I complete the study I will be sure to send you the results for yo ur class as well as for the study as a whole. If you would like to help, I would like to talk to you a li ttle more about your courses background, goals and objectives, requirements, a nd student participation. Please feel free to contact me at my UF email address, cpn ealis@ufl.edu, or by phone at 386-747-9977. I look forward to hearing from you! Thank you, Charlie Nealis

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79 APPENDIX C SURVEY COMPLETION REQUESTS Pre-Survey Email Hello [First and Last Nam e], My name is Charlie Nealis and I am a gradua te student in the Agricultural Education and Communication department here at the University of Florida. For my thesis I am researching the effect of travel courses or field experiences on career choice commitment in undergraduate students in CALS. In order to do this I will be administering a survey pre and post travel experience via the internet. I would be truly grateful if you would be w illing to help with my study by participating. There are no risks or benefits associated with your participation. Your d ecision to participate will have no effect on your grade in this course. I will be contacting you in ten days with a link to the online survey. If you would like any more information regard ing the study or have any questions please feel free to contact me at my UF email addr ess, cpnealis@ufl.edu, or by phone at (352) 392-0502 ext. 244. Thank you, Charlie Nealis

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80 Pre-Test Initial Contact E-mail Hello [First and Last Nam e], My name is Charlie Nealis and I am a gradua te student in the Agricultural Education and Communication department here at the University of Florida. For my thesis I am researching the effect of travel courses or field experiences on career choice commitment in undergraduate students in CALS. In order to do this I will be administering a survey pre and post travel experience via the internet. I would be truly grateful if you would be w illing to help with my study by participating. There are no risks or benefits associated with your participation. Your d ecision to participate will have no effect on your gr ade in this course. The survey is located at the following address: [Survey Website] Please enter the ID number you are given in this email as your ID number in the survey. Your ID number is: [ID Number] If you would like any more information regard ing the study or have any questions please feel free to contact me at my UF email addr ess, cpnealis@ufl.edu, or by phone at (352) 392-0502 ext. 244. Thank you for your time, Charlie Nealis

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81 Pre-Test Follow-Up Contact Email Hello [First and Last Nam e], This is a reminder about the survey I am administering to students participating in travel courses here at UF. I would truly apprec iate it if you would participate in this study by completing the survey located at the following link: [Survey Website] When asked for your ID number, please us e the following 3-digit number: [ID Number] I understand that you are busy preparing to leave fo r the travel experience, but this survey will only take a few minutes of your time. It is important that you complete it before you leave because there is another survey to be completed after you return. Thank you very much for your time and effort, Charlie Nealis

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82 Second Pre-Test Follow-Up Contact Email Hello [First and Last Nam e], This is a reminder about the survey I am administering to students participating in travel courses here at UF. I would truly apprec iate it if you would participate in this study by completing the survey located at the following link: [Survey Website] When asked for your ID number, please us e the following 3-digit number: [ID Number] I understand that you are busy preparing to leave fo r the travel experience, but this survey will only take a few minutes of your time. It is important that you complete it before you leave because there is another survey to be completed after you return. Thank you very much for your time and effort, Charlie Nealis

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83 Third Pre-Test Follow-Up Contact Email Hello [First and Last Nam e], This is a reminder about the survey I am administering to students participating in travel courses here at UF. I would truly apprec iate it if you would participate in this study by completing the survey located at the following link: [Survey Website] When asked for your ID number, please us e the following 3-digit number: [ID Number] I understand that you are busy preparing to leave fo r the travel experience, but this survey will only take a few minutes of your time. It is important that you complete it before you leave because there is another survey to be completed after you return. Thank you very much for your time and effort, Charlie Nealis

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84 Final Pre-Test Follow-Up Contact Email Hello [First and Last Nam e], This is a final reminder about the survey I am ad ministering to students pa rticipating in travel courses here at UF. Please take a few moments to complete the survey located at the following link: [Survey Website] When asked for your ID number, please us e the following 3-digit number: [ID Number] I understand that you are busy preparing to leave fo r the travel experience, but this survey will only take a few minutes of your time. It is important that you complete it before you leave because there is another survey to be completed after you return. Thank you very much for your time and effort, Charlie Nealis

