School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


David C. Nelson


career development, career maturity, high school freshmen, program of study


Education | Educational Leadership


Supporting career development in adolescents is a perplexing issue for educators. In response, educators are implementing various interventions assisting students in the exploration process. The purpose of this causal comparative study was to determine the effect of the career education course employed by a rural high school in Tennessee on student selection of a program of study and career maturity. Upon completion of the semester, a convenient sample of 79 ninth grade students completed the Career Maturity Inventory-form C along with a program of study selection inquiry. Data analysis did not determine a statistical difference in high school career maturity and selection of a program of study based on completion of a career exploration course. A chi square test of independence was conducted to analyze the association between the 2 categorical variables of a career management success course and selection of a program-of-study. A one-way multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) was conducted to analyze the effect of the career course on the linear combination of the subscale scores of the career maturity inventory. Analysis did not provide evidence to reject the 7 null hypotheses. The study did illustrate that students at Nosre Academy were on average gaining the knowledge to select a program of study and had on average developed career maturity at a higher average than norms established for the instrument. Recommendations for further research include additional constructs being considered along with further examination of the impact of the Appalachian culture.