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85 Post-Test Pre-Survey Email Hello [First and Last Nam e], Thank you for completing the pre-test survey! After you return from your trip I will be sending you the post-test survey. I would be extremely grateful if you would continue to help with my study by participating. I will be contacti ng you shortly following your trip with a link to the online survey. Again, if you would like any more information regarding the study or have any questions please feel free to contact me at my UF email address, cpnealis@ufl.edu, or by phone at (352) 392-0502 ext. 244. Thank you and have a great trip! Charlie Nealis

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86 Post-Test Initial Contact E-mail Hey [First and Last Nam e], I hope you had a great time in [Trip Location], Ive heard that it was an amazing trip! While you probably are still unpacking and cat ching up on school work and laundry, I was hoping that you would take 5 minutes to take the pos t-test survey associated with the survey you completed prior to your travel th at is located at this link: [Website Link] This version is much shorter and will take much less time. Again, when the survey asks for your ID number, please enter the number below: ID Number:[ID Number] **If used a different number as your ID number before, please use that number again. I want to thank you all again for all your help and support and I look forward to gathering the results! Charlie Nealis

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87 Post-Test Follow-Up Contact Email Hey [First and Last Nam e], This is just a reminder to fill out the posttest survey. While you probably still catching up with school, I was hoping that you would take 5 minutes to take the post-test survey associated with the survey you completed prior to your travel that is located at this link: [Website Link] This version is much shorter and will take much less time. Again, when the survey asks for your ID number, please enter the number below: ID Number: [ID Number] **If used a different number as your ID number before, please use that number again. I want to thank you all again for all your help and support and I look forward to gathering the results! Charlie Nealis

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88 Second Post-Test Follow-Up Contact Email [First and L ast Name], Hello again! I hope you had a great time on your trav els, I am sure that it was an amazing trip! While you probably have plenty to catch up w ith after returning ho me, I was hoping that you would take 5 minutes to take th e post-test survey associated w ith the survey you completed prior to your travel that is located at this link: [Website Link] This version is much shorter and will take much less time. Again, when the survey asks for your ID number, please enter the number below: ID Number: [ID Number] **If used a different number as your ID number before, please use that number again. I want to thank you all again for all your help and support and I look forw ard to gathering the results! Charlie Nealis

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89 Third Post-Test Follow-Up Contact Email Hello [First and Last Nam e], I was hoping that you would take 5 minutes to ta ke the post-test survey associated with the survey you completed prior to your trav el that is located at this link: [Website Link] This version is much shorter and will take much less time. Again, when the survey asks for your ID number, please enter the number below: ID Number: [ID Number] **If used a different number as your ID number before, please use that number again. I want to thank you again fo r all your help and support! Charlie Nealis

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90 Final Post-Test Follow-Up Contact Email Hello [First and Last Nam e], This is a final reminder about the survey I am ad ministering to students pa rticipating in travel courses here at UF. Please take a few moments to complete the survey located at the following link: [Survey Website] When asked for your ID number, please us e the following 3-digit number: [ID Number] I understand that you are busy catching up after your travel experience, but this survey will only take a few minutes of your time. Thank you very much for your time and effort, Charlie Nealis

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91 APPENDIX D ONLINE SURVEY Approved Informed Consent

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107 LIST OF REFERENCES Agresti, A., & Finlay, B. (1997). Sta tistical methods for the social sciences (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. Alwin, D. F., & Jackson, D.J. (1980). Measurement models for response errors in surveys: Issues and applications. In K.F. Schuessler (Ed.), Sociological methodology 1980 (pp. 68-119). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Anderson, S.L., & Betz, N.E. (2001). Sources of social self-efficacy expectations: Their measurement and relation to career development. Journal of Vocational Behavior 58 98117. Ary, D., Jacobs, L.C., & Razavieh, A. (2002). Introduction to research in education (6th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Group. Bandura, A. (1977). Self-efficacy: Toward a unifying theory of behavior change. Psychological Review 84, 191-215. Bandura, A. (1994). Self-efficacy. In V. S. Ramachaudran (Ed.), Encyclopedia of human behavior (Vol. 4, pp. 71-81). New York: Academic Press. Blustein, D.L. (1990). Explorations of the career explora tions literature: Current status and future directions Paper presented at the meeting of the American Educational Research Association. Blustein, D.L., Ellis, M.V., & Devenis, L.E. (1989). The development and validation of a twodimensional model of the commitme nt to career choices process. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 35 342-378. Blustein, D.L., Pauling, M.L., DeMania, M.E., & Faye, M. (1994). Relation between exploratory and choice factors and decisional progress. Journal of Vocational Behavior 44, 75-90. Bobbitt, L.M., Inks, S.A., Kemp, K.J., & Mayo, D.T. (2000). Integrating marketing courses to enhance team-based experiential learning. Journal of Marketing Education 22, 15-24. Brown, C., George-Curran, R., & Smith, M.L. (2003). The role of emotiona l intelligence in the career commitment and decision-making process. Journal of Career Assessment 11(4), 379-392. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor (2004). Occupational outlook handbook, 2004-05 ed. Agricultural and Food Scientists Retrieved June 3, 2007, from http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos046.htm. Campbell, D.T., & Stanley, J.C. (1963). Experimental and quasi-exp erimental designs for research Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company.

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108 Carson, K.D., & Carson, P.P. (1998). Career co mmitment, competencies, and citizenship. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 6(2), 195-208. Case, D.M. (1993). The USDA/1890 Land grant university su mmer internship program: A case study of Lincoln University participants. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, MO. Conroy, C. (1997). Influences on career choice of rural youth and resulting implications for career development and programming: When job awareness and exploration are not enough. Journal of Vocational Education Research 22(1), 3-19. Conroy, C.A. (2000). Reinventing ca reer education and recruitment in agricultural education for the 21st century. Journal of Agricu ltural Education 41(4), 73-84. Coon, T.K., & Cantrell, M.J. (1985). Agriculture in black and white. The Agricultural Education Magazine, 58 (4), 22-23. Creed, P.A., Patton, W., & Prideaux, L. (2007). Pr edicting change over time in career planning and career exploration for high school students. Journal of Adolescence 30, 377-392. Dillman, D. (2007). Mail and internet surveys: The tailored design method (2nd ed.). New York: John Wiley and Sons. Dyer, J.E., Lacey, R., & Osborne, E.W. (1996). A ttitudes of University of Illinois College of Agriculture freshmen toward agriculture. Journal of Agricultural Education 37(3), 33-42. Dziuban, C.D., Tango, R.A., & Hynes, M. (1994). An assessment of the effect of vocational exploration on career decision making. Journal of Employment Counseling 31, 127-136. Esters, L.T. (2007). Exploring th e relationship between career i ndecision and career exploration in agriculture students. NACTA Journal 11-16. Esters, L.T., & Bowen, B.E. (2005). Factors infl uencing career choices of urban agricultural education students. Journal of Agricultural Education 46(2), 24-35. Felsman, D.E., & Blustein, D.L. (1999). The role of peer relatedness in late adolescent career development. Journal of Vocational Behavior ,54 279-295. Fishbein, M., & Ajzen, I. (1975). Belief, attitude, intention and behavior Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley Publishing. Frick, M. J., Birkenholz, R. J., Gardner, H., & Machtmes, K. (1995). Rural and urban inner-city high school student knowledge a nd perception of agriculture. Journal of Agricultural Education 36 (4), 1-9. Gall, M.D., Gall, J.P., & Borg, W.R. (2006). Educational research: An introduction (8th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.

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109 Gati, I., & Asher, I. (2001). The PIC model fo r career decision making: Prescreening, in-depth exploration, and choice. In T. L. Leong & A. Barak (Eds.), Contemporary models in vocational psychology: A volume in honor of Samuel H. Osipow (pp. 6-54). New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Gati, I., Krausz, M., & Osipow, S.H. (1996). A taxonomy of difficulties in career decision making. Journal of Counseling Psychology 43, 510-526. Germeijs, V., & Verschueren, K. (2006). High sc hool students career deci sion-making process: A longitudinal study of one choice. Journal of Vocational Behavior 68, 189-204. Germeijs, V., & Verschueren, K. (2007). High sc hool students career deci sion-making process: Consequences for choice implementation in higher education. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 70 223-241. Gianakos, I. (1999). Patterns of career choi ce and career decision-making self-efficacy. Journal of Vocational Behavior 54, 244-258. Gray, K. (1996). Other ways to win: Creating a lternatives for high school graduates. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press. Hardin, E.E., Varghese, F.P., Tran, U.V., & Carlson, A.Z. (2006). Anxiety and career exploration: Gender differences in the role of self-construal. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 69 346-358. Harren, V.A. (1979). A model of career decision making for college students. Journal of Vocational Behavior 14 119-133. Hartung, P.J., Porfeli, E.J., & Vondracek, F.W. (2005). Child vocational development: A review and reconsideration. Journal of Vocational Behavior 66, 385-419. Heebner, A.L. (1995). The impact of career magn et high schools: Experimental and qualitative evidence. The Journal of Vocati onal Education Research 20(2), 27-56. Hitch, J., & Gore, P.A. (2005). Occupational clas sification systems and sources of occupation information. In P.A. Gore (Ed.), Facilitating the career development of students in transition (pp. 61-86). Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina, National Resource Center for the First-Year Experi ence and Students in Transition. Holland, J.L. (1996). Exploring careers with a typology. American Psychologist, 51 397-406. Hoover, T.S., & Scanlon, D.C. (1991). Enrollme nt issues in agricultural education and FFA membership. Journal of Agricultural Education 2-10. Jones, W.A., & Larke, A. (2001). Factors infl uencing career choice of African American and Hispanic graduates of a landgrant college of agricultu re. Journal of Agricultural Education 42 (1), 39-49.

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110 Jordaan, J.P. (1963). Exploratory behavior: The fo rmation of self and oc cupational concepts. In D.E. Super, R. Starishevsky, N. Matlin, & J.P. Jordaan, (Eds.), Career development: Selfconcept theory New York: College Entrance Examination Board. Jordaan, J.P. (1974). Life stages as organizing m odes of career development. In E.L. Herr (Eds.), Vocational guidance and human development (pp. 263-295). Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin. Kelly, K.R., & Lee, W. (2002). Mapping the domain of career decision problems. Journal of Vocational Behavior 61 302-326. Knight, J. (1987). Recruiting and retaining stud ents: A challenge for vocational agriculture. The Agricultural Education Magazine 60 (1), 9-10. Kolb, D. A. (1984). Experiential learning: Experien ce as the source of learning and development Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall. Ladany, N., Melincoff, D.S., Constantine, M.G., & Love, R. (1997). At-risk urban high school students commitment to career choices. Journal of Counseling and Development 76, 4552. Landy, F.J. (1986). Stamp collecting versus science: Validation as hypothesis testing. American Psychologist 41, 1183-1192. Leal-Muniz, V., & Constantine, M.G. (2005). Pr edictors of the career commitment process in Mexican American college students. Journal of Career Assessment 13(2), 204-215. Leatherberry, E., & Wellman, E. (1988). Black hi gh school students images of forestry as a profession. Journal of Negro Education, 57. Malecki, C.L., Israel, G.D., & Toro, E. (2004). Using Ag in the Classroom curricula: Teachers awareness, attitudes and perceptions of agricultural literacy Retrieved June 2, 2007, from http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu. Marcia, J.E., Waterman, A.S., Matteson, D. R., Archer, S.L., & Orlofsky, J.L. (1993). Ego identity: A handbook for ps ychological research New York: Springer. McCallister, D.L., Lee, D.J., & Mason, S.C. (2005). Student numbers in agronomy and crop science in the United States: History, current status, and possible actions. NACTA Journal 24-29. National Association of Co lleges and Employers (2004). Salary survey 43(3), 4-5. National Council for Agricu ltural Education. (1999). A new era in agriculture Washington, D.C.: Author.

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111 Orndorff, R.M, & Herr, E.L. ( 1996). A comparative study of decl ared and undeclared college students on career uncertainty and involvement in career development activities. Journal of Counseling and Development 74, 632-639. Orthel, G., Sorensen, J., Lerman, S., & Riesenbe rg, L. (1989). High school students perceptions of agriculture and careers in agriculture. In Proceedings of the 16th Annual National Agricultural Education Research Meeting Orlando, FL. Osborne, E.W., & Dyer, J.E. (2000). Attitudes of Illinois agriscience students and their parents toward agriculture and agricultural education programs. Journal of Agricultural Education 41(3), 50-59. Raskin, P.M. (1989). Identity status research: Implications for career counseling. Journal of Adolescence 12, 375-388. Russell, E.P. (1989). Youth development: Needed high prio rity in the colle ge of agriculture. Proposal submitted to the University of I llinois College of Agriculture Priorities Committee. Russell, E.B. (1993). Attracting youth to agriculture Retrieved June 2, 2007, from http://www.joe.org/joe/1993winter/a2.html. Salovey, P., & Mayer, J.D. ( 1990). Emotional intelligence. Imagination, Cognition, and Personality, 9, 185-211. Scott, D.J, & Church, A. T. (2001). Separation/ attachment theory and career decidedness and commitment: effects of parental divorce. Journal of Vocational Behavior 58, 328-347. Shivy, V.A., & Koehly, L.M. (2002). Client perc eptions and preferences for university-based career services. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 60, 40-60. Sorenson, D.D. (1987). How to keep em on the farm and farming. The American School Board Journal 174 6-28. Spokane, A.R. (1991). Career interventions Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Sullivan, K.R., & Mahalik, J.R. (2000). Increasin g career self-efficacy for women: Evaluating a group intervention. Journal of Counseling & Development 78 54-62. Super, D.E. (1957). The psychology of careers: An in troduction to vocational development. New York: Harper and Brothers. Super, D.E., Crites, J.O., Hummel, R.D., Mosher, H.P., Overstreet, P.L., & Warnath, C.F. (1957). Vocational development: A framework for research. New York: Teachers College, Bureau of Publications.

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112 Super, D.E. (1990). A life-span, life-space approach to career development. In D. Brown & L. Brooks (Eds.), Career choice and development: A pplying contemporary theories to practice (pp. 197-261). San Fran cisco: Jossey-Bass. Stumpf, S.A. (1992). Career exploration. In The encyclopedia of career decision and work issues. Phoenix, AZ: Oryx Press. Stumpf, S.A., Colarelli, S.M., & Hartmann, K. (1983). Development of the career exploration survey (CES). Journal of Vocational Behavior 22 191-226. Tiedeman, D.V., & OHara, R.P. (1963). Career development: Choice and adjustment New York: College Entrance Examination Board. Wang, N., Jome, L.M., Haase, R.F., & Bruch, M.A. (2006). The role of personality and career decision-making self-efficacy in the career c hoice commitment of college students. Journal of Career Assessment 14(3), 311-332. Washington, W.J., & Rodney, E. (1984). Careers in natural res ources for urban minorities (Grant #23-617). Washington, DC: United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. Werbel, J.D. (2000). Relationships among career expl oration, job search intensity, and job search effectiveness in graduating college students. Journal of Vocational Behavior 57, 379-394. Young, R.A., Paseluikho, M.A., & Valach, L. (1997). The role of emotion in the construction of career in parent-adole scent conversations. Journal of Counseling and Development 76, 3644. Young, R.A., Valach, L., & Collin, A. (1996). A contextual explanation of career. In D. Brown & L. Brooks (Eds.), Career choice and development (pp. 477-512). San Francisco: JosseyBass. Zervanos, S.M, & McLaughlin, J.S. (2003). Teac hing biodiversity & evol ution through travel course experiences. The American Biology Teacher 65(9), 683-688.

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113 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Charlie Nealis was born in DeLand, Florida, in 1984. He graduated from DeLand High School in May 2002. In December 2006, Mr. Nealis earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Florida in food and resource economi cs with a minor in plant science. While an undergraduate, Nealis worked at the University of Florida Pine Acres Research Farm in Citra, Florida, and was an active member of the Un iversity of Florida Agronomy and Soils Club. In January 2007, Mr. Nealis entered the gr aduate program in the Department of Agricultural Education and Commun ication at the University of Fl orida where he specialized in extension education. During his time in the gradua te program at the Univer sity of Florida, he served as a graduate teaching assistant for E ffective Oral Communication. He also was a Crop Science Society of America Golden Opportun ity Scholar and was a Students of Agronomy, Soils, and Environmental Sciences national officer